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The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate has been spotted testing on public roads outside the car maker’s research and development centre in Germany.

The images, snapped by CarAdvice’s spy photographers, give us our first look at the wagon body style of the fourth-generation C-Class as well as the clearest look so far at the front-end styling of the forthcoming BMW 3 Series rival.

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Like the new C-Class sedan that was spied late last month, the new Estate takes styling cues from the recently released S-Class flagship.

A prominent grille with large three-point star badge dominates the fresh face. Rounded-off headlights wrap around the front corners, while the clean bumper furthers it elegant appearance.

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Plastic cladding along the prototype’s profile hides two distinctive character lines (shared with the C-Class and S-Class sedans) that run between the wheel arches at the upper and lower edges of the door frames.

At the rear, the tail-lights are now wider and positioned horizontally, and like the larger E-Class Estate span the rear-quarter panels and tailgate.

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The luxury mid-sized C-Class sedan will grow to create more rear legroom and distance it from the CLA sedan, and the wagon body style is likely to follow suit in offering more interior space.

The C-Class Estate is expected be revealed roughly six months after the sedan, potentially at September’s Paris motor show, before launching late in 2014.

Click the Photos tab for more images.