New Model News

500-horsepower Audi SQ7, SQ8 coming to the U.S. this spring

Audi has introduced sportier versions of their popular SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

It's safe to say that the Q7 and Q8 aren't the most invigorating models in the Audi lineup. The family haulers have proved themselves with premium interiors; high-tech comfort, convenience, and safety technology; and the type of drivability expected of the German brand. Now, they're getting a power upgrade as they prepare to land on U.S. shores.

The SQ7 is the first performance variant of the Audi Q7 three-row SUV. The SQ8 slots between the Audi Q8 and Audi RS Q8. The models are both tuned to be sportier than their Q7 and Q8 counterparts, delivering some much-needed fun behind the wheel.

2020 Audi SQ8 The Audi SQ8 isn't as powerful or sporty as the RS Q8, but it is a big step forward from the Q8.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The 2020 Audi SQ7 and 2020 SQ8 are both equipped with a 500-horspower, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that can get the SUVs from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. It's quick off the line thanks to its 568 pound-feet of toque. Audi is pairing each V8 with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

All-wheel drive is standard. A sport differential is standard and is able to send up to 80 percent of the vehicles' power to the rear wheels, which is helpful in inclement driving conditions. Additional tech can turn the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the front wheels.

Active roll stabilization is also available.

The exterior of the 2020 SQ7 and SQ8 is adorned with differentiated with Alu-optic or Black-optic design elements, including air intake blades, side sill blades, standard silver mirror caps and quad exhaust outlets. SQ7 models wear an octagonal Singleframe grille and ride on standard 20- or available 21-inch wheel designs. The SQ8 features an Alu-optic grille surround and comes standard with 21- and has available 22-inch wheel designs.

The cabins of the model feature the usual design notes for Audi's mid-grade sport models. There's standard front S sport seats each with heating and ventilation and cross-stitched leather.

The SQ7 and SQ8 arrive at U.S. Audi dealer lots in the late spring, with final pricing and packaging to be announced closer to their on-sale dates.

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The iX M60 will hit dealers' lots in June 2022.

BMW

BMW's electric vehicle catalog is growing rapidly as the automaker rolls out new electrified cars and SUVs. The latest is the iX M60, a red-hot five-seat SUV with sleek styling and a spectacular list of standard features. BMW announced the new SUV this week, along with pricing and release date details.

The iX M60 is BMW's first performance-oriented electric SUV, though BMW calls it a sports activity vehicle, or SAV. Its powertrain has been massaged to produce up to 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. Maximum power delivery is limited to times when the vehicle's launch control is activated, but even the "normal" numbers are impressive: In regular driving situations, the iX puts down 532 horsepower and 749 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 3.6 seconds and the iX M60 can go on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

2023 BMW iX M60 Though extremely sporty, BMW doesn't shy away from using loads of luxurious finishes and materials. BMW

The iX brings more than performance, as its charging capabilities are quite strong. Using AC power, the vehicle can charge from 0-100 percent in 10.25 hours on its fastest setting. Using its fastest DC power setting, the iX can charge from 10 to 80% in just 35 minutes.

Two electric motors power the SUV, which provide standard all-wheel drive. Dual-axle air suspension is standard, along with electronically-controlled shock absorbers. BMW says that the air suspension is controlled individually at each wheel, so the vehicle can adjust ride height in several ways to maintain stability and remain level in corners.

2023 BMW iX M60 The vehicle can run from 0-60 mph in under four seconds and features standard AWD.BMW

When it goes on sale in June, 2022, the 2023 BMW iX M60 will have a starting price of $106,095, which includes a $995 destination charge. That's a flagship price tag, but the SUV's got the performance and a flagship-level list of standard features. That six-figure dollar amount buys 21-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, AC fast charging, a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, four-zone automatic climate controls, and more.

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The EQXX Concept features a crazy driving range.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is putting its century-plus of automotive experience into building electric cars, and the results are impressive. The EQS is an electric flagship with great range, and the automaker has unveiled several concepts to show its future plans. The Vision EQXX concept debuted today as an ultra-efficient luxury EV with astonishing range numbers.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept Mercedes focused on efficiency over power with the car. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes' focus with the EQXX is efficiency over power, as it says the car is its most efficient it has ever made. The EQXX uses less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometers (around 62 miles), which equates to 620 miles on a single charge. The battery was designed with tech and knowledge from Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team, especially when it comes to size and weight. The EQXX's battery pack is 50 percent smaller by volume and 30 percent lighter than the pack in the EQS, which already featured astonishing efficiency.

The car's impressive range comes at the expense of horsepower, which in this case means just 201 ponies from the EQXX's electric drivetrain. Mercedes says that the system is capable of delivering up to 95 percent energy efficiency - an impressive figure for power delivery to the wheels. Extremely efficient gas powertrains only achieve around 30 percent efficiency and a human long-distance runner can hit around 50 percent.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept The EQXX is impressively slippery, which improves its range.

The EQXX is a slippery car, too, and with a drag coefficient of just 0.17, the car cuts through the air with ease. The typical EV uses up to two-thirds of its battery capacity just to push through the air, so the EQXX's aerodynamics is a big part of its efficiency. The other big part is Mercedes' thermal management system, which uses shutters and cooling plates to maintain an ideal battery and electric drive unit temperature. The plates allow the EQXX to gain about 12 miles of range in its most aerodynamic mode.

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