Heavy camouflage obscures all but the new vehicle's basic shape, but we can glean a few details from what's visible.

Spy photos of the car that will be the 2012 Mercedes SLK have surfaced.

Heavy camouflage obscures all but the new vehicle's basic shape, but we can glean a few details from what's visible. The overall size looks to be close to the current car, as does the retractable hardtop, but the body looks wider and more squared-off. The SLK is likely to adopt the wide and low styling that's become Mercedes' corporate look, similar to the new faces of the C-Class and E-class, and of course the upcoming SLC Gullwing. Quad-look headlamps peeking out from behind the cladding also suggest that the SLK has lost its Formula One-inspired nose for a more conventional look.

At the rear, dual exhausts and a typically Mercedes trunk line are visible. A lack of cohesion between the bumpers and fenders suggests that this prototype may be constructed from a mix of current and next-generation parts.

Enthusiasts are of course hoping that the SLK will go on a diet as well. A lighter curb weight would enable it to better compete with some of its sporty-roadster rivals.

Current speculation calls for a new range of engines that may include a diesel, which would be the first for the SLK. We'll have more information and photos for you as tidbits fall into our hands.

Next Generation Mercedes SLK Prototype Spied Wearing Heavy Camouflage