A test mule for the next-generation Volkswagen Golf, the nameplate's eighth iteration, has been spotted.
A test mule is where the new mechanical package is hidden beneath the makeshift body of another model, in this case the current seventh-generation Golf.
The new Golf will look different to what you see here. VW's Golf GTE Sport concept unveiled at the 2015 Wörthersee Tour is thought to hint at the design.
Volkswagen Golf GTE Sport concept, 2015 Wörthersee Tour
We know the dimensions won't change all that much, however the extended tail section on the test mule suggests a bigger rump is planned. Underpinning the vehicle will be an updated version of the current Golf's MQB modular platform.
Like the exterior, the interior setup is only temporary. However, we can see the engineers are testing the car with a digital instrument cluster. This should be joined by a large infotainment touchscreen in the center stack on the production model. A third screen might also be fitted for the climate control. Such a design was previewed in 2015's Golf R Touch concept.
The tech won't end there, though. VW has confirmed there will be more connectivity, including a permanent web connection. Some level of self-driving capability will also be present.
Volkswagen Golf R Touch concept, 2015 Consumer Electronics Show
It's too early to talk powertrains but expect small capacity turbocharged engines in gasoline and diesel flavors, though only the former will make it to the United States. A plug-in hybrid will also be part of the lineup.
We don't expect a repeat of the electric e-Golf this time. That's because VW will launch a dedicated electric hatch in 2020 based on its ID concept from the 2016 Paris auto show.
The new Golf will enter production in June 2019, suggesting we'll see it as a 2020 model—unless VW decides to delay it for the U.S. like it did with the current Golf. VW's main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany is expected to become the sole site for Golf production from the new generation on.