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 overheadThe 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 embroideryWavy 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 exteriorThe 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 exteriorThe 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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Updated EV

2023 Nissan Leaf pricing announced

The Leaf got a mild facelift for 2023.

Nissan

Nissan is nearing the release of the Ariya, its first new EV in several years. Even so, the brand hasn't forgotten about its first mass-market EV, the Leaf. It was an early entrant in the space, and has been an efficient, affordable, commuter car for over a decade. The car got a mild facelift for 2023, with updated wheels and exterior styling accents. Today, Nissan announced pricing for the Leaf, which starts at just under $29,000.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf feels lively, despite middling power numbers.Nissan

The base Leaf comes with a 40-kWh battery capable of delivering a 149-mile range. Its 110-kW electric motor produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The Leaf SV Plus features a 60-kWh battery for a range of 212 miles. It comes with a 160-kW motor that makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Nissan backs all Leaf models with an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

ProPilot Assist comes standard for the Leaf SV Plus, and brings a full suite of advanced driver aids that include adaptive cruise control, driver alertness features, and a surround-view monitor. All Leaf models get Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic high beams, and rear automatic braking.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf SV Plus offers up to 212 miles of range.Nissan

The new Leaf starts at $28,895, which includes a $1,095 destination charge. The Leaf SV Plus starts at $36,895. The 2023 Nissan Leaf is on sale now, and may be eligible for federal tax credits of up to $7,500. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to receive a state tax credit or other incentives.

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The EQB lands this summer with a not-so-bad starting price.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is pressing ahead with its electrification goals. Following the release of the EQS flagship electric sedan last year, the automaker is readying the EQB, an electric SUV with up to seven seats. Today, Mercedes announced pricing for the vehicle, and it's surprisingly reasonable. Two trim levels will be offered for the EQB in the United States: Exclusive and Pinnacle, and wecould see an AMG variant at some point down the road.

The EQB comes in two variants, including the EQB 300 and EQB 350, both of which come with all-wheel drive. The EQB 300 offers 225 horsepower and the 350 delivers 288 ponies. Those aren't super-serious numbers and they don't have to be. The EQB competes with vehicles like the Volkswagen ID.4, so mind-blowing performance isn't exactly the goal. Mercedes hasn't given range estimates yet, but they should fall in line with the competition.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQBThe EQB will come in two powertrain variants, each with two trims.Mercedes-Benz

The SUV comes standard with a 10.25-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Mercedes includes a good list of standard safety features, including lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and active brake assist. Additionally, the EQB's navigation system routes the vehicle for the best efficiency and can help locate charging stations.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 starts at $56,800, including a $1,050 destination charge. A range-topping Pinnacle trim is available for $59,350. The EQB 350 starts at $60,350. Mercedes says the SUV will go on sale in summer 2022.

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