SPIED: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG Loses the Heavy Cladding

Last time we showed you spy photos of Mercedes-Benz's forthcoming 2012 M-Class and ML63 AMG SUVs [confusingly, Merc uses the 'M-Class' title for the series and the 'ML' prefix for the model designation], both models were covered in heavy plastic cladding.

In these latest scoop pics of the flagship ML63 AMG, the plastic armor is gone and replaced by black tape, providing us with a more revealing look at the car's styling. The new M-Class features a 'boxier' shape and is evidently more heavily sculpted than the current model. It also gets the more angular grille up front, found on all the latest Mercedes cars.

The AMG-prepped model seen here, features some unique styling details such as the specific bumper designs, side skirts, spoilers and larger alloy wheels.

Underneath the sheetmetal, the new M-Class' chassis is shared with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango models as one of the last legacies from the former Daimler-Chrysler partnerships.

Being an AMG model, this M-Class will no doubt feature several upgrades to the suspension, steering and braking systems, and most importantly, the German firm's newly developed 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine in place of the current SUV's naturally aspirated 6.2-liter unit.

We still don't know the output numbers on the ML63 AMG, but on other Mercedes models, the bi-turbocharged V8 kicks out 544-horsepower and 800Nm or 590lb ft in standard form, and 571HP and 900Nm or 663.8 lb-ft with an available performance pack upgrade.

Look for the new ML63 AMG to debut at a major international car show in 2011.