Rumors of Porsche’s Golf-sized hatch first emerged back in May of this year but since then the car’s existence has been overshadowed by talk of a new mini-SUV model. Porsche boss Wendelin Wiedeking firmly said no to the idea of a smaller SUV, no doubt due to the impact looming carbon-dioxide emissions rulings will have on the sports carmaker. On the other hand, these same emissions ruling may see Porsche develop a new entry-level hatchback model with emissions levels closer to the proposed 130g/km standard.

New reports from Germany’s AutoZeitung say Porsche is developing such a model to compete with cars like BMW’s new 1-series range and the Audi S3, and that it’ll enter production soon after the Panamera four-door sedan is launched in 2009. Mounted up front will be a 295hp version of one of the boxer engines used in the Boxster/Cayman with drive likely sent to all four wheels via a newly developed compact AWD system.

Porsche’s ever increasing stake in Volkswagen Group has given it access to VW’s parts bin including its compact car platforms and clean engine technologies. Porsche’s future models are expected to share much more in common with VW as evidenced by the co-operation on the Touareg/Cayenne/Q7 project.

Our 3D artist has put together an image of what a possible Porsche hatch could look like. It's completely speculative, of course, but still a tantalizing look at what might be around the corner.