Us Malaysians may have just received the facelifted W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but Stuttgart is already preparing an all-new model to replace it. Set to be given the W206 codename, the next C-Class has been spotted by our spy photographers in the German city, so the car is well on its way to production to take on the also-new G20 BMW 3 Series.

As you’d expect from an early prototype, there’s still plenty of camouflage applied, but there are a few things we can glean from these images. Firstly, the new car appears to be significantly larger than before, especially at the rear of the car – although that could just be the hard disguise on the bootlid fooling us.

It’s also clear that the new C-Class will retain the curvaceous Sensual Purity design language that has been around since the W222 S-Class. The sweeping roofline and upswept lower character line along the sides are iterations of the current model, but there’s no longer a hard shoulder line and the headlights appear to be slimmer, just like the new A-Class and CLS. There are wider tail lights as well.

There will likely be bigger changes under the skin, with the C-Class gaining all the new technologies from its younger siblings. Our spies claim that the interior will be completely different from the outgoing model’s, with touchscreen controls similar to those in the latest Audi A8 as well as a non-touch upper display – although we believe a version of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) with a central touchscreen is more likely.

Expected to be built on a new version of the Modular Rear Architecture (MRA2), the C-Class should receive the 48-volt electrical system that is also set to go on the new W223 S-Class, which would allow the system to power items like the air-conditioning compressor and the turbocharger. Also on the cards are all the semi-autonomous driving features from the E- and S-Class, such as remote parking.

As for engines, the C-Class should inherit the new engines already found on other models. The existing M264 turbocharged four-cylinder petrol introduced on the facelifted W205 will likely soldier on in 1.5 litre mild hybrid (C 200) and regular 2.0 litre (C 300) forms, though a mild hybrid version of the 2.0 litre – fitted to the E 350 and CLS 350 – is also a possibility.

Further up the range, the AMG C 43 will be substituted by the C 53, which will finally receive the new 3.0 litre mild hybrid twin-turbo straight-six pushing upwards of 400 hp; the C 63, meanwhile should feature an uprated version of AMG’s trademark 4.0 litre biturbo V8. A brace of new four-cylinder and straight-six diesel mills, as well as next-generation plug-in hybrids with up to 100 km of all-electric range, are also expected.