Concept Cars

Bentley's concept EV features wine leftovers, materials linked to British royal family

The Bentley concept car is a new take on the traditional car that may showcase the future of the brand.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

This year, Bentley celebrates its centenary year, its 100th birthday.

The new EXP 100 GT concept car pushes the limits of luxury and all-electric power, focusing on the future as Bentley sees it: sustainable mobility. The car is fully autonomous, has zero emissions, and is run by artificial intelligence.

The grand tourer has zero emissions, as BEVs naturally do, and an athletic yet refined presence, as Bentleys naturally do.

Bentley EXP 100 GT concept car 2020 overhead The cabin is well-appointed, filled with numerous British-linked elements.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Inside the car is 5,000-year-old Copper Infused Riverwood. It also features Vegea, an organic leather-like textile that is a bi-product of wine-making consisting of the skins, seeds, and stalks of grapes that remain after the crush. It has previously been used the fashion and accessories industries and exterior paint that comes from recycled rice husks.

The car is strongly influenced by its British roots. A partnership with Gainesborough, a 116-year old company that holds a royal warrant of appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, has resulted in the inclusion of a cotton damask textile that is renewable and biodegradable. It was dyed using a sustainable process.

Bentley EXP 100 GT concept car 2020 interior embroidery Wavy lines give the vehicle a unique sculptural look.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Hand & Lock, a premier London embroidery house, crafted the sewn patterns on the Gainesborough textile. The company is known for providing embroidery services for the British royal family, European design houses, the Royal Armed Services, and Savile Row tailors.

Its cabin sports British Farmed Wool carpets woven on a tradition Wilton loom by Grosvenor Wilton. The carpet manufacturer, one of England's oldest, spun the wool in Britain, dyed it in Yorkshire, and wove it in Worcestershire.

Bentley EXP 100 GT concept car 2020 exterior The face of the Bentley is a big bug-eyed.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Crystal inside the Bentley EXP 100 GT is hand-blown and hand-cut by Cumbria Crystal, the last producer in England who crates their products this way. Uniquely, the company works only with British and European partners for all supplies and is the crystal of choice for British embassies worldwide.

The wood inside the Bentley comes from a 5,000-year old, 13-meter long oak log from the Fenland Basin in East Anglia. The choice of the wood continues the partnership between Bentley and the Fenland Black Oak Project.

Bentley EXP 100 GT concept car 2020 doors exterior The doors of the Bentley concept car are designed in the same vein as what you'll find in many supercars.Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The EXP 100 GT is not a vehicle that will go on sale. However, elements of its design are expected to impact future Bentley vehicle development.

The Vision T is likely a look at the design language of the new Hyundai Tucson.

Image courtesy of Hyundai

Next week, Hyundai will unveil a new plug-in hybrid SUV concept car. The model is the seventh in the automaker's series of Hyundai Design Center concepts that combines "emotional value" with "sensuous sportiness" in an application of the company's new design language.

"We pursue innovative solutions in design and add emotional value to our product experience through sensuous sportiness design language," said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design Center. The SUV concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain indicating its eco-lifestyle focus and its inherent balance with the environment in which it is driven.

Hyundai Vision T concept SUV car front PHEV The side profile of the design shows off a new vision for Hyundai's compact SUV.Image courtesy of Hyundai

The SUV has a theme of parametric fantasy and transcendent connectivity. All of the concept SUV's body structures are connected from the body to light or trim features. The overall look is a seamless take on design boundaries, perhaps signifying the future seamlessness of home, vehicle, entertainment, and transportation spaces.

Ambient light reflects off concave and convex surfaces to create a sense of tension, according to Hyundai.

The vehicle features an evolution of the Hidden Signature Lamp (as seen on the new Sonata) and features a parametric air shutter that deploys to help adjust aerodynamics and design. The shutter is closed when the vehicle is stationary then moves to effect airflow, aerodynamics, and fuel efficiency.

Why might it be the next Tucson? Hyundai has already disclosed that this concept has the dimensions of a compact SUV. That ticks the Tucson box. There's also the name of the vehicle "Vision T" and the fact that nearly every SUV in the Hyundai lineup has either debuted or undergone a significant redesign in the last 18 months except Tucson. It's logical that Tucson would be up next and that it would evolve Hyundai's powertrain offerings given the success of the Kona EV.

Earlier, Hyundai announced that 13 new products would be making their way into the company's portfolio in the coming years including the Hyundai Santa Cruz truck.

No details about the car's plug-in hybrid powertrain are yet available. The full concept car will be revealed during AutoMobility LA.

Volkswagen is making a significant donation to help the environment of Eastern Tennessee.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Conservation Fund will be on the receiving end of a $1.25 million donation from Volkswagen. The monies will be used to buy, protect and donate hundreds of acres of land to the U.S. Forest Service. Any remaining money will be used to provide community grants in Eastern Tennessee.

Volkswagen's U.S. plant is located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, near where these funds will be used.

Cherokee National Forest Tennessee The additional conservation efforts will allow visitors to enjoy the national habitats of wildlife in Tennessee.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

"We are excited about our partnership with Volkswagen and the opportunity to advance their commitment to corporate leadership around sustainability," said Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund. "Volkswagen is taking real, measurable steps forward to help protect the environment, embrace sustainable business practices and support the communities in which they work."

Most of the funds will be used to increase the size of the Cherokee National Forest. The Forest was created in 1920 and currently stands at about 656,000 acres north and south of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Volkswagen's donation will help add 1,500 acres to the site. That new acreage will be used for public recreation and habitat protection for black bears and Indiana bats.

Cherokee National Forest sign Tennessee Volkswagen of America and The Conservation Fund are teaming up to increase the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

"Our work with The Conservation Fund will help strengthen the environment and help us give back to a community where more than 3,800 of our colleagues live," said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. "This collaboration in our own backyard underscores our 'Drive Bigger' goal of pursuing ideas bigger than ourselves and then taking action. We feel a responsibility to show how a major automaker can credibly contribute to the greater good."

In addition to the bears and bats, the Forest is home to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, several whitewater rivers, and 12 designated wildernesses.

The Conservation Fund is negotiating with private landowners to acquire properties that will be held until they can be transferred to the USDA Forest Service for long-term stewardship in 2020 and 2021.