A fully camouflaged prototype of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W213) has been caught on camera in Sindelfingen, Germany.

Mercedes-Benz is stubbornly keeping an extensive disguise on its next-gen E-Class prototypes, but taking into consideration the C- and S-Class models look very much alike, the new E will snuggle between the two with a very similar design. It will use the MRA platform from its smaller brother and this should command a significant weight loss of up to 150 kg (330 lbs), even though the model will be a little bit larger compared to its predecessor.

The sedan is believed to show up in January 2016 at the NAIAS in Detroit where it could inaugurate a new range of straight-six engines, with the first one likely being a 2.9-liter twin-turbodiesel packing a 313 bhp (233 kW) punch while reports are indicating the availability of a quad turbo (with two e-turbos) version producing in excess of 400 bhp (298 kW).

The E-Class diesel range should kick off with a newly developed four-cylinder, 1.6-liter rated at 122 bhp (91 kW) while a couple of hybrids are likely planned as well depending on the market with a V6 or a 2.0-liter engine working together with an electric motor.

We heard Dieter Zetsche recently saying autonomous driving technology is "imminent" and chances are it will debut on the next generation E-Class, allowing the car to drive itself up to a certain speed and also brake, change lanes and perform overtakes without the driver's aid. It should also be able to park itself via a smartphone app without having a driver behind the wheel.

Following the sedan's launch, Mercedes-Benz will also introduce the wagon, long wheelbase sedan, coupe and cabriolet body styles, not necessarily in this order. Needless to say, the CLS four-door coupe and CLS Shooting Brake will receive a new generation as well.