These are the first spy pictures of the Mercedes-AMG SL63, which has been spotted testing ahead of a planned launch towards the middle of next year.

Even though this test mule is camouflaged, we can see the face-lifted SL63 will feature many of the same styling changes as the regular face-lifted SL, which is due to go on sale next year and has already been spotted testing. In particular, inspiration has come from the GT sports car, with the SL63 adopting a larger front grille and large side air intakes.

Changes to the standard SL’s interior will carry over the the range-topper, including the free-standing infotainment system found in the latest C-Class. As well as running the latest version of Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment software, the system will also be controlled by the touch-sensitive controller found across most of the Mercedes-Benz range.

It’s unknown whether Mercedes-AMG will keep the current car’s 5.5-litre V8 engine, which produces 577bhp and 664lb ft of torque – enough to get the car to 62mph in 4.2 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. Instead, Mercedes-AMG may give the SL63 the same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine which already features in its range-topping GT. That engine produces 456bhp in the standard GT and 503bhp in the GT S.

As well as the possibility of a new engine, Mercedes will also offer its new nine-speed automatic transmission, replacing the seven-speed unit used by today’s car.