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The Mercedes-Benz CLS is coming to the end of its second generation, as evidenced by this test mule for the next-generation car. Our sources say the next sleek-roofed sedan will be named the CLE as part of the marque’s new naming convention, in this case referencing the E-Class as the basis from which the new car will be built.

While the design language now follows the latest Mercedes-Benz direction, the sleek CLS silhouette remains, albeit with a slightly more pronounced three-box sedan shape courtesy of what appears to be a more upright glasshouse, while the wider, more horizontal tail lamps have a hint of S-Class Coupe. In front, headlamps appear to be LED units, complementing a more upright front fascia.

The biggest change, according to our source, will be the six-cylinder engines’ move from V6 to an inline configuration, displacing 3 litres while the four- and six-cylinder diesels will displace 2 and 3 litres respectively, keeping to a displacement of 500cc per cylinder.

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The upper end of the CLE range can be expected to be crowned by the AMG 63 variant, powered by the 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 in a similar tune to the one in the Mercedes-AMG E 63. The range-topping CLE could possibly deploy the E 63’s equipment, which includes the all-wheel-drive 4Matic driveline with the nine-speed automatic gearbox.

Inside, the CLE is expected to adopt the W213’s instrumentation, with dual widescreen displays providing customisable sets of information. While there are no images of the interior, the CLE’s cabin, too, can be expected to follow current Mercedes design cues.