A couple of 2016 Mercedes E-Class prototypes have been caught on camera with very little disguise prior to next month’s reveal in Detroit.

A couple of 2016 Mercedes E-Class prototypes have been caught on camera with very little disguise prior to next month’s reveal in Detroit.

We’ve been extensively covering the E-Class W213’s long road to reveal and now the wait is almost over as the new mid-size sedan from Daimler is less than a month away from its proper introduction. What we have here in the attached spy footage are two barely camouflaged prototypes of the standard wheelbase E sporting a very familiar design.

Earlier this month, Mercedes showed us most of the interior cabin that will be offered in the upper-spec models, while a few days ago we gained access to some pics showing the base model. The latter will eschew the 12.3-inch dual digital screens in favor of analog dials and an 8.4-inch display for the infotainment system.

As far as the underpinnings, it’s a known fact the all-new E-Class will ride on the MRA platform and this will bring a considerable weight loss despite a bump in size. Power is expected to come from a new family of engines, including a base turbodiesel four-cylinder with 180 hp. There’s also going to be a new turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder, along with beefier turbo inline-six gasoline and diesel motors. We also heard Mercedes has created a 48-volt mild-hybrid setup featuring a starter-generator incorporated in the transmission.

On the technology front, Mercedes has announced the 2016 E-Class will employ a newly developed Active Lane Change Assist system. It will automatically steer the car if the turn indicator will be active for more than two seconds. It will work only at speeds between 49-111 mph (80-190 km/h) and under certain conditions. The hardware will come at an additional cost as it’s going to be part of the optional Driving Assistance package.

In terms of body styles, the regular sedan will be joined several months later by the wagon (T-Modell). A stretched sedan is on the agenda and could become part of the Mercedes-Maybach family. The E-Class Coupe has already commenced testing and will likely be introduced late 2016 / early 2017. An open-top E based on the coupe is scheduled to come out after that. There’s also a rumor concerning a rugged E-Class Estate with increased ground clearance due in 2017 to act as a direct competitor for the Audi A6 allroad.

With the exception of the long wheelbase sedan and allroad-like estate, all of the other E-Class flavors will receive the E63 treatment. These will come with a stronger iteration of the twin-turbo V8 4.0-liter engine that will likely have around 550 hp in the base model and approximately 580 hp in the E63 S. AMG has hinted the new flagship E could come only with an AWD setup, since demand for the RWD model is dropping and also because internal testing has shown the all-paw version will be quicker.

The Detroit Motor Show will open its doors to the press on January 11, so expect official images and details to hit the web right after New Year’s Eve. We are not excluding the possibility that Mercedes could give us a Christmas gift and (finally) reveal the new E in the coming days. Here’s hoping.

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