Volkswagen has released the first images of its Golf Sportsvan Concept, giving a thinly-veiled clue to how the Golf Plus replacement will look when it arrives in mid 2014.

The Golf Sportsvan is based, like the Golf, on the company’s MQB platform, but is 34mm longer than the Golf, and 134mm longer than the outgoing Golf Plus.

It’s still 224mm shorter than the Golf Estate but, with a wheelbase 48mm longer than that of the Golf hatchback, is said to offer greater interior space and flexibility.

The rear seats can slide forwards by 180mm, offering the choice of either increased luggage or passenger space.

Compared with the current Golf Plus, luggage space increased by 74 litres to 498 litres – 118 litres more than a regular Golf – with the seats in their rear-most position.  Sliding them forward increases this to 585 litres, or 1,512 litres with the seats folded flat.

Additionally, the front passenger seat can fold forward to accommodate loads up to 2,484mm in length.

A raft of new electronic safety systems will make an appearance on the new model, including post-collision braking which brakes the vehicle after an accident to reduce the chances of a second impact, and a PreCrash system that pre-tensions the seatbelts and closes the sunroof and windows (except for a small gap) should it detect an accident is likely.

Driving aids will include adaptive cruise control, city emergency braking, lane assist, driver alert system, a dynamic light assist system, and a blind-spot monitoring system that can help when exiting parking spaces.

A range of engines will be available: four 1.4-litre petrol engines in power outputs of 85, 110, 125 and 150 PS, plus three turbodiesels: a 150 PS 2.0-litre, a 90 PS 1.6 and a 110 PS 1.6 for the Sportsvan BlueMotion.

The latter is expected to return 76.3mpg on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of just 95 g/km.  All but the 85 PS petrol engine can be specified with a DSG gearbox.

Although the Sportsvan name will not be used in the UK, the new model will go on sale in mid-2014.