New Model News

The 2020 RS Q8 is the sportiest SUV Audi has ever brought to the U.S.

The sportiest SUV Audi has ever brought to the U.S. is almost here.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

It's sporty and athletic and just what the world needs to make driving a luxury SUV a less mundane experience, without reaching in to Lamborghini Urus price tag territory. Meet the 2020 Audi RS Q8, the first RS SUV the German automaker is selling in the U.S.

The body of the RS Q8 remains mostly unchanged from the more traditional Q8 models. It does have an octagonal Singleframe grille and the RS-specific honeycomb design, as well as black front air inlets. At the back are an RS roof-edge spoiler and RS-specific rear bumpers with alu-optic diffuser trim.

2020 Audi RS Q8 The model is built ready for the road and track.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Additional standard equipment includes HD Matrix-design LED headlights; LED headlights, daytime running lights, and taillights; rear dynamic turn indicators, and 22-inch 10-spoke star design wheels with summer tires. The available Black Optic package adds black exterior accents, black rings and badges and 23-inch 5-Y-spoke rotor design wheels in anthracite with summer tires.

Audi builds on the Black Optic package with the available Carbon Optic package that adds carbon to the exterior side mirrors, front spoiler and rear bumper inlay and mask surrounding the Singleframe grille.

The car has a bi-turbo 4.0-liter V8 under its hood that delivers 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It can get from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and has a top track speed of 155 mph with its standard equipment. When RS ceramic brakes are added, that number reaches 190.

Up to 70 percent can be directed to the front wheels and up to 85 percent to the rear wheels.

2020 Audi RS Q8 Audi has given the car two available exterior packages that increase the car's dark features.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Uniquely, the car has a 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 ignition sequence that gives the car a robust sound. It has a dual exhaust system with an oval tailpipe one each side. Opting for the RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trims gets the buyer an even sportier sound.

A host of equipment make the model more dynamic than the Q8. It has a standard adaptive air suspension and active roll stabilization.

The car is offered with seven different drive modes: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Allroad, Offroad, RS1, and RS2. The Audi drive select setting influences the engine and transmission management, power steering, the air suspension, all-wheel steering and engine sound.

The interior of the car is mostly unchanged from the Q8 with minimalist yet technology-forward design leading the way. Every RS Q8 comes standard with ventilated RS sport Valcona leather seats with "RS" honeycomb stitching. The perforated, heated RS sport leather steering wheel features new large RS aluminum shift paddles on either side of the wheel.

2020 Audi RS Q8 The sporty sloped roof and low profile make this SUV looks sleek.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

An available Luxury package adds an Alcantara headliner, fine Nappa leather accents on the center console, armrests and instrument panel, power rear window sunshades.

The standard audio system is a Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System with 17 speakers and 16-channel amplifier. The available Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System delivers nearly true-to-life surround sound through 23 speakers.

The 2020 Audi RS Q8 has a starting MSRP of $113,000 and an additional $995 destination charge.

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The Bronze Edition model builds on the XLE trim.

Toyota

The Toyota Highlander entered its fourth generation for the 2020 model year, which brought sleek style, updated tech, and a premium-look interior. A new XSE trim joined the lineup for 2021, and for 2022, Toyota is adding a new hybrid-only Bronze Edition trim.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition adds useful features, such as a hands-free power liftgate.toyota

The new Bronze Edition Highlander builds on the XLE trim with:

  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Memory driver's seat with 10-way power adjustments
  • Hands-free power liftgate

Toyota notes that the Bronze Edition previews features that will show up with the greater 2022 Highlander release. Among them are the new Wind Chill Pearl color, which replaces Blizzard Pearl from the previous model, and height/tilt passenger seat adjustments.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Highlander is a supremely comfortable SUV with room for the family.Toyota

The Highlander carries on into 2022 with a standard 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. A Highlander Hybrid is available, which mates a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. Combined system output is 243 horsepower. With the V6 on board, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition is available for Highlander Hybrid models.Toyota

All 2022 Highlander models get Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, road sign assist, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure alerts, lane tracing assist, a sway warning system, and automatic high beams. Those features and the Highlander's excellent crash testing scores were good enough for the SUV to earn a Top Safety Pick + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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Buying guide

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

This is a clean modified truck, but they don't all end up this way.

Bring a Trailer

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.

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