Our spy photographers have perched themselves on the edge of the Nürburgring this week, catching a brief glimpse of the new Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG during performance testing.
The standard E-Class isn't due to make its official debut until the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, with the AMG derivative still over a year away.
Mercedes will abandon its SBC technology in favour of conventional brakes - albeit with the inclusion of wet-weather disc wiping and wheel-selective cornering brake control.
Ceramic discs will also likely be introduced into the new AMG range, as featured on the model caught in these spy shots.
The next E-Class will share many characteristics with the S-Class including the wheel-arch extensions, rising character line below the door handles, massive bumpers, and greenhouse.
A sculpted wide-frame grille, aggressive 'nostril' air intakes and a wedge-shaped profile should give the E63 a dominant silhouette.
Driver assistance aids will play a major role in the new E-Class, boasting lane-departure warnings, an eye-movement monitor, traffic-sign identification, road-condition sensors, and stability control that accounts for crosswinds, camber changes, and tire wear.
Expect Mercedes' usual range of petrol and diesel V6 and V8 engines with a flagship naturally aspirated 6.3-litre V8 engine churning out over 370kW.