Spied: Mercedes-Benz ML Hybrid

Spy photographers have spotted a prototype of the Mercedes ML320 Hybrid testing in Northern Sweden. The gold-colored prototype spotted --now more free from the heavy camouflage and black-out treatment-- gives us our best look yet at the revamped ML.

The rear-end displays a taped-over Hybrid badge, and slightly obscured tail-lights which appear to have brighter LED technology within the current model's tail-lamp housings. The rear bumper has also been reworked for a cleaner tail- end look.

The ML's new front bumper consists primarily of a larger center intake below the grille, and reshaped fog lamps, while the grille appears to be unchanged. New side-view mirrors round out the visual changes.

It appears that the Hybrid ML will utilize Mercedes 3.0-liter 24-valve V6 diesel engine, in conjunction with Mercedes new dual-mode Hybrid system co-developed with GM and BMW. The torque-rich diesel (398 lb-ft at a low 1600 rpm) already enjoys a strong mileage advantage over petrol-powered competitors, so the Hybrid model's electric-assist should be one of the more compelling entries in the growing ranks of the supposed new wave of green machines.