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.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The teaser image of the 2027 Kia lineup includes numerous cars and SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has revealed plans to launch seven new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027 in numerous segments. The first, code named CV, will launch in 2021 and serve as the kickoff to a new Kia design direction. The move is known internally as the “Plan S" strategy. Under Plan S, Kia's BEV line will include 11 models by 2025.

The announcement coincides with the company's stated goal of having 25 percent of Kia's global sales come from BEVs by 2029. To do that, the company plans to work to expand the world's electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Kia has sold over 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the company introduced its first model in 2011, the Kia Ray.

Kia Ray EV 2011 The Kia Ray was the company's first production EV.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Plan S includes a company-wide business transformation that will include production, sales, and services. Dealerships will likely be required too invest in equipment to handle the influx of EVs. In the U.S, Kia will increase the number of EV work bays at dealerships to 600 by the end of 2020 and increase the number to more than 2,000 by 2023..

The product plan includes a diverse number of models. The vehicles will include BEVs that are “suitable for urban centers, long-range journeys, and performance driving". They will be based on the company's new adaptable Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The platform will allow for best-in-class interior spaciousness, according to Kia.

Though subscription services have not gained widespread popularity in the U.S., the company is exploring the creation of subscription services, as well as EV battery leasing and rental programs. Other “second life" battery-related businesses may be part of the plan as well.

Kia also plans to add around 500 charging stations in North America, partnering with its dealer networks. Further, the company is seeking a partner in North America to support a larger infrastructure buildout.

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The Nissan Z Proto is the next step in the Z story.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Z Proto has arrived. It's not a production car, it's a promise. A promise by Nissan to launch a new generation of the legendary Z sports car. The model has design elements that harken back to to the Z models of yesteryear that have become iconic waypoints in Nissan history.

Nissan has revealed that the Z Proto is one of the 10 models that the company will be showing for the U.S. in 20 months. The timeline has been adjusted from the original due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other models included as part of the plan are the 2020 Nissan Sentra, 2021 Nissan Rogue, and 2022 Nissan Ariya.

Nissan Z Proto

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

"The United States is home to one of the most devoted and enthusiastic Z communities in the world, with nearly 1.35 million total sales over the model's 50-year history," said Mike Colleran, senior vice president, Nissan U.S. Marketing and Sales. "With new models like Sentra and Rogue opening new eyes to our brand, Z Proto is our loudest statement yet that Nissan will continue to bring vehicles that thrill to U.S. showrooms."

The Z Proto is bathed inn a bright yellow pearlescent paint job - one that is reminiscent of the yellow of the first-generation 240Z and the 300ZX.

At its front are teardrop-shaped LED headlights that have their design roots in the original Z. The Z Proto's rectangular grille is more modern but the design of the grille fins are vintage in origin.

"The LED headlights have two half-circles that hark back to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 70s," said Alfonso Albaisa, head of design at Nissan. "The ZG has clear dome lenses over the headlight buckets, which under light give off two circular reflections over each headlight. We liked that unique characteristic and discovered that it naturally fit with the Z's identity."

Nissan Z Proto

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

From the side, the Z Proto has a roofline that flows backward like the first-gen Z. It leads to the rear, which takes inspiration from the 300ZX taillights and reinterprets them for a modern world, complete with LED lights. They're set within a rectangular black section that spans the rear of the car and wraps around each outer edge. Below is a dual exhaust.

Side skirts, the front lower lip, and rear valance are made of carbon fiber. The prototype rides on 19-inch alloy wheels. The 2020 370Z also has 19-inch wheels.

The vintage-meets-modern elements continue in the car's cabin where design was focused on achieving a proper balance for road and track. In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital display that is arranged to allow to easy data interpretation at speed.

Designed to fit driver and passenger like a glove, the Z Proto's cabin seamlessly blends modern technology with vintage Z touches. A deep dish steering wheel combines modern aesthetics with vintage styling.

Under the prototype's hood is a twin-turbocharged V6 engine that is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Nissan says that an automatic transmission option is in development. Horsepower and torque figures were not immediately available.

In looking toward the future, Nissan relays, "work is now underway to synchronize the power with the grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years." The current Z has a 3.7-liter V6 engine that achieves 332 horsepower. It comes paired with a standard six-speed manual or available seven-speed automatic transmission.

Compared to the current Z, the Z Proto is five inches longer and two-tenths of an inch wider. The 2020 Nissan 370Z is two-tenths of an inch taller than the Z Proto.

Where do we go from there? Stay tuned.

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