The Price is Right

2021 Audi RS 7 delivers 591-horsepower, will start at $114,000

The fresh RS 7 features a large number of upgrades and sleek styling cues.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The price tag for the sportiest 2021 Audi A7 variant, the 2021 Audi RS 7, has been announced. It's not cheap. But, there's a lot that buyers get for their $114,000.

The five-seater car is a sleek and stylish, taking the design cues of the A7 up a notch. Its sportback styling plays off the wide body design along with flared wheel arches showing off its muscular stance. The model shares just four body parts with the A7: the hood, roof, front doors and tailgate. It sits 0.4 inches lower than the A7.

2021 Audi RS 7 rear The Audi RS 7 is the sportiest variant of the A7.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

It has a three-dimensional gloss black RS-specific honeycomb structure inside the Singleframe grille. Side air inlets sit below the Matrix-LED laser headlights. There's a new RS bumper up front and a lip spoiler at the back that extends above 60 mph. A strip of lights links the taillights across the tailgate. Large, gloss black oval tailpipes sit beneath the RS-specific rear bumper and diffuser.

The car runs on standard 21-inch RS wheels with summer tires. Buyers can get bigger wheels as part of the Black Optic or Carbon Optic packages, which include 22-inchers, a black grille, and black or carbon exterior accents.

Under the hood is a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 that is good for 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. It can get from zero to 60 mpg in 3.5 seconds. RS ceramic brakes are available with red or gray painted calipers, and increase the top track speed of the RS 7 from 155 mph to 190 mph.

The model comes standard with all-wheel drive, a sport differential, and an RS adaptive air suspension. Drivers can toggle between six drive modes.

In the cabin is a dual screen setup in the center stack with 10.1-inch upper and 8.6-inch lower screens. The upper is used for infotainment functions while the lower is made for climate controls and convenience functions. In front of the driver a 12.3-inch display that features Audi's virtual cockpit technology in addition to special RS displays customized for the sporty sedan.

Passengers sit in standard sport seats that are covered in Valcona leather with a honeycomb pattern and RS embossing. The car's steering wheel is covered in perforated leather and heated. Large RS paddle shifters sit on either side of the wheel.

The 2021 Audi RS 7 will go on sale later this year.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Speedway gas stations will be added to the Seven & i Holdings company portfolio.

Photo courtesy of 7-Eleven

Does this mean slurpies in more places? The owner of 7-Eleven, Seven & i Holdings, has purchased the Speedway chain of gas stations from Marathon Petroleum for $21 billion. The sale is one of the biggest deals that has gone down since the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the economic fortunes of businesses worldwide.

The all-cash deal joins the two convenience store brands with other Seven & i Holdings properties, primarily based in the grocery sector. The company is the largest convenience store chain in Japan, owning 21,000 stores in the Asian country. They also own 9,800 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Speedway gas station The acquisition adds 4,000 Speedway stores fo the company’s portfolio.Photo courtesy of Speedway

By picking up the Speedway chain of stores, Seven & i Holdings expands their footprint to include an additional 4,000 stores, giving the company a presence in 47 of the top 50 most populated areas in the U.S., the company said in a press release announcing the deal.

7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto explained that the deal will allow the company to diversify its holdings in key regions of the country, "particularly in the Midwest and East Coast."

In Japan, convenience stores are located apart from gas stations. This is also true of many communities in the Eastern U.S. However, in the Midwest and beyond, convenience stores are most often associated with a gas station.

As part of the deal, Marathon will provide 7.7 billion gallons of petroleum a year for 15 years to Seven & i Holdings. Marathon has been struggling in the wake of low gas prices, announcing last week that it will not restart production at refineries in New Mexico and California that had been idled since April.

The two companies had been negotiating the sale for months, struggling to come to an agreement over the price.

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Lordstown Motors has its manufacturing facilities in Ohio.

Photo courtesy of Lordstown Motors

Lordstown Motors Corp. and DiamondPeak Holdings Corp. have entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination that would result in Lordstown becoming a publicly listed company. A statement released by the companies details that the combo company would be named Lordstown Motors Corp. and is expected to remain listed on the NASDAQ and trade under a new ticker symbol, "RIDE".

The deal is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2020.

2021 Lordstown Endurance The company debuted its Endurance pickup earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Lordstown Motors

As part of the agreement, Lordstown Motors will see an expected cash infusion of around $675 million of gross proceeds go directly to fund the production of the Endurance as well as producing the company's in-wheel electric hub motor.

Additionally, the transaction includes $500 million in fully committed private investment in public equity (PIPE), of which is a $75 million investment by General Motors. Also included in that investment list are funds from institutional investors, including Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Wellington Management Company LLP, Federated Hermes Kaufmann Small Cap Fund, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.

The pro forma implied equity value of the combined company is approximately $1.6 billion.

The combined company Board of Directors will include Steve Burns, Founder and CEO of Lordstown, and David Hamamoto, Chairman and CEO of DiamondPeak.

News of the merger comes on the heels of Lordstown Motors releasing a new ad for its all-electric Endurance pickup truck. The Endurance's interior was revealed last month.

The company aims to be the first full-size electric pickup truck designed to serve the U.S. commercial fleet market. Initial production expected in the second half of 2021. Numerous orders are already in place. The model's price tag is slated to start just over $52,000.

Lordstown Motors has its production facility at the former General Motors Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio.

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