Following spy photos of the next-generation 2012 ML-Class published earlier this year, new images obtained today show the ML63 AMG performance flagship undergoing tests in Europe.
Setting it apart from the earlier-spied prototype, this test car features large cross-drilled brake discs behind bigger sports wheels and, at the rear, dual exhaust tips.
While the wheelbase of the new ML-Class appears more or less unchanged from the current model, shorter overhangs front and back point to a slightly more compact body than the 2009 model.
Likely to draw power from Mercedes' new 5.5 litre twin-turbo V8 engine, the range-topping ML-Class SUV is expected to retain AMG's '63' badging.
Featuring direct-injection, the new smaller-capacity twin-turbo-charged V8 produces 400kW and 800Nm of torque, bettering the naturally-aspirated 6.2 litre engine's 390kW and 630Nm of torque.
Already doing service in the new CL 63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz says the new engine offers a 25 percent improvement to fuel consumption, using just 10.5 l/100km. The 0-100km/h sprint is covered in a claimed 4.5 seconds - one hundredth of a second faster than the current model.