Local arm indicates recently-reported delays shouldn't affect the Australian market launch, and aims to have the GTI hot hatch arrive alongside the core range.

Volkswagen Australia has confirmed it's still expecting the eighth-generation Golf range during the third quarter of 2020, following reports out of Europe its launch will be delayed due to 'technical glitches'.

Speaking with CarAdvice, Paul Pottinger, communications boss for Volkswagen Australia, said regardless of the reported delays, the local arm should launch the next-gen Golf between June and August next year.

Additionally, Pottinger said the new GTI hot hatch variant should arrive at the same time as the core range, with the flagship R "due shortly after".

Earlier this week, industry journal Automotive News Europe quoted a report by Germany's Bild, which claimed Volkswagen has been forced to delay the launch of the Golf 8 due to roadblocks in the development of the new model's 'advanced digital features'.

Citing 'boardroom sources', the German newspaper claims the new Golf's upmarket tech suite – which should include permanent connectivity and more screens – have seen 'technical issues', though the company denied the slight launch delay is a result of this.

Previously the company has indicated the new Golf will have a comprehensive suite of autonomous driving technologies and next to no physical switchgear in the cabin, with Karlheinz Hell, Volkswagen's head of compact cars, telling Automotive News Europe in January the new Golf "will have more software than ever before".

"We think it's better to come early next year with a full throttle offensive. It doesn't have anything to do with production. It's a sales decision since you don't try to put cars under the Christmas tree when no one is paying attention," Juergen Stackmann, Volkswagen's sales and marketing chief, told Automotive News Europe.

The Mk8 Golf was originally meant to be revealed at this year's Frankfurt motor show in September alongside the all-new ID. Neo hatchback.

According to Stackmann, the decision to push back the Golf's unveiling to after the auto show is "to give the eighth-generation Golf the exclusivity it deserves".

We've seen several pre-production prototypes doing the rounds recently, and it's clear the new-generation design will be evolutionary.

Compared to the current model, the eighth-generation Golf will be lower and wider, looking like a larger version of the current Polo, while featuring an evolution of the company's ubiquitous MQB architecture under the skin.

Volkswagen has confirmed European versions will offer 48V mild-hybrid technology in a bid to further reduce fuel consumption and emissions, though the performance models are expected to maintain their purely combustion-powered powertrains. Australia, meanwhile, will likely continue with updated versions of the current engine offerings.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest updates on the Golf 8 over the coming months.

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