Design of next-generation people mover becomes clearer as most of the disguise is dropped

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class has been spied undergoing testing in Germany ahead of an expected debut either later this year or early in 2019.

While this prototype looks like it's been painted white, it's actually a silver car with a white body wrap applied to it. From certain angles it's clear that the company has also stuffed in some plastic cladding to hide final design flourishes on the bonnet, shoulder line, and front wheel arches.

There are more obvious pieces disguising the shape of the headlights, grille, air intakes, tail-lights, and lower rear bumper.

Unsurprisingly, the B-Class's cabin seems to be similar to the A-Class, with a large black slab housing a digital instrumentation display and the company's new MBUX infotainment system.

Earlier this year, the company's head of sales confirmed the new A-Class platform would spawn a seven-seat variant.

It's unknown which model will gain a third row, but the upcoming B-Class or the GLB crossover seem to be the best bets. It's also unknown if this vehicle will be available globally, or only in select markets, such as China and Europe.

Based on the same platform as the latest A-Class sedan and hatch, we expect the new B-Class to be powered by a selection of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder engines, with plug-in hybrid power expected to be offered somewhere down the line.