Since its launch in 1997, the Mercedes-Benz SLK has always been the baby-something. The first generation looked like a smaller SL and the second (current) generation apes the SLR. But if these latest spy shots are any indication, the upcoming third generation model could take the form of a baby SLS.

We're already expecting a hybrid, fixed roof version of the next SLK with gull-wing doors like the upcoming AMG supercar, but while the test mule spotted by intrepid auto-paparazzi is heavily camouflaged, it bears more than a passing resemblance to spy shots of the upcoming flagship SLS AMG gullwing supercar. So bid farewell to the current SLK's F1-style nose (borrowed from the SLR McLaren) and look for restyled side mirrors, door panels and a footprint that remains roughly the same as the model it replaces. Sources place the new SLK in showrooms by 2012, and with a clean diesel version appearing alongside its gasoline-powered counterparts.

[Source: NextAutos.com]