Here they are: pics of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML AMG prototype just before testing in Germany. Find out more about the SUV inside.

Spies near the Nürburgring in Germany caught these photos of the upcoming 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML AMG just before it began testing at the famed stomping ground.  The next-generation ML was identified with the usual AMG characteristics such as the AMG wheels, big cross-drilled brake discs and hood vents.

Though heavily camouflaged, several changes can be seen off the bat.  The vehicle looks to be lower to the ground than the facelifted ML AMG 63.  It also appears to have a different rear passenger-side door.  The tailgate also looks smoother, but this is a deception caused by the padding.  The current prototype is also showing a dual exhaust, instead of the current ride's quad-pipes, but this can still change on the production model. Lastly, the front bumper looks like it might have larger air intake pockets as indicated by the large flanking camouflage panels.

Combined with the previous photos of the ML-Class we published, we are starting to get a better picture of what the next-gen Mercedes ML-Class and ML AMG are going to look like.  The vehicle is expected to be released with a 3.5-liter V6 and 5.5-liter V8 petrol engine, as well as a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6.  The AMG will likely come with a 570-horsepower (425-kW, 578-PS) twin-turbo V8, with a conventional hybrid and plug-in hybrid expected to be released later.

The Mercedes-Benz ML AMG will likely be shown off in production form at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, with a market release one month later.

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