The new VW Golf has been spotted out and about testing, though we'll have to wait a while to see exactly what it looks like. Currently there's more than a hint of Zebra to the eighth-generation icon, as it's almost entirely wrapped in camouflage.
There are a few styling details that can be made out, with a new headlight design, and narrower, sharper look to the front end. The famous VW badge has been covered up too, not because the German manufacturer wants to hide what the car is supposed to be - it says 'Golf' on the side after all. Instead, the new Golf will be one of the first models to wear Volkswagen's new logo.
VW promises innovations in digital tech and design with the forthcoming Golf MkVIII, and it has some big boots to fill. More than 35 million Volkswagen Golf models have been built since it launched in 1974, and it has won numerous awards.
Klaus Bischoff, head of Volkswagen Design has said that the new model will 'be a genuine eye-catcher' (though he would, wouldn't he?), and technology market leader. A highly digital cabin, assisted driving systems, and online services and functions will look to propel the Golf back to the front of the pack.
It had been expected that the new model's debut would have been at the Frankfurt Motor Show this month, but it now looks more likely to be presented to the world in October. Also expected are a new range of hybrid powertrains for improved efficiency. The electric e-Golf will almost certainly be dropped however, as Volkswagen is also set to launch the I.D 3 - a Golf-sized pure-electric model - this autumn.
Pitched as the biggest transformation to the versatile model in its 45-year history, the Golf will appear in GTI and R trims for those looking for hot-hatch performance, and the sporty-biased GTE plug-in hybrid is due at a later date too.
With new petrol, hybrid, and electric powertrains, Volkswagen hasn't forgotten about diesel, despite having had a tricky recent history with the fuel. VW has developed a new generation of diesel engines that it says produces up to 80% less NOx in real-world driving than its predecessors. The TDI units feature 'twin dosing', which sees two injections of AdBlue in the car's exhaust system.
If you can't wait until the new Golf, we have plenty of offers for leasing deals on the Golf here.
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