New SUV

New Bentley Bentayga Hybrid gets 443 bhp, 31 miles of all-electric range

The 2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is a plug-in electric vehicle that utilizes a battery, electric motor, and V6 engine.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The weighty yet wonderful luxurious Bentley Bentayga is inching its way toward better fuel economy. For the 2021 model year, the Bentayga received a design refresh and its plug-in hybrid electric version has finally been unveiled with a bigger battery and fresh looks. This is the first revised PHEV to roll out of the Bentley stable since the company announced that all its vehicles will be electrified by 2026.

Powering the 2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is a twin turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that is paired with a 94 kilowatt electric motor to create 443 brake horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. That's 100 brake horsepower less than the Bentayga V8, but Bentayga Hybrid buyers aren't primarily looking for performance. According to the automaker, nearly all first-generation Bentayga Hybrid owners use the vehicle in its all-electric EV mode.

2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The new 17.3 kilowatt-hour battery pack in the Bentayga Hybrid is a significant upgrade and allows for 31 miles of all-electric range, with half consistently journeying below that amount. Owners can charge their battery at a rate of 7.2 kilowatt-hours and gain a full fill up in 2.5 hours. The car's charge port is located on the left side of the vehicle, opposite the fuel flap.

Bentley expected the battery to last 100,000 miles or eight years. The SUV offers a total combined range of 536 miles.

Drivers can use all-electric power up to 84 mph before the V6 activates. The engine also comes to life when EV power is depleted or the SUV's acceleration demands a more forceful power output. Three drive modes serve to regulate power distribution - EV Drive, Hybrid Mode, and Hold Mode. EV Drive mode is engaged as soon as the car is switched on allowing the vehicle to operate on all-electric power as its default mode. Hybrid Mode maximizes vehicle efficiency and range using data from the intelligent navigation system. Hold Mode balances engine and electric power to hold high voltage battery charge for later use.

Bentley delivers each Bentayga Hybrid with market specific charging cables. Buyers can also choose a Bentley branded charging wallbox as a no-cost option. Buyers are responsible for paying for installation themselves.

The MyBentley app offers traditional information as well as Bentayga Hybrid-specific functionality including:

  • My Car Statistics - You can view the time and date of recent trips as well as last trip distance, average speed, travel time and average fuel/electric consumption.
  • My Battery Charge - Allows drivers to remotely initiate vehicle charging as long as your vehicle is plugged in. You can select the time you plan to leave and the charging system will calculate a rate of charging to achieve the highest level of charge in line with your departure.
  • My Cabin Comfort - Lets you remotely heat or cool the cabin to an optimum temperature ahead of your journey.
  • E-Charging - Identifies the nearest charging point locations in the area or at a destination of your choice, allowing you to navigate to the most convenient location. You can filter the results by distance, bay availability and charging rate.

The car retains the Bentayga family's styling upgrades including a 10.9-inch infotainment screen at the center of the dashboard with edge-to-edge graphics, navigation with satellite maps, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Rear seat entertainment has also gotten a boost with better screens.

New interior and exterior paint and color schemes are available, as well as personalized options through Bentley Mulliner.

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Electric vehicle concepts

Nissan shows off new concepts and plans for future EVs

Nissan showed off a group of funky concept vehicles at the announcement.

Nissan

Nissan is approaching the release of Ariya, its brand-new EV, but there are plans for much more in the automaker’s near future. Today, the Japanese company announced Nissan Ambition 2030, its plan to develop electrified vehicles and become a more sustainable company. Beyond new vehicles, the roadmap includes investments in battery recycling and charging infrastructure, new battery tech, and more widespread safety technologies.

Nissan Ambition 2030 The automaker plans for 50 percent electrification by 2030.Nissan

Nissan’s plans include 23 new electrified models by 2030. The target covers 15 new EVs and a target of 50 percent electrification. The automaker says it plans to launch a proprietary solid-state battery by 2028, and notes that it will develop a pilot production facility in Yokohama, Japan by 2024. Solid state technologies are not yet commercially viable but will offer faster charging times and better energy densities than lithium ion battery packs.

Nissan Surf-Out Concept Surf-Out is a concept truck with super funky styling.Nissan

While the focus was on the news of its electrification plans, Nissan’s concept vehicles stole the show. The Surf-Out concept truck features a long, low cargo surface and unique all-terrain tires. Typical of concept cars, the Surf-Out’s styling and design are over-the-top. The cabin is surrounded on three sides by glass and open to the bed in the rear. Instead of a grille, there’s a glass panel with an illuminated Nissan logo. It's unlikely Surf-Out or the other concepts shown will make it to production unchanged, but they show that the automaker is looking to explore bold designs with its electrified vehicles.

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New electric pickup truck

GMC Hummer EV deliveries to start soon

Hummer EV deliveries will start in December.

GMC

This year has turned out to be as difficult for automakers as 2020 was, if not much more so. The pandemic is still a major factor, and to make matters worse there's a global microchip shortage that heavily impacts automakers' ability to build tech-heavy vehicles. GMC has a big launch left to handle in 2021, and according to a recent call with journalists, it's proceeding as planned. On a recent call with reporters, GMC exec Duncan Aldred noted that Hummer EV pickup deliveries are on track to begin in December. He also elaborated on the truck's EPA range numbers.

2023 GMC Hummer EV The trucks will deliver up to 329 miles on a charge. GMC

The Hummer's EPA range lands at 329, not far from the 350 miles General Motors targeted for the vehicle. Those are the estimates for the limited Hummer Edition 1, which carries a six-figure price tag and gobs of bells and whistles. Aldred said that other models coming later on will offer longer range estimates when they hit the roads sometime in 2023.

A staggering 80 percent of reservations GMC has gathered so far are for the Edition 1 model. Almost half of the 125,000 people who have inquired about the Hummer EV have placed the refundable $100 deposit and the SUV's first year of production is completely sold out.

2023 GMC Hummer EV The Hummer EV's first year of production is sold out. GMC

When it hits the streets later this year, the Hummer EV will be just in time to face off against a growing crop of EV trucks and SUVs. Rivian recently began delivering the R1T electric pickup truck and will continue with the R1S SUV next year. The Ford F-150 Lightning is coming in 2022, and General Motors itself has a Cadillac EV rollout to handle in 2022. Chevy and GMC will show off electric versions of the Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks on January 5 and GMC will push the Hummer SUV EV in 2023.

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