The current sixth-generation Subaru Legacy has been around since 2014, and four years on it seems it’s time for a new one. That’s because our spy photographers have already caught the next one, due to be unveiled next year, out in the open. And if you were hoping for a step change in the Pleiades brand’s typically dour designs, you’d be thoroughly disappointed.

With much of the previous disguise now stripped away, we can clearly see that the new Legacy will look pretty much the same as before, with the familiar front fascia featuring a six-point grille flanked by angular headlights. The latter sport a protruding upper edge already seen on the latest facelifted model, while the “tails” that wrap around the sides of the car are reminiscent of the E60 BMW 5 Series.

Subaru has refused to jump onto the four-door “coupé” bandwagon, so the new Legacy retains a roofline that’s largely the same shape as before, albeit with a sleeker C-pillar. The bodyside surfacing has also been simplified, with the exception of the new, muscular rear haunches to match the front. At the rear, the design of the L-shaped tail lights have also been rejigged with wraparound “tails”.

Don’t let the same old, same old design fool you – this Legacy is all new and rides on the Subaru Global Platform shared with the new Impreza, XV and Forester. It will have new engines too, with direct injection, cylinder deactivation and lean burning technology.

That means that the lineup in the US will see a shakeup – while a 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four will remain the standard engine offering, a smaller but more powerful 2.0 litre turbocharged unit will replace the big 3.6 litre NA boxer six, as has already been done in Japan. The Lineartronic CVT will almost certainly return, as will standard symmetrical all-wheel drive.