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Sport and utility: Audi SQ7's V8 delivers 500-horsepower of family-hauling fun

The Audi SQ7 is a sporty take on the three-row SUV.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi's three-row family hauler is taking driving fun up a notch with the new 500-horsepower 2020 Audi SQ7. The model maintains much of what buyers want from their Q7 but amplifies the power and connected drive experience of the model, giving the BMW X7 M50i direct competition.

The German automaker has given the SQ7 a host of typical sport model upgrades to differentiate it from the typical Q7 including S-model bumpers with integrated front splitter, a platinum double-slat Singleframe grille, Alu-optic exterior side mirror housings, S-specific quad tailpipes, and a rear diffuser inlay.

2020 Audi SQ7 The SUV has many familiar features inside and out that link it to the traditional Q7.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

It rides on standard 21-inch V-spoke bi-color wheels with summer performance tires.

The available Black Optic package adds a black exterior kit with black Singleframe grille, black exterior mirror housings, black roof rails, and 21-inch bi-color wheels with summer performance tires.

The Q7 packs a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine under its hood that delivers 500 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. That power plant is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and gets from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds - the same as the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 that also was revealed this week.

Along with its standard all-wheel drive, the model has an S-tuned adaptive air suspension, which electronically controls the vehicle's adaptive dampers, automatically regulating vehicle dynamics and enhancing ride quality. Adding the Sport Package to the model gives its active roll stabilization, all-wheel drive with a sport differential, and red brake calipers.

2020 Audi SQ7 The SUV is available with a top-view camera.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

With the available towing package, the SQ7 is capable of towing a maximum 7,700 lbs.

Drivers sit behind a three-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters. There are steel doorsills with an illuminated S logo inside the cabin.

Audi has given the model front S sport seats that are lined with contrast-stitched Valcona leather. The seats are heated and feature Black, Rotor Gray, or Arras Red leather with a diamond cross-stitch pattern. Those seats also come standard with eight-way power with four-way power lumbar adjustment. The model is available with ventilated and messaging front seats. The SQ7 seats seven, just like the Q7.

2020 Audi SQ7 The SUV features S-sport badging on the interior and exterior.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The second-row features a 35/30/35 split tumble-folding design with fore/aft positioning and recline functionality. The third-row seats split 50-50 and have electronic folding functionality. There are five LATCH child seat connection points.

Audi's long list of standard and available features in the model includes a 10.1-inch upper display screen for infotainment functions and an 8.6-inch lower screen for climate control and comfort functionality, 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit screen, Wi-Fi hot spot, Amazon Music connectivity, full-color head up display, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a 19-speaker sound system, and a 23-speaker sound system.

Additionally, Audi offers the following standard and available driver assist technology: adaptive cruise control, a top-view camera, intersection assist with braking to prevent side impact collisions, turn assist, and traffic sign recognition.

2020 Audi SQ7 Diamond quilting comes standard on the model's seats.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The 2020 Audi SQ7 will be available in the Premium Plus trim for $84,800. The Prestige grade will start at $90,400. There is an additional $995 destination and delivery charge.

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Ford is bringing the Mustang Mach 1 back.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

It was from a stage in Detroit a few years ago that Ford's then-CEO Mark Fields stood in front of several thousand journalists and proclaimed that the Mach 1 name was making a return. Fast forward half a decade and one new CEO and today the company is making it official.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 will feature a 5.0-liter V8 engine giving global customers the option of buying a vehicle with a name that first shined during the golden age of muscle cars. Ford does not directly sell the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 in Europe so this new model could fill a hole in that market.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 teaser spy photo Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

"Mach 1 has a special place in Mustang history, and it's time for this special edition to claim the top spot in our 5.0-liter V8 performance lineup and reward our most hardcore Mustang enthusiasts who demand that next level of power, precision and collectability," said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Icons. "Like the original, the all-new Mustang Mach 1 will be true to its heritage, delivering great looks and as the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang ever."

The Mustang Mach 1 first debuted in 1969. It carved a niche for the buying public - better performance than the Mustang GT with a price tag that made it cheaper the the Shelby or Boss grades.

"Mach 1 has always been that bridge between base Mustangs and the Shelby models," said Ted Ryan, heritage brand manager, Ford Archives. "From a style and handling perspective, the original Mach 1 managed to stand out as unique, even in the Mustang lineup – and as the name implies, it could really move."

Ford changed up the Mustang Mach 1 in 1971 and 1974 even offering an available Rallye Suspension Package. Then, it disappeared.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 teaser spy photo Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The name was revived for the 2003 and 2004 model years and featured a blend of modern power and 1970s-era nostalgic design. Its Mach 1 handling suspension with larger Brembo front-disc brakes improved on-road performance, while its matte black spoiler and hood stripe helped the coupe standout.

While Ford hasn't released many details of the new coupe model, it did release some teaser images including a close-up of the car's wheel. In that photo, the Mustang Mach 1 is wearing Michelin Radial X Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires sized 305/30ZR19 (98Y)($442.70 each on TireRack.com right now) that fit on 19-inch wheels. The car is wearing red Brembo calipers and five-double Y-spoke black wheels.

The car looks to have unique front and rear fascia though most of the body of the vehicle is straight from the 2020 Ford Mustang playbook. The two circular objects in the front of the car on the unique grille are a new addition, likely for additional engine bay cooling however there's some historical precedent for those spots to inhabited by lights. There's also a sizable spoiler and quad exhaust that look like they're straight from the GT500.

Seventeen years later, the all-new 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is set to return. on official debut date or pricing has been announced.

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Nuro's latest partnership in Houston is allowing prescription and essentials to be delivered to Houstonians across three ZIP codes.

Photo courtesy of Nuro

The latest partnership from California-based Nuro, which has a fleet of driverless vehicles in Houston, means prescription drug delivery to certain parts of Houston.

Rhode Island-based CVS Pharmacy will offer the delivery option for prescriptions and essentials for free beginning in June for three ZIP codes near a CVS location in Bellaire (5430 Bissonnet St., Bellaire, TX 77401).

"We are seeing an increased demand for prescription delivery," says Ryan Rumbarger, senior vice president of store operations at CVS Health, in a release. "We want to give our customers more choice in how they can quickly access the medications they need when it's not convenient for them to visit one of our pharmacy locations."

Nuro CVS delivery service The small, driverless vehicle is able to make deliveries within a certain radius of a select CVS location in Houston.Photo courtesy of Niro

The driverless delivery option will be made available through the CVS app, and recipients will have to prove their identity to retrieve their order.

Nuro has been expanding throughout the Houston market for over a year now — first entering the Houston market with its Kroger pilot program, but this partnership represents a whole new sector for the robotics company.

"Today, we are excited to expand into an entirely new vertical: health," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro's co-founder and president, in the release. "Through our partnership with CVS, we hope to make it easier for customers to get medicine, prescriptions, and the other things they need delivered directly to their homes."

Following Nuro's initial deal with Kroger, the company expanded to pizza delivery with Domino's Pizza before forming agreement with Walmart. Earlier this year, the company received approvalfrom the United States Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that allowed Nuro's vehicles on public roads without the features of traditional, passenger-carrying vehicles — like side mirrors or windshields, for instance.

In January, InnovationMap spoke with Sola Lawal, Nuro product operations manager in Houston, and asked him about what types of partnerships Nuro is targeting.

"The way that we think about this is that this new technology and our mission of accelerating robotics for everyday life, is we will bring the people what they want," Lawal told InnovationMap.

And as far as continuing to expand in Houston, the city's diversity, varied roadscapes, and regulatory support makes it prime for robotics and self-driving technology.

"Houston is our first full-scale operations city," said Lawal. "All eyes at Nuro are focused on Houston."---

This story originally appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site, InnovationMap.

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