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The facelifted Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet has been spied this week during development testing, giving us a first look at what to expect from this relatively mild mid-life update for the German company’s flagship drop-top.

It appears not much will change visually with the forthcoming update, with revised front and rear treatments the noticeable changes on this lightly-camouflaged prototype.

Up front, the grille and bumper will get a mild redesign to bring the big convertible in line with newer models in the company’s line-up, and while the headlights on this vehicle appear to be the same as the current car, it’s likely the graphics for the final version will get a slight update as well.

At the rear it’s a similar theme, with small changes to the slim tail-lights and the meaty bumper expected considering the light disguise over those components, but expect the overall shape and look of the new S63 Cabriolet to remain largely the same.

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The most significant changes for the updated S-Class range – which includes short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase sedans, along with the coupe and cabriolet – will be the introduction of numerous semi-autonomous systems, including the ‘Drive Pilot’ technologies that debuted with the new E-Class last year.

Speaking with CarAdvice at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, head of research and development for Mercedes-Benz, Ola Kallenius, said: “Already in less than six months time we will have Drive Pilot reloaded”.

“The one that we introduced on the E-Class last year already gets a whole heap of additional features”.

“The next-generation Drive Pilot which we’re launching in the S-Class this summer will have an emergency stopping function. This is one of those situations that if you completely ignore all the warning signals on the car – it tells you to put your hands back onto the steering wheel, because for legislative reasons you have to do it: if you ignore that completely, the car assumes that you relinquished your responsibility of the driving situation.”

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It’s unknown whether the AMG versions of the S-Class family will see extensive changes under the bonnet – such as the 48V battery system that also acts as booster for the drivetrain supplementing the conventional turbocharger that is planned for the new inline-six engine in lesser S-Class variants – though it’s possible that the 430kW/900Nm 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 could get a power bump, or be switched out for a more powerful version of the new 450kW/850Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in the new AMG E63 S.

Timing for the facelifted AMG S63 and the wider S-Class coupe and cabriolet ranges are still unknown, though Mercedes-Benz’s product roadmap shown during its half-yearly sales results presentation last July indicated the facelifted S-Class sedan will be revealed around mid-2017.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more updates over the coming months.

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