[UPDATE: More images have been published online (this time by publication Motor El Pais) showing the VW Golf 8 from the rear and giving us a look inside the cabin. We've added a couple to the gallery.]

A German daily newspaper has (mistakenly?) published on its website what appears to be the first official image of the new Volkswagen Golf 8.

Set to be revealed on 24 October 2019, the eighth-generation version of the Wolfsburg-based firm’s popular hatchback will again be built on the VW Group's MQB platform.

The leaked image published by Augsburger Allgemeine – as seen in the screenshot below – shows the new Golf from head-on, suggesting distinctly evolutionary styling changes compared with the outgoing Golf 7.

Still, it’s our first decent look at the new model’s more finely sculpted headlamps (and their fresh lighting signatures), narrow grille arrangement (complete with a chrome-effect strip) and interesting lower-facia treatment.

VW earlier confirmed production of the new Golf at its main plant in Wolfsburg (where 8 400 employees will work exclusively on the model) was “in the run-up phase”, with the first vehicles set to hit showroom floors in Germany and Austria in early December 2019.

In South Africa, the range will comprise a 1,4 TSI variant (rather than the 1,5 TSI expected to be offered in some other markets), the popular Golf GTI derivative and the range-topping Golf R model, with the GTI set to be the first to arrive at some point in 2020.