The plug-in hybrid test vehicle also had redesigned taillights.

The Mercedes C-Class facelift has been spotted multiple times already and it’s one of the most popular cars among spy photographers. We’ve seen it so far in a plethora of trim levels, body styles, and versions, from base models all the way up to the hot C43 and C63 specifications. Here we have the thrifty plug-in hybrid version judging by the cap on the rear bumper as well as by the blue brake calipers at the front axle, which are typical for the C350e model.

Update:

The reason why we are sharing the video is because this near-production prototype had entirely new headlights lending the partially electrified C-Class a more upscale appearance. Chances are we are dealing with the most expensive setup benefiting from Multibeam LED technology as seen in the E-Class. Previous spy images and videos have shown the C will be available with a less fancy LED arrangement and even with a basic halogen configuration. The latter will likely be available only in a few markets where the starting price is of utmost importance for those looking to dip their toes into the premium sedan segment. The C-Class won’t remain the most attainable sedan from Mercedes for much longer as 2018 will be the year when we’ll get to see a first-ever A-Class Sedan.

2018 Mercedes C350e facelift spy photo
2018 Mercedes C350e facelift spy photo

Getting back to the prototype at hand, it was also rocking new full-LED taillights, though the clusters were still pretty much camouflaged. Even so, we can observe the updated lighting signature giving the C-Class a fresh look. While the cabin can’t be seen in the adjacent spy video, we already know what’s going on inside by simply looking at the GLC F-Cell with its all-digital instrument cluster, wider infotainment screen, and a new multifunction touchpad.

It’s unclear at this point whether the C350e will go through any hardware changes. As a refresher, the current model combines a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine with an electric motor to provide a total output of 275 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. It’s enough hybrid punch for a run to 60 mph (96 kph) in a swift 5.8 seconds and an electronically governed top speed of 130 mph (80 mph in electric mode).

Priced at $47,900 MSRP in the United States for the 2018 model year, the C350e uses a 6.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that lasts for a maximum of 20 miles (32 kilometers) in pure electric mode. Used as a hybrid, the car returns 51 MPGe in EPA’s combined cycle. A battery upgrade - like it has been the case with the S560e - would boost those numbers, but we will have to wait and see about that.

The next-gen CLS will be Mercedes’ big debut next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which means the facelifted C-Class is probably going to premiere in January at NAIAS in Detroit.

Gallery: 2019 Mercedes C350e facelift spy photos