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Volkswagen’s next-gen Golf will focus on electric so you can forget about diesel woes

Volkswagen announced it would be cutting or delaying some major vehicle projects in the wake of its Dieselgate scandal and the associated $7 billion (and counting) in costs, but apparently the next-generation Golf made the roster.

Autocar is reporting that the German automaker will introduce the eighth-generation Golf sometime next year with a focus on electric assistance, perhaps to help consumers forget about the brand’s previous pushes for Golf TDI sales.

The first thing to know about the new Golf is that it won’t be a massive overhaul, at least on the exterior. Expect visual changes to mimic the evolutionary design tweaks from the fifth- to the sixth-generation Golf. At its roots, the new Golf will ride on an updated MQB platform that underpins the Skoda Octavia and SEAT Leon.

Related: 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf Review

Powertrain-wise, the eighth-gen Golf will introduce a hybrid setup pairing a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder gas engine with an electrically-driven supercharger, generator, and lead-acid battery for energy recovery and storage. The result of this system will be improved fuel economy and low-end torque.

Obviously this setup isn’t as involved as the Golf’s GTE plug-in hybrid sibling (or Audi A3 e-tron cousin), which uses a more conventional hybrid setup to allow for electric-only driving (up to 16 miles), and full hybrid driving, but it won’t add significant weight like other hybrid systems. Additionally, Volkswagen likely won’t charge a significant premium for the system, which the automaker claims was the reason it didn’t offer the GTE here in the States.

For those in the U.S. wanting more electrification, the e-Golf will continue to be sold with an all-electric powertrain and an 83-mile driving range.

In addition to the new powertrain, the 2017 model year Golf will gain gesture control technology first seen on the Golf R Touch concept.