It's been a while since we've heard anything about the next-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and judging by this latest set of spy photos, there's still quite a bit of work to be done before the new Silver Arrow flagship makes its debut.

Like the earlier mules we've seen, the next-generation S-Class will likely use a larger, more upright grille design, previewed by the F700 concept from a few years ago. Expect the Merc's face to be chocked full of LED goodness, and under the hood, you can count on the standard range of gasoline, diesel and hybrid powertrains.

Inside, you can bet that the new S-Class will be as luxurious as ever, with Mercedes-Benz reportedly looking at cashmere and silk as possible cabin materials. Sounds plush. Look for the all-new S-Class to debut sometime in 2012.