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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Chevrolet completely redesigned the Suburban for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

At over 18-feet long, the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is massive in stature. The redesigned-for-2021 Suburban is also one of the most technologically advanced SUVs to roll off any General Motors assembly line. The question is, is it any good?

Yes. There is no point in burying the lede on this. The Suburban is the Chevrolet to have if you consistently need to carry six or more people and all of the gear associated with it. Need to take the kids to soccer practice? No problem. Need to bring grandma and grandpa on the family road trip? No problem. Need to carry an entire high school marching band and their instruments? Easy peasy. A colleague even suggested that the rear seats are in a different ZIP code than the front seats.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Premier The Suburban has grown for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

But unlike Doctor Who's Tardis, the Suburban is just as big on the outside as it is on the inside. The Suburban's boxy shape highlights how functional the design is – maximizing interior space is key. A new front grille and headlight setup comes straight from the Chevy Silverado pickup truck. Massive wheels are needed just to fill out the wheel arches.

Around back, a power liftgate (standard as hands-free in LT and up trim levels) is flanked by new taillights and there's a real dual exhaust for the 5.3-liter V8 that comes standard on Suburban. A 6.2-liter V8 and a 3.0-liter Duramax diesel are also available. All the engine options are paired with GM's 10-speed automatic transmission.

While the Suburban never feels smaller than it is, it is nice to drive. The automatic's shifts are flawless in execution, and the 5.3-liter V8 sounds great on throttle. At nearly three tons, the Suburban isn't light, and the upgraded 6.2-liter V8 is worth the extra money if you're planning on towing or filling the Suburban with people consistently. There just doesn't feel like enough oomph with the lower-spec engine to really get the Suburban moving. The sweet spot might end up being the diesel, like it is with the Silverado, but that's not available for a few months.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Premier The Suburban is appropriately appointed for its price point.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Magnetic Ride Control is standard on the Premier trim, and while it doesn't also include the air suspension of higher-spec models, it does a good job at smoothing out the bumps and imperfections of the road. Though the Suburban does feature a sport driving mode, at no point did I feel compelled to use it to get a leg up on the traffic around me during testing. Leave it to its natural devices the Suburban drives pretty well.

The Expedition drives a bit smaller than it actually is, and the available Pro Trailer Backup Assist is a godsend for someone inexperienced with towing. Depending on spec, you can tow up to 8,300 pounds with the Suburban. That's enough for a small boat or camper, making the SUV a solid rig for weekend getaways.

There's plenty of room in the second row for passengers or pups during a weekend getaway, or longer. The Suburban Premier test unit had captain's chairs in the middle row, so gaining access to the third row is easy. There is also a lever on the side of the second-row chairs that, if you press it down twice, fold ups the seats up and away. While most three-row SUVs skimp in the back, this thing is big enough to seat adults and still have room for lots of cargo (up 19 percent over the 2020 model). In the front, the tester had leather seats that were heated and ventilated that sufficiently performed their functions.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Premier The Suburban Premier comes standard with a 10.2-inch infotainment touch screen.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

In front of the driver, an 8.0-inch digital instrument display is flanked by two analog gauges. A 15-inch wide head-up display (the largest in its class) has full-color, high-res graphics that are easy to read. General Motors makes their digital rearview mirror available on the Suburban, which makes it easy to see what's behind you because without it, you see just your passengers or the rows of empty seats directly behind you.

Chevrolet's latest infotainment system runs the Premier model's 10.2-inch touch screen and is updated to include wireless connectivity for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. That means you can just toss your phone on the wireless phone charger and you're off. A surround view camera does help in parking, though you're still going to want to avoid tight spots in city centers due to the overall size of the Suburban.

The test vehicle was black, making it look like a Secret Service transport for the President of the United States. And after a week in the new Suburban, it's easy to see why they prefer this SUV. The way that the Suburban uses its space is impressive. It maximizes interior cargo and passenger capacity. It's more practical in every row than a comparable Ford Expedition Max, and the V8 delivers better power than the Ford's twin-turbo V6.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Premier The 2021 Suburban has 19 percent more cargo room than the previous edition.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

You know if you need a vehicle this size, and if you do, the Suburban is the way to go. Just opt for the larger V-8 engine and you'll have yourself a beast of a vehicle. The Premier trim is a nice sweet spot, too, with luxury features but without the opulence and price tag that comes with the High Country trim. The test model wasn't cheap at $74,080, but for big SUVs this is the one to get.

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