Mike Stevens | Oct 20, 2010

New spy photos today reveal that development of the next generation 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is well underway.

Sporting Mercedes' now-familiar chunky camouflage, this prototype 2013 SL-Class was recently spied lapping the Nurburgring and hanging out with the current-generation SL.

With the current SL-Class getting a facelift in 2008, the all-new model is not expected to arrive in showrooms until mid to late 2012.

Although the camouflage on this prototype reveals little, the new SL is expected to draw styling cues from the the model line's range-topping SLS AMG, including the nearly 90-degree grille and vertically-opposed headlights.

Comparisons with the current SL - built on a platform now some nine years old - the spied test car appears to carry a lower, wider stance, pointing to sportier intentions.

While it is far too early to know specific technical details, the new SL-Class is likely to be built on a light aluminium spaceframe chassis, leading to a kerb weight much improved over the current model's 1750kg to 2050kg.

Power is expected to come from a choice of either a V6 or V8 engine, depending on spec, trim and price.

The new car is also expected to share many of its components with the SLS AMG, including suspension and the SLS AMG's seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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