Although little is known about the upcoming model, it is speculated that the new ML will wear the W166 codename when in goes into production in October 2011.

Our spy photographers have managed to catch Mercedes testing their next generation ML-Class SUV.

Although little is known about the upcoming model, it is speculated that the new ML will wear the W166 codename when in goes into production in October 2011. This likely means the new ML model will have its market launch in 2012 possibly as a 2013 model year.

While heavily camouflaged prototype makes it hard to gather a concise picture of redesigned sport-ute's shape, it appears the new model will bear a strong family resemblance to its predecessors. The spy photos also seem to suggest the next generation ML will grow a few inches in length, which should result in a roomier cabin with added cargo capacity.

Power will likely be provided by a variety of engines, including upgraded versions of today's 3.5-liter V6, 5.5-liter V8, and several diesels. The next generation ML AMG is even speculated to receive twin-turbochargers which should enable it to produce 570 hp (425 kW). In a nod to the green movement, a gasoline-electric hybrid ML is almost a certainty while a plug-in hybrid remains possible.

Mercedes recently announced they would spend $290 million dollars (US) to upgrade their Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant to build the next generation of SUVs (the plant currently builds the ML-Class, GL-Class and R-Class).

 

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