Mike Stevens | Aug 7, 2012

The upcoming Mercedes-Benz S-Class has done away with the quilted camouflage, with new spy photos this week providing the most revealing look yet at the German carmaker's flagship limousine - inside and out.

As expected, the new 2013 S will wear the latest evolution of the brand's new upright grille and large back-swept headlights, along with prominent character lines more in-line with the new CLS four-door coupe.

While the current model's half-ellipse glasshouse shape will remain, the new S-Class will feature a stretched rear deck and, courtesy of the squared-off face, the illusion of a longer bonnet.

As for the cabin, senior interior designer Hartmut Sinkwitz told What Car? magazine that the S-Class will feature an interior heavily inspired by the F800 Style concept revealed at Geneva earlier this year.

While he revealed little about which elements from the concept would transition to the new S-Class, Sinkwitz said that a new interface will replace the company's COMAND system, replacing the rotary knob with a series of cameras that track hand gestures.

Judging by these latest photos, the F800 connection is slight.

“The design is really looking forward,” Sinkwitz said.

“In most designs there are aspects that you carry over, or must use--there is always some switchgear that you must use for cost reasons, or for brand reasons, but this will be different. It is a clean design.”

Under the bonnet, the new limo's engines are believed to range from a four-cylinder turbodiesel to a twin-turbo V12, with a brace of twin-turbo V6s and V8s also in the mix.

Hybrid options will also exist, and the range of hybrid powertrains is expected to grow. Currently, only one hybrid model exists in the W221 S-Class line up - the S 400 Bluehybrid.

The all-new "W222" S-Class will launch later this year with the short-wheelbase model, to be followed by the long-wheelbase limousine in 2013.

A coupe and a four-door convertible variant are also rumoured to be in the works, however it's unlikely we'll hear more about these until next year.

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