THE 2009 GOLF VI may be less than a year old, but with an architecture based largely on the fifth generation Golf, an all-new model is expected to arrive much sooner than usual.
Recent spy images revealed that development of the 2012 Volkswagen Golf is well underway, and an unrelated VW promotional video last week revealed a glimpse of the new Golf's stying.
Created to promote Volkswagen's L1 concept, the video featured a scene that showed the carmaker's designers hard at work on the concept's clay model.
In the background, another team is seen working away on what is likely the body of the next generation Golf - if only in concept form for a future motor show.
Featuring styling cues in line with the company's new family look, the new Golf sports a more raked front windscreen and a sharper snout.
Adding credence to speculation that this footage showed the Golf VII in development, Volkswagen has since removed the scene from the video.
According to Brit-mag Auto Express, the seventh-generation Golf will be landing in Volkswagen showrooms sometime in 2012 - barely three years after the introduction of the Mk VI.
A hybrid drivetrain is the biggest, with VW's Twin Drive tech likely to make its production debut in the Golf VII.
Using a fuel-sipping 1.5 litre diesel engine mated to three electric drive motors, the hybrid Golf will reportedly feature an electric-only mode for low speed crawls and also ship with a plug-in charging system for the onboard batteries.
The product of all this is a car that'll return an astounding 2.08 l/100km (113mpg) on the combined cycle.
A compression-ignition petrol motor is also rumoured to be on the cards for the new Golf, with the sparkplug-less motor supposedly combining the economy of a diesel with the performance of a petrol.
The HCCI engine, as it's being called, may also see use as an onboard generator for an all-electric driveline, thanks to its preference to run at a constant rpm.
Performance models such as the GTI as well as the torquey diesel variants may also benefit from a seventh ratio added to VW's ubiquitous twin-clutch DSG gearbox, which is currently limited to just six gears when paired to the gruntier engines.
Weight will also be shed with the next-gen Golf, improving fuel economy even further when combined with a range of smaller, thriftier motors.
We've yet to hear any official word from Volkswagen on the Golf VII, but we'll be keeping our ears to the wall on this one. Stay tuned.