The Price Is Right

2020 Audi SQ8 will set you back at least $89,000 and give you access to 500 hp, animated headlights

The 2020 Audi SQ8 is not the automaker's top expression of SUV sport refinement (that's the RS Q8), but its darn close. The two-row SUV capitalizes on the technology and engaging drive the SUV offered in the Q8 model, and gives it the power boost the model was so desperately needing.

If you find yourself needing a new SQ8, you'll want to be prepared for the high price tag. It starts at $89,000 and has a top-tier model starting price of $94,500. Those prices exclude a $995 delivery fee that applies to all SQ8s.

The SUV is powered by a robust 4.0-liter V8 that generates up to 500 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard. Torque-vectoring all-wheel drive is offered as part of the Sport Package.

The exterior and interior of the model feature S model design elements include badging and blacked out trim. The model has Audi's signature Singleframe grille as well as frameless doors. There are pronounced wheel arches and an inclined C-pillars. At the back are a diffuser and quad exhaust outlets.

The SQ8 comes standard with LED headlights, LED taillights, and dynamic turn signals. Buyers can upgrade to HD Matrix-design LED headlights with full LED taillights. When equipped with the available HD-Matrix design headlights, fast-moving light animations play in the headlights and taillights when the vehicle is locked and unlocked.

Audi has equipped the model with standard 21-inch 10-V-spoke S-design wheels with all-seasonn tires.

It's available with a Sport Package, which ups the ante with active roll stabilization, an all-wheel drive sport differential, and red brake calipers.

Opting for the Black-Optic Package gives the car 22-inch Audi Sport 5-V-spoke anthracite wheels with all season tires, and black exterior accents that complement the mirror caps, roof rails and Singleframe grille.

The long list of standard features includes: two touch screens in the center stack (a 10.1-inch and an 8.4-inch) to control comfort and convenience features; perforated, heated and ventilated Valcona leather S sport seats with diamond stitching; Aluminum Spectrum interior trim; quad-zone automatic climate control, a Wi-Fi hot spot; wireless Apple CarPlay; wireless Android Auto; internet music streaming; a panoramic sunroof; wireless charging; a Bang & Olufsen Premium 3D audio system; .and 12.3-inch driver information display.

A 19-speaker sound system and head up display are available.

It's a five-seater that has available leather, massaging front seats functions; heated rear seats; additional interior leather color options including black, Rotor Gray and Arras Red; and the added choice of Gray Oak high-gloss wood or Carbon Vector interior trim.

The SQ8 has standard seating for five passengers. The rear seats feature 40/20/40 spit functionality.

Audi has equipped the model with the latest standard and available technology including adaptive cruise control, Audi pre sense, an overhead camera with 360-degree view and pedestrian and cyclist detection, cross traffic alert with braking, turn warning with assist, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring, rear crash alert and assist, and safe exit warning.

The 2020 Audi SQ will arrive at dealerships this spring.

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The 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo is joining the company’s lineup

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The decision to add a turbocharged engine variant to the Mazda3 was met with praise for those who like getting in a little more excitement behind the wheel. Now It has been announced that the Mazda3's crossover counterpart, the CX-30 is getting the same treatment.

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 will be available with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque when the tank is filled with 93 octane fuel. The performance drops to 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque when owners fill up with 87 octane. Engines with the turbo-four also get standard all-wheel drive.

2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo The body styling is pretty much the same as the rest of the Mazda CX-30 lineup, but it does have unique wheels and other attributes.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

To accommodate the new engine option, Mazda has not had to change the outward appearance of the model In earnest but does add some highlights including 18-inch black aluminum alloy wheels, larger tailpipes, gloss black door mirrors and a "TURBO" badge on the liftgate.

As the most premium Mazda CX-30 model, it comes with a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, black upper dash and chrome finishes. The features list includes a Bose 12-speaker audio system and an 8.8-inch infotainment screen..

The CX-30 2.5 Turbo, as the models with the engine will be known. Also comes equipped with Smart City Brake Support Reverse and rear cross-traffic braking technologies that can sense a vehicle coming into the lane of travel when reversing, warn the driver, and apply the brakes in order to possibly avoid a collision. Additional available safety technologies include a 360-degree view monitor, Active Drive Display, traffic sign recognition, and adaptation front lighting.

2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo The CX-30 debuted just last year.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo is scheduled to go on sale by the end of 2020. Specific packaging and pricing details will be announced in the coming months

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Volkswagen has chosen a name for its new SUV.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The forthcoming new Volkswagen SUV will be called the Taos after the town in New Mexico. The name was chosen to specifically appeal to North American customers, who are the target market for the SUV, which Will slot below the Tiguan in the VW lineup.

“We're thrilled to announce the name for the newest member of the Volkswagen family," said Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President for Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "It was important to choose a name that really embodied the nature of the car and the town of Taos, New Mexico was a perfect fit. It's a small city that offers big things—from outdoor adventure to arts and design and great cuisine."

Taos New Mexico Taos, New Mexico is the namesake for a forthcoming Volkswagen model.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

"We are excited that Volkswagen has named their sport utility vehicle after the town of Taos," said Taos Mayor Dan Barrone. "It's a great opportunity for our community to share its rich history and culture alongside Volkswagen with its unique and rich history and culture."

Taos, New Mexico is a thriving small town of 6,000 people. It has a 400-year history and a 1,000-year-old Native American community just a few miles from the center fo town. Artists and skiers flock to the city, which is noted for its stunning landscapes.

Incidentally, Taos was also home to John Muir, an engineer turned mechanic, and author of "How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step procedures for the Compleat Idiot." First published in 1969, and illustrated by local artist Peter Aschwanden, this counter-culture guide to Volkswagen repairs quickly developed a popular following. The book, started in Muir's Taos shop, has helped keep countless VW models running, from Beetles and Buses to Type 3 and Type 4 models.

Volkswagen promises that the new Taos “will offer great value, excellent fuel economy, and great packaging, as well as advanced infotainment and driver-assistance features”.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos will be revealed on October 13.

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