VW Gen.E research prototype hints at next-gen Golf

The prototype is being used to test robotic systems that will automatically plug in the charge cord.

Volkswagen has detailed the Gen.E research prototype, which appears to hint at the next-generation Golf.

The electric hatchback is presented as an experimental vehicle used to test robotic systems that can automatically plug in a charge cable to a part hidden behind the VW placard on the hood. The company suggests an articulated arm could be used in multi-story parking garages to simplify charging.

Perhaps more importantly, the prototype seems to represent an evolution of the current e-Golf. It adopts a more modern styling and offers more than twice as much electric range on a single charge.

"This provides an insight into the next generation of automobiles for efficient long-distance mobility with a range of more than 400 kilometres," the company notes. "The lightweight architecture has been designed for maximum crash safety including the battery."

Additional details remain scarce, though VW suggests the prototype is powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery with a more efficient electric motor.

The prototype was presented ahead of the company's Future Mobility Days 2017.

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