NEW GOLF IN THE WORKS: The next-generation VW Golf could borrow design elements from the GTE Sport Concept pictured here. Image: Newspress
Wolfsburg, Germany - Volkswagen is planning significant changes to its best-selling hatchback which will debut as the Golf VIII earlier than expected in 2017, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport magazine reports.
The familiar shape with five or three-doors is set to get a little lower and wider and the revamped model will feature new drive-trains and diesel engines, including an innovative 48-volt petrol-hybrid system.
Volkswagen South Africa says it's yet to confirm any details for the Golf VIII.
These units were on the drawing board long before the current emissions-rigging scandal rocked Europe's largest automaker.
Both petrol and diesel engines will be even more frugal than the current offerings and will comply with stricter EU regulations which peg permissible carbon dioxide emissions at 95g/km. VW hopes to achieve these figures through weight-saving measures.
The Golf VIII will come packed with electronic gadgetry such as driving and parking assistants, head-up displays and a sophisticated infotainment system. Most of these features are already available as options in the larger Passat sedan.
The current Golf VII was introduced in 2012 and was originally due for replacement in 2018. The German mag said the debut had been brought forward, but gave no reason for the move. Volkswagen has not commented on the report.
The front-wheel-drive Golf is hugely popular around the world and 29 million of the cars had been sold up until 2012. The original version was introduced in 1974.