Is it getting semi-autonomous functions?

Despite being one of the weirdest models in Europe’s minivan segment with its rear-wheel drive platform, something we haven’t seen since the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, the Mercedes V-Class is actually a good seller for the brand. More than 100,000 units have been delivered since 2014, and now it’s time for the successor of the Viano to receive a well-deserved refresh.

This new batch of spy photos shows the German manufacturer is progressing rapidly with the work on the V-Class facelift. Last time we saw prototypes of the MPV out testing, they were wearing more camouflage, and the new black foil disguise is somehow more revealing. It’s easy to notice the biggest changes will occur at the front, where we expect to see a new radiator grille with thinner bars and a larger three-pointed star emblem, as well as slightly reshaped air intakes in the bumper.

Also notable is the large unidentified sensor in the center of the grille, just below the logo, which together with the sensor at the top of the windshield could point to some kind of added semi-autonomous functions. The V-Class already offers plenty of safety and assist systems, such as emergency braking, lane-keep assistance, crosswind assist, and adaptive cruise control, but some self-driving upgrades could be in the works.

Nothing is really happening at the back, but word on the street is Mercedes could put new graphics for the taillights. Other than that, no visible changes are planned.

Mercedes-Benz V-Class facelift spy photo
Mercedes-Benz V-Class facelift spy photo

The V-Class is currently offered exclusively with diesel engines (except for the Chinese version) and we expect no major changes in the lineup. The base V200 CDI has a 2.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with 136 horsepower (100 kilowatts) and 243 pound-feet (330 Newton-meters) of torque, while the V250 BlueTec range-topper features the same engine, tuned to deliver 190 hp (140 kW) and 325 lb-ft (440 Nm) of torque.

Photos: Automedia

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz V-Class facelift spy photos