New Model News

Audi updates Q7's engine, tech, design for 2020 model year

The Audi Q7's refresh comes at the right time, helping the model not fall behind the competition.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The Audi Q7 was the German automaker's second best-selling model in 2018 and it's on track for a repeat performance for 2019. Audi is woking to keep the model on top of its game by giving it a significant mid-cycle refresh for the 2020 model year.

At its front, the Audi now has a large octagonal grille with six vertical chrome slats. There's a fresh aluminum front spoiler design, high-definition Matrix-design and Audi laser headlights. LED headlights and taillights are standard. There are also chrome window surrounds and roof rails.

2020 Audi Q7 The car's front-end styling has been updated for the new model year.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The SUV now rides on standard 19-inch five-arm star-design wheels covered in all-season tires. The three-row SUV is available with 20-inch wheels with run-flat tires or 21-inch wheels with all-seasons. Large 22-inch wheels are a further upgrade and come wrapped in summer performance tires.

The Q7 will now be powered by a twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. That's slightly more horsepower but a serious increase of 44 pound-feet of torque, which is now available at lower RPM ranges, helping the Q7 get off the line quicker. Audi says the model now gets from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds.

The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel steering is not (that's available, though). Other available equipment includes an adaptive air suspension and a tow package that gives the model a 7,700-pound towing capacity.

The interior design of the 2020 Q7 follows in the footsteps of the 2019 Audi Q8 with similar cockpit architecture and infotainment touch screen. Each Q7 comes standard with a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles, three-zone automatic climate control, panoramic sunroof with electric sunshade adds light to the cabin, heated eight-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment, split tumble-folding 35/30/35 second row seatbacks with fore/aft position and seatback angle adjustments, five LATCH connections, and power 50/50 split-folding third-row seats with electric fold and return functions. Quad-zone climate control and sunshades for the rear door side windows and tailgate are available.

2020 Audi Q7 The SUV comes standard with front and rear LED lighting.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Available packages upgrade the luxury level of the model to include things like real wood inlays, a leather headliner, black roof rails, and interior LED lighting.

The model also comes with a long list of standard and available technologies including a 10.1-inch upper infotainment display and 8.6-inch lower infotainment display, 12.3-inch high-definition digital cockpit, wireless device charging, head-up display, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 3D surround sound system with 19 speakers and a 15-channel amplifier, a 23-speaker surround sound system with a 23-channel amplifier.

2020 Audi Q7 The interior of the Q7 is not similar to the Q8.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The 2020 Audi Q7 offers a new suite of standard and available driver assistance safety technology. New for 2020, the emergency assist can detect if the driver is inactive and can initiate a multi-stage process to alert the driver, eventually decelerating the vehicle to a stop in the same lane with activation of the hazard lights. A top view camera system, intersection assist, turn assist, and traffic sign recognition are available.

The 2020 Audi Q7 will start at $60,800. The top-tier Prestige trim starts at $71,200.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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A new Texas-themed version of the Jeep Gladiator is on the way.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Jeep has brought the Gladiator's off-road chops to the trails of the Lone Star State. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail is another of the the traditional of special edition vehicles for Texans who occupy the nation's largest truck market. It's the first time Jeep has offered a unique-to-Texas truck.

The new model builds on the Gladiator Sport S trim adding 17-inch Mid-Gloss Back Aluminum wheels wrapped in 32-inch mud-terrain tires, four-wheel drive, standard side steps, and the Trailer Tow Group. The Gladiator Texas Trail has a unique hood and decals that feature the year 1836 in the graphic as a nod to the year of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It also wears a black hardtop, black leather seats embossed with the Texas Trail graphic and comes equipped with the Technology Group and Convenience Group packages.

2021 Jeep Gl The vehicle is ready to be fully accessorized to the buyer's wishes.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

2021 Jeep Gl

The Texas-themed model features the buyer's choice of Jeep's new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that's rated at 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque or the tried and true 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 power plant, which achieves 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Jeep has badged each of the models with Trail Rated status. To achieve this status, Jeep vehicles must pass extreme off-road capability challenges.

The Gladiator Texas Trail is available in 10 colors: black, white, Snazzberry, Granite Crystal, Sarge, Nacho, Hydro Blue, Firecracker Red, Billet Silver, and Sting-Gray. Jeep recently introduced a Snazzberry-colored Wrangler.

Each Gladiator comes with the Jeep Wave customer service program, which includes three years of maintenance, 24/7 phone/online support, trip interruption/first-day loaner coverage, and VIP access to Jeep events.

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail has a starting MSRP of $40,435 (plus $1,495 destination) and is currently available at Texas dealers.

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