The new Mk8 Volkswagen Golf won’t be revealed until the third quarter of this year, but we didn’t have to wait that long to see it – photos of the undisguised hatchback have surfaced on the interwebs (it was posted by Instagram user @johannes.vag, who has since gone private), laying bare much of the design of the next-generation version.

This new design direction apparently leans towards evolution rather than revolution, as the car remains recognisably a Golf, down to the unbroken C-shaped C-pillar design. The proportions are similar to that of the current Mk7, except that the nose appears to be lower and features a slimmer headlight design (tallying with a teaser sketch shown late last year), giving the new model a sharper, more streamlined look.

Also tallying with the sketch is the new character line that stretches to the tail lights and carries the door handles – unlike in the sketch, it doesn’t go all the way to the headlights. There appear to be stickers over the tail lights that obscure the shape, but they should be slimmer than the current units.

Under the skin, the new Golf is set to ride on the updated MQB platform and will reportedly weigh up to 50 kg less. It will get a 48-volt mild hybrid system, with the GTI model expected to be a recipient of the new technology – the hot hatch should also gain an electric turbocharger and see power boosted to a level similar to the 261 hp Golf GTI Clubsport.

Meanwhile, the EA288 Evo 2.0 litre TDI turbodiesel will get a 12-volt version of the mild hybrid system and will be offered in power outputs ranging from 136 hp to 204 hp. Elsewhere, the current 1.6 litre unit is expected to be replaced by a new 1.5 litre unit, while on the petrol side the 1.0 litre three-cylinder and 1.5 litre four-cylinder TSI petrol engines introduced on the Mk7 facelift are likely to soldier on.

Last but not least, the GTE plug-in hybrid model will likely receive significant improvements that will boost its electric-only range beyond the current car’s 50 km. The Q3 2019 introduction will put the Mk8 Golf’s introduction some time after the facelifted Passat and just before the new I.D. electric hatch.

GALLERY: Mk8 Volkswagen Golf spyshots