The E-Class' more stylish brother is approaching the end of the testing phase.

After a mishap at the end of May in Stuttgart, the CLS has been spotted once again by the spy camera with the full production body and lights. This is usually a sign an automaker is almost at the end of the test cycle, so expect the third generation to be revealed quite possibly later in the year. When it will arrive, it'll snuggle nicely between the E-Class upon which it will be largely based, and the top dog S-Class.

More on the new CLS:

Aside from getting a more exciting design compared to its donor car, the new CLS will also be bigger and will feature a longer wheelbase to enable a roomier interior. By the looks of it, Mercedes will play it safe with the design by taking the evolutionary route, but perhaps it’s best to reserve our final judgment until the camo comes come off entirely. It might look like in our speculative render:

2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS rendering

It will retain the sedan body style with a swoopy coupe-like roofline whereas the sportier four-door AMG GT might feature a more practical liftback configuration in the same vein as the namesake concept. It’s difficult to say at this point what the relation will be between the two cars, but a spy video from a few days ago has shown the AMG will be a tad bigger.

Considering it will be derived from the E-Class, it means the engine lineup and most of the hardware will be borrowed from its lesser counterpart, but with a twist. Internal sources cited by Australia’s Motoring have revealed there’s going to be a Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 with a new turbocharged inline-six 3.0-litre engine and an electric motor good for a combined output of close to 500 horsepower. The CLS will allegedly be the first to receive this beefy hybrid treatment and will eventually be followed by the other models based on the flexible MRA platform.

As to when we’ll actually get to see the all-new CLS, it might share the spotlight with the Project One at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September. If not, Mercedes could decide to wait and host the world premiere in December in L.A. to make sure the 1,000-hp hypercar won’t steal the CLS’ thunder.

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