While the testcar shown here is heavily camouflaged, it is clear that the new model will continue the Golf's evolution toward a sleeker profile, with a longer windscreen and a bonnet that dips lower than on the current model.
Built on Volkswagen's new multi-purpose MQB platform, these images show that the new Golf will likely feature a wider track and a slightly longer body in both three- and five-door form.
The new Golf will also figure in the carmaker's new Blue-e-motion line-up, which will feature a range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Volkswagen boss Dr Martin Winterkorn said recently that the company's first plug-in hybrid would hit the road in either 2013 or 2014, paving the way for a full range of hybrid and electric vehicles.
Volkswagen has also revealed its plans on the electric front, most recently in the form of the Golf Blue-e-Motion EV. Powered by an electric motor, the Golf Blue-e-Motion offers 85kW of power and 270Nm of torque.
By comparison, the entry-level diesel Golf 77TDI produces 77kW and 250Nm of torque, while the petrol-powered Golf 90TSI produces 90kW and 200Nm.
A market date for the electric Golf has still to be confirmed, although Volkswagen has launched a pilot programme with 500 hand-picked consumers throughout Europe.