The second-generation W246 Mercedes-Benz B-Class has been around for some time now, having first made its debut back in 2011, and receiving a facelift later in 2014. We already know an all-new replacement (reportedly called the W247) is on its way, based on an earlier test mule sighting. Now, our spy photographers have managed to spot another prototype, this time undergoing cold-weather testing.

Set to be based on the upcoming 2018 A-Class, the compact people mover’s redesigned exterior sports a higher roofline compared to the hatchback. At the front, the headlights are sharper in shape than those on the current B-Class, and a lot larger than the new A-Class’ units too.

Moving towards the rear, the B-Class further differentiates itself from the A-Class as being the more practical of the two with a wider aperture to the boot. The taillights still appear to be two-piece units although they aren’t as slim as those on the hatchback.

No shots of the interior but if the new A-Class is anything to go by, the B-Class should undergo a major makeover in that department as well. Other improvements will likely include the latest Mercedes-Benz infotainment system, reportedly called the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX).

Engine options should also be pretty similar to the A-Class, given the front wheel drive platform (reportedly called Modular Front Architecture 2) shared between the two. This includes a mix of petrol and diesel engines, as well as plug-in hybrid technology being another possibility.