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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The Volvo C40 Recharge is a couple-like version of the XC40.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Earlier this week, Volvo announced that it is going all-in on electric vehicles by 2030. Now it's showing off its latest model, a take on the XC40 Recharge - the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge.

Taking a note from the Audi playbook, the C40 Recharge is a sloped roof version of the XC40 Recharge. It has sleeker design than its predecessor even though they both ride on the same platform. The face of the model shows off a new design path for Volvo and has headlights with state-of-the-art pixel technology, something also on the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Volvo has given the car an electric powertrain that consists of two electric motors, one on the front axle and one at the back, which are powered by a 78-kilowatt-hour battery that can be charged to 80 percent in 40 minutes. It has an expected range of 260 miles.

2022 Volvo C40 Recharge

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

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The C40 Recharge offers a high seating position and is available in a large range of color ways. It is the first Volvo model to be completely leather-free. Volvo has given the model its infotainment system, which runs on Android technology. Apps such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, and the Google Play Store are built in. The tech allows for over-the-air updates.

Volvo will only sell the C40 Recharge online and it will come with a care package.

"The C40 Recharge represents the future of Volvo and shows where we are going," said Henrik Green, chief technology officer. "It is fully electric, offered online only with a convenient care package and will be available for quick delivery. Getting a new Volvo was never this attractive."

The XC40 was Volvo's first all-electric car. Volvo promises additional electric models are on their way in the coming years. The automaker predicts that by 2025, 50 percent of its global sales volume will consist of fully electric cars. The rest will be hybrids. To achieve this, Volvo is expected to lean heavily on the Asian and European markets where EVs are more popular with buyers due to government regulation.

The C40 Recharge will go in production this fall and will be built alongside the XC40 Recharge at the Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Ghent, Belgium.

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The Nissan Ariya has wind glide over it in the testing tunnel.

Photo courtesy of Nisan Motor Company

Nissan is targeting a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.297 for the Ariya all-electric crossover. If it can make that number, it will be the company's most aerodynamic crossover to date. What does that mean? Let's take a closer look.

What is drag?

Simply put, drag is an aerodynamic force. It's mechanical in nature, so it is the result of the interaction of a solid body and a liquid. In the case of a car, this liquid is air. (Yes, air is a liquid.) It only occurs when one part of the equation (the solid body or the liquid) is in motion. If there is no motion, there is no drag.

Drag only occurs in the opposite direction of the object's movement. Think of a car cutting through the air as it drives down a north-south road. As the car heads north, the air it passes through is pushed south. The car is in motion; there is drag.

2022 Nissan Ariya

Photo courtesy of Nisan Motor Company

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What is coefficient of drag?

The coefficient of drag, also called a drag coefficient, is a number that aerodynamics professions (aerodynamicists) use to determine the shape, inclination, and flow conditions on a vehicle's drag. The shape of an object (bullet vs. square vs prism, etc.) has a large impact on the amount of drag created by airflow surrounding a vehicle. Objects with narrower front ends tend to have a lower coefficient.

Scientists and vehicle designers want to keep air moving around the car for maximum efficiency. The inclination of the airflow to either move in a smooth, connected pattern, or to be broken up with air sitting, stalling in one particular part of the vehicle, lessening airflow and making the vehicle less aerodynamic.

A vehicle's Cd is determined by plugging various measurements into an equation. Cd is equal to drag (D) divided by the quantity of density (r) multiplied by half the velocity (V) squared multiple by the reference area (A). As an equation, it looks like this: Cd = D / (A * .5 * r * V^2).

The smaller the Cd, the more aerodynamic a vehicle is.

2022 Nissan Ariya

The Nissan Ariya employs aerodynamic wheel design, made to help it cut though the air with greater ease.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

What is the coefficient of drag of the Nissan Ariya?

"With the growing shift towards electric mobility, aerodynamic testing is becoming increasingly important. The aerodynamics of electric vehicles are directly linked to how efficiently the vehicle moves – less drag and better stability allows the customer to drive longer distances before having to recharge," said Sarwar Ahmed, Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics Engineer at Nissan Technical Centre Europe.

Nissan is targeting a 0.297 coefficient of drag for the Ariya. How will it achieve that number? By utilizing precisely shaped body lines and strategically placed air ducts, among other components. There's a bonus to better aerodynamics when it comes to EVs.

"Following official homologation of the Nissan Ariya later this year, we anticipate the range to improve compared to the 310 mile figure shared in 2020 during the World Premiere. This will give drivers more efficiency and confidence to go even further on a single charge," said Marco Fioravanti, VP Product Planning, Nissan Europe.

How does the Ariya's coefficient of drag compare to other Nissans?

The newest Nissans, the Kicks, Pathfinder, and Frontier, don't have their Cd publicly available yet, but other models have their results. The targeted 0.297 Cd in the Ariya is less than that in the 2021 Armada, Murano, and Rogue. But, it's higher than the Nissan Leaf.

The fact that it's higher than the Leaf is not surprising. Shorter cars tend to be more aerodynamic because they sit lower to the ground and have a smaller profile. That also explains why Nissan's largest and boxiest SUV, the Armada, has the highest number on the list.

How does the Ariya's coefficient of drag compare to numbers from other EVs?

The Nissan Ariya's coefficient of drag is higher than that of most other electric cars, crossovers, and SUVs sold in the U.S. Here's where the others measure up:

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