No, this isn't a mule for the next-next-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS. What you're looking at here is another "four-door coupe" for the Silver Arrow lineup – codenamed C117 – that will probably come to life as the CLC-Class.
These photos are a bit deceiving, since the added black cladding does add some extra heft to the vehicle's shape, but believe us when we say that this thing is smaller than you think. In fact, it's said to be based on a slightly longer version of the new platform that will underpin the refreshed A- and B-Class hatchbacks.
Our spies indicate that the car will be offered in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations, and that an AMG version is likely be in the works, producing over 300 horsepower. For the standard car, we're told that both gasoline and diesel versions will be available, with output numbers ranging anywhere from about 110 to 150 horsepower. Both a seven-speed dual-clutch and six-speed manual transmission are expected to be offered.
Look for the CLC to bow sometime in 2012 with the car actually hitting showrooms in 2013.