Numerous spy photos over the past year have shown the seventh-generation Golf testing beneath the body of the current Golf 6.
An official video has even hinted at the new model's styling by showing designers working on a suspicious-looking clay model in the background of an unrelated interview.
Now, a Reuters report suggests the new Golf has an international debut locked in for either late 2012, or early 2013.
Before the new Golf arrives however, it will be preceded by one of its platform cousins, the next-generation Audi A3 - expected to appear around the middle of 2012.
Both models will be built on Volkswagen's new modular transverse architecture, known internally by the German-language acronym, MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten).
The wider Volkswagen group plans to build more than three million vehicles on the platform, with the new European-market Volkswagen Sharan people-mover already utilising the new architecture.
Powerplants for the new Golf and A3 are expected to include the usual range of efficiency-driven and performance-focused petrol and diesel engines, while the Golf is also expected to benefit from hybrid technology.
Through Volkswagen's Blue-e-Motion project, an all-electric version of the new Golf is also expected to be offered.