New Model News

Audi adds new Q7 base model for 2020

Audi has added a new entry level Q7 choice for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

When your consumer research tells you that you need a cheaper version of your three-row SUV in order to get more customers, you make a new base model. Meet the fresh 2020 Audi Q7 45. This move is on the heels of a model refresh for 2020 and the introduction of the SQ7 model.

Like its more powerful stablemates, the Q7 45 features a large, octagonal Singleframe grille. It also has standard LED headlights and taillights, as well as standard 19-inch five-arm design wheels wrapped in all-season tires. Audi will sell the model with available 20-inchers that wear similar shoes.

The new luxury SUV is less powerful than other Q7 models. It's powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain achieves 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds.

The model comes standard with all-wheel drive.

A tow package is available. Checking that option box makes the Q7 45 capable of twig up to 4,400 pounds.

Despite being a new entry level model, Audi has not downgraded the SUV's infotainment system, which features an intuitive dual-screen (10.6-inch upper ad 8.6-inch lower) infotainment and climate control system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard, as is Audi virtual cockpit.

Tri-zone automatic climate control is standard while quad-zone and a panoramic sunroof are available.

The model comes with a long list of standard and available safety technologies including adaptive cruise assist with traffic jam and turn assist and, Audi side assist with rear cross-traffic assist and vehicle exit warning, and top view camera system with virtual 360 surround view.

The 2020 Audi Q7 will now start at $54,800 for the Premium grade and $57,200 for the Premium Plus trim level. There is an additional $995 destination and delivery charge.

The RS Q3 is Audi's most performance-focused variant of its subcompact SUV.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The spunky 400-horsepower Audi RS Q3 is not coming to the U.S. according to a report by CarBuzz. Mark Dahncke, Director, Communications, Audi of America, confirmed the news to the outlet.

The move isn't unprecedented. Though growing in popularity stateside, the automaker doesn't bring all of its sportiest variants to the U.S. market. Audi has only recently began opening the floodgates with the announcement that the U.S. will get the RS Q8, SQ7, and SQ8.

2021 Audi RS Q3 The car can pack a punch, but isn't slated to be sold in the U.S.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Unlike in Europe, there are none true sport versos of subcompact SUVs sold in the U.S. Dahncke pointed to a lack of demand for that style vehicle when talking with CarBuzz.

A big part of that argument is cost. Bringing a RS Q3 to the U.S. could make its MSRP around $55,000. That price tag is generally reserved for much larger SUVs in the land of the free whose residents are known for preferring larger vehicles than Europeans.

Here's what Americans are missing out on.

The RS Q3 has an inline 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine user the hood that powers its subcompact body. At its peak it reaches 354 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and comes standard with all-wheel-drive. The SUV can get to 62 mph from a standstill in 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph.

Audi has equipped the model with McPherson struts up front, a four-link rear suspension, and a dual-circuit brake system.

Actress Maisie Williams is perhaps best known for starring in "Game of Thrones".

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

While most of us associate "Let It Go" with an ear worm from the movie "Frozen," Audi is hoping that its new Super Bowl spot by the same name will prove just as memorable. The German automaker has tapped actor Maisie Williams to star in the commercial alongside its Audi E-Tron Sportback.

Williams, whose credits include "Game of Thrones", "Robot Chicken", and "Dr. Who," takes the wheel in the ad that kicks off the vehicle's global brand campaign. The musically-inspired 60-second commercial features Williams singing her own version of the song made famous by Idina Manzel.

2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback The commercial features Williams driving an Audi and signing.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The script for the ad plays out with Williams behind the wheel of the new electric SUV stuck in traffic. Audi says that the intersection she stops at "represents a crossroads of today's preconceptions and old notions of consumption, success, and status."

This is the audience's first clue that they're about to be lectured on the social and environmental responsibility of owning the SUV.

The ad continues with Williams choosing to reverse course and leave "it all" behind, as she breaks out in sold and drives "towards a more sustainable future." A musical isn't complete without a full cast singing effort so along the way fellow drivers, pedestrians, and others join in, "representing the brand's efforts to usher in a new era of sustainable mobility. The journey is a metaphor for how the decision to make more sustainable choices takes all of us doing our part."

Williams recorded the vocals for the commercial at the acclaimed Abbey Road Studios in London where the Beatles, Queen, and others have recorded.

Audi has been vocal about its sustainability efforts, leveraging the messaging to help sell its E-Tron line of vehicles, which have faltered out of the gate. The low sales numbers are unsurprising considering a recent Ford survey indicated that a good portion of the world has no interest in owning an electric vehicle. Daimler has recently forced to dispute claims that it was cutting back production of its Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV due to a forecasted lack of demand.