Mercedes-Benz still hasn't officially pulled the wraps off its all-new 2012 M-Class sport-utility vehicle, but thanks to an early release from the automaker, we're one of the first outlets to be able to bring you pictures of the completely redesigned 2012 model.

The proportions of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class are undoubtedly familiar, yet there's a lot more grace and power built into thanks to greater attention to details. A chiseled, nicely detailed front air dam and a taller, more imposing version of the Mercedes-Benz than the brand's cars get sets the stage in front, and aggressive new character lines carve out more body definition alongside, with the sloping C-pillar again thick and accented. A prominent shoulder-line continues all the way back to the flanks, and wraps around to a more traditional tail.

Inside, the instrument panel builds on the ML's heritage yet takes off in a more upscale direction, combining the horizontal orientation seen in recent Mercedes-Benz sedans with a so-called 'power dome' in the middle—all made cohesive with gently sculpted, swooping lines that curve around it as a gentle framework. Interior materials are substantially upgraded, the automaker says, with standouts like ventilated leather seats with diagonal stitching.

At launch, two engines are expected in the 2012 M-Class: a gasoline 3.5-liter V-6, and a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6—both with a seven-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive. Expect on-road ability and ride to be enhanced while off-road prowess is maintained.

Be sure to check out the images up at the top, which are of the U.S.-spec M-Class (likely a ML350), then see these additional pictures of other ML models and details below—and stay tuned for a proper preview as well as more information about technical and powertrain highlights.