Mercedes-Benz is preparing to launch the next-generation E-Class. The automaker is redesigning the entire model lineup, including the hotter AMG variants. We have new spy photos that capture the AMG E53 Estate wagon cold-weather testing near the Arctic circle, with the company continuing to hide the new design.

The estate still wears a tight-fitting wrap across the body and cladding at the front to distort the shape. It appears the automaker is trying to hide the E53's large bumper intakes and lower grille opening. All the perforations in the cladding at the front are there for something more than looks. The next-gen E-Class should inherit design cues from the S-Class.

Gallery: Next-Gen Mercedes-AMG E53 Estate Spy Photos

This test vehicle was caught with more than just camouflage covering its rear. The hatch had snow plastered across it, but we could still see the taillights poking through. The finer styling details remain hidden under the camouflage wrap, but the round quad tailpipes are clearly visible, poking through the bumper. The four tips and the bigger brakes hiding behind the black wheels hint at the model's performance attributes.

The next-gen E53 should arrive with an enhanced hybrid component. The current car packs a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six with a mild-hybrid setup. Previous spy shots showed the E53 with small doors on each rear wing/fender – one for refuelling and the other for charging the new plug-in hybrid setup. Signs point to the new powertrain being a turbocharged 2.0-litre unit, similar to the new C63.

While the engine in the high-performance C-Class makes 671 bhp, the E53 will likely make less. However, it should be more than the 3.0-litre's 429-bhp output. The E53 could deliver as little as 500 or as much as 600 bhp, but nothing is official.

We don't know when Mercedes plans to launch the next-generation E-Class, but it should happen sometime this year as the company has already kicked off the teaser campaign for the new model. The company often delays rolling out the high-performance AMG variants until after the regular version's debut, so we might not see the AMG E53 and E63 break cover until early 2024.