Earlier in the year, photos of an undisguised Mk8 Volkswagen Golf were seen circulating around the web, revealing the eight-generation hatchback in its full glory for the first time. Here, we get another look at a test mule that’s also free from any camouflage wrapping, and the high-res photos give us a clearer look of what’s to come.

With the Mk8 Golf, the Wolfsburg-based automaker chooses to take on an evolutionary styling approach, perhaps to the detriment of its fanbase. It still looks recognisably a Golf – the C-pillar design is almost identical to the outgoing model. Proportions-wise, it’s similar to that of the Mk7, except the nose appears to be lower and the body a tad longer.

Of course, the headlights are much slimmer than before, and they feature a trailing edge that subtly guide the eyes into the shoulder line. A wide, dual-chrome bar grille joins the headlights, below which is a gaping intake, as well as a thick chrome strip that highlights the lower apron.

Round the side, the wing mirrors appear to sit lower, and the door handles, which are positioned right along the tornado line, have a deeper groove than before. Behind, one will spot the new tail lights (nearly the same shape as the Mk7), a chrome garnish along the boot lid, a newly designed shark fin antenna, as well as a new rear bumper, although the bare diffuser may just be a pre-production unit for now.

Under the skin, the Mk8 Golf is set to ride on an updated MQB platform that is reportedly up to 50 kg lighter than before. A mild-hybrid version with the automaker’s 48-volt electrical system is touted, 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.

The GTE plug-in hybrid model may also receive improvements that will boost its electric-only range beyond the current car’s 50 km, whereas the hot Golf R Plus is rumoured to pack around 400 hp or more, enabling a 3.9-second 0-100 km/h time and 278 km/h top speed. The Mk8 Golf is said to be introduced sometime in the third quarter of 2019, just before the new ID electric hatch.

GALLERY: Mk8 Volkswagen Golf spyshots
GALLERY: Mk8 Volkswagen Golf spyshot during winter testing