While Volkswagen is keeping mum on its plans for the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf, the rumour mill is already starting to crank out "educated guesses" on what the German auto giant has in store for its cornerstone small hatch.
In 2018 the current-generation Golf Mk7 will be six years old, retirement age in the world of passenger cars.
An update for the current car is coming this year (rendered above and below), but an all-new replacement, according to UK mag Auto Express, will arrive later in 2018, potentially as a 2019 model.
Though the magazine doesn't cite a specific source, it says the eight-generation Golf will weigh between 35kg and 70kg less than the current car, be lower and wider, consume less fuel and offer high-tech features like a TFT instrument panel and gesture controls.
Three-cylinder 1.5 diesels are expected to be brought in with power outputs ranging from 55kW to 90kW, based on a modular and scalable engine architecture that will include 2.0 litre four-cylinders and 3.0 litre V6s for bigger VW models.
But the most intriguing rumour of all concerns the next-generation GTI, which, according to Auto Express' sources, would squeeze out 193kW in standard form, 224kW with the Performance Package and a whopping 242kW in top-tier Clubsport trim.
If true, the next-generation Golf GTI Performance will be one of the most powerful front-drive hot hatches ever made, with power equal to the old Ford Focus RS. The GTI Clubsport would pip the supercharged V6 of the TRD Aurion for outright FWD bragging rights by 1kW.
Where does that leave the Golf R? The wick will likely be turned even higher on that car, with the 295kW 2.0 litre turbo four of the Golf R 400 Concept (above) an indication of what's in store for Volkswagen's AWD performance hero - with a production power output of more than 300kW possible.