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"Already?" That was our question when spies first laid eyes on what looked like a prototype of the CLS 53 facelift at the beginning of October. The E-Class Sedan’s hot cousin is back in a fresh set of spy shots, only this time we’re looking at a lesser version of the swoopy four-door model. As with the previous images, Mercedes used a fairly standard prototype of the CLS since only the front bumper is camouflaged.

We can’t help but wonder whether this is really a CLS prototype or an early test mule for another model and/or a powertrain. The test vehicle rides suspiciously low to the ground and looks virtually the same as a regular CLS 450 or a CLS 400d if you’re reading us from Europe. When automakers are spotted testing mid-cycle facelifts, they tend to cover the bumpers and headlights, but this one had virtually all of the current model’s body panels. Well, maybe except for that hidden bumper.

Gallery: 2022 Mercedes CLS facelift spy photos (not confirmed)

While images showing the interior are not available in this set, eagle-eyed readers will notice a green wire at the base of the A-pillar, seemingly holding some sort of device in place. In addition, Mercedes used a suction sucker window hook for another piece of equipment located to the right of the rearview mirror. The rest of the cabin seems to be standard and it looks like the three-pointed star didn’t bother to hide it at all.

Only time will tell whether this is indeed a CLS facelift or Mercedes is cooking up something else. The stylish sedan was introduced nearly three years ago, so a nip and tuck is likely coming in roughly a year from now. When it does arrive, don’t hold your breath for the return of the CLS 63 since it would clash with the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. As for a new CLS Shooting Brake, you'll have to blame SUV-loving customers for killing the cool wagon.

It will be interesting to see if Mercedes will bring back the CLC as another four-door coupe, one that would slot between the CLA and CLS. There were some reports a while back about a potential comeback, but with rear doors to rival the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi's long-rumored four-door TT Sportback.

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