Mercedes-Benz is hard at work on its next-generation S-Class flagship sedan, which is expected to bow onto the market late next year as a 2013 model. We’ve already seen countless spy shots of prototypes for the new car, which have revealed a fairly conventional sedan shape with similar proportions to the current model.

However, unlike previous generations of the car, the new 2013 model year S-Class will reportedly see the gestation of four separate bodystyles.

The first two will include the regular sedan and a long-wheelbase variant--nothing surprising here--but according to a new report an S-Class Coupe and S-Class Convertible will also join the lineup. These will essentially form the replacement for the current CL-Class, although the S-Class Convertible will be entirely new.

The news is not completely surprising as Mercedes-Benz was expected to phase out the CL name with the arrival of the 2011 CL-Class last year and replace it with S-Class Coupe. It now appears that the name-change won’t be occurring until the next-generation arrives.

Additionally, we’ve also been reporting on the introduction of a convertible CL as far back as 2009 and before that Mercedes even previewed an S-Class convertible with its Concept Ocean Drive in 2007 (pictured below). 

The new S-Class Coupe is expected to arrive in 2013 while the S-Class Convertible, which will only feature two doors, should arrive in 2014.

All four bodystyles are to be based on a new rear-wheel drive architecture dubbed ‘MRA’, which is thought to be a modular design that will eventually spawn most of Mercedes’ rear-wheel drive lineup. MRA is said to feature a new four-link front suspension design that will further decouple the steering, braking and damping forces. A conventional multilink setup will remain in the rear.

This suspension system will be linked to a camera-based monitoring system that will analyze the road ahead and automatically make necessary adjustments to ensure the ride is as smooth as possible. Another automatic feature will be the full LED headlights, which will adjust their intensity depending on speed, weather conditions and surrounding ambient light.

All-in-all the upcoming 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class appears to be staying true to the form of its predecessors by being the car that leads the world in automotive technology. For more details, check out our previous story by clicking here. And for more spy shots, click here.