Even test drivers need to refuel, but this one was unlucky enough to be snapped buying a cheeky Big Mac on the job.

The next-generation Volkswagen Golf has been snapped completing a cheeky Macca's run, with photos of the all-important hatch surfacing on social media over the weekend.

Much like another German icon, the Porsche 911, the Golf doesn't make huge stylistic leaps between generations. It should come as no surprise to see, then, the Mk8 posted by johannes.vag appears an evolution of the current Mk7.5 generation.

The headlights have been stylised, with a slightly slimmer design that appears to be inspired by the LED daytime running light signature used across the Volkswagen range.

Headlights aside, the grille and lower air intakes look similar to those currently featured on the regular Golf. The window line looks largely unchanged, but there are more prominent character lines running along the side of the car, suggesting the visual changes might be easier to spot in person.

Down back, the car snapped in this Macca's smash-and-grab appears to be wearing some sort of camouflage over its lights, which blend elements of Mk7.5 Golf R with cues from the regular range in its LED design. Are they production units? Our guess is no...

Under the skin, the new Golf will ride on a platform dubbed evolved from the current MQB toolkit. It should be meaningfully lighter than the current car (40-50kg at least) and offer more space for rear-seat passengers, thanks in part to a likely increase in wheelbase.

As you'd expect of a modern compact hatchback, power is expected to come from a range of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder engines, mated to a manual or dual-clutch transmission.

The new Golf will go into production this July, so a reveal at the Geneva motor show in March seems likely.