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The third-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS has been spied without a trace of the disguise tape usually seen on pre-production prototypes, although there is a sheet covering part of the boot lid and all of the tail-lights.

Given the car’s parking spot next to a wall, our spy photographer was unable to snap any pictures of the car’s front end. Earlier spy photos, however, revealed an angular set of headlights flanking an aggressive front grille.

We can see, for the first time, the new CLS will have cleaner side surfacing than today’s car. The next-generation four-door coupe also retains the silhouette and most styling themes established during the first two generations.

Inside, this pre-production model, probably a low-spec variant, features analogue instruments and circular air vents.

According to an Autocar report in March, the new CLS range will not feature V8 power. Instead, the third-generation will be topped by an AMG CLS50 variant featuring a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine.

Removing the V8 engine option will reportedly give the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT4 sedan a piece of the market all to itself. That vehicle will initially be powered by a version of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 seen in the E63 and other Mercedes-AMG models.

Under the skin, the new AMG GT4 and CLS are said to share the MRA rear- and all-wheel drive platform used in the C-, E-, and S-Class models.

However, unlike today’s CLS, it seems likely the new model will only be offered as a four-door coupe, with the shooting brake wagon variant to be dropped due to slow sales.

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