New Model New

2021 BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition is a limited run, high horsepower, ultra luxe hauler

The 2021 BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition is a new addition to the automaker’s lineup.

Photo courtesy of BMW
BMW is giving the U.S.-made X7 an ultra-luxe variant, the 2021 BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition. Just 500 of the models, considered the pinnacle of the X7 lineup, will be built.
Each model builds on the 2021 BMW X7 M50i variant of the three-row SUV.
The exterior features a BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow finish, giving the BMW kidney grille, Air Breathers and tailpipes a high-gloss black look. These feature the BMW Individual Frozen Arctic Grey metallic paint finish. There’s a BMW Individual Roof Rail High Gloss Shadow Line and sun protection glazing.

2021 BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has given the model 22-inch M light-alloy wheels in a V-spoke design. They’re coated in a Jet Black matte finish and wrapped in mixed-size performance run-flat tires.

A M sports exhaust system sits out back.

The model is powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 engine that gets 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain gets the car from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. It has a top speed of 155 mph.

The interior of the model comes with full Merino leather upholstery in Night Blue/Black with contrasting seams. There’s a Night Blue Alcatrara headliner, and Night Blue leather instrument panel. The lower portion of the instrument panel and front backrests are finished in blue Merino leather. Its cabin features Piano Black finishers.

Additional model-specific features include a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround sound system, the Heat Comfort Pack, and panoramic glass roof (in BMW terms, that’s the Skylounge). There’s a head-up display, TV function plus, and rear seat entertainment control system. The car comes with massage functionality for the front seats.

The model has “Edition Dark Shadow” emblazoned on the center console.

The BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition will be produced at BMW Plant Spartanburg, USA starting in August.

Pre-ordering will kick off on July 23 at 6:01 p.m. EST on www.shopbmwusa.com/X7-Dark-Shadow-Edition-Pre-Order. A refundable $1,000 deposit will reserve one of the limited edition vehicles online with purchase details to be completed with your selected dealer later. Just 75 unitsare reserved for U.S. customers.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Toyota Tundra is due for a redo, but it still has a lot to like if you're not too picky.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Americans buy millions of trucks every year. Even in the midst of a pandemic, folks are still buying trucks. In 2019, between all the various full-size truck models from Ford, Ram, GM, Nissan, and Toyota, U.S. customers bought nearly 2.5 million pickups — and that doesn't include all the smaller midsize models, which add another 600,000 to the truck total.

Nearly all of those truck sales are dominated by the big three of Ford, RAM, and GM, but there's a not insignificant niche carved out by Toyota as well. The endlessly-popular Tacoma is the best-selling midsize truck, and the full-size Toyota Tundra has a loyal and dedicated following.

2019 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition On the outside, the truck looks strong and capable - it is.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

I know a few Tundra owners who love their trucks just as passionately as Ford and Chevy owners do. I've driven most of the pickups on the market, but I haven't spent much time behind the wheel of Toyota's big truck — and I was curious to see what Toyota was doing to compete.

My test unit was the premium, Western-themed "1794 Edition" that honors the founding of the JLC Ranch in San Antonio, Texas on which Toyota now has a truck assembly plant. Unsurprisingly, it's the same plant that built this truck. 1794 is basically Toyota's version of Ford's King Ranch, only with less-impressive brand awareness.

The model weighed in at $55,199, including option-boxes ticked for the TRD Off-Road Package ($155), running boards ($345), moonroof ($850), and a spray-on bedliner ($579). All in, it's certainly not a cheap truck, but it's not crazy expensive either. The big three all have ultra-luxe truck trims that can run well-north of $70,000, so this was a very reasonable top-line truck.

It's also not nearly as well-appointed as those other trucks, but it's certainly nice enough. Inside, there is "1794" embellishment on the floor mats and the center console, plus wood trim on the steering wheel, dash, and gear shift.

2019 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition There are nods to the 1794 Edition throughout the cabin.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

It's very roomy, and things are laid out logically — which is a good thing considering how old the Tundra is. The interior was last redesigned the better half of a decade ago, and this generation of the truck is nearly old enough to enter high school. So, it's a bit old, but aging gracefully which, perhaps, shows why Tundra owners like it so much. They know what they're going to get.

One thing they'll get is a lot of stops at the pump. The 5.7-liter V8 is extremely thirsty, scoring just 14 mpg combined city and highway, though the engine itself is buttery smooth and capable. Pushing 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, you won't have any complaints as long as fuel prices stay around two dollars per gallon. If prices shoot back up north of $4, it might be another story.

The exterior is pleasing enough, with a giant big chrome grille on the front and special 1794 badging on the doors. The Tundra has aged well and was particularly striking in the brilliant Voodoo Blue coloring that my tester sported.

2019 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition The cabin is straight out of the middle of the last decade.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The interior is solidly dated compared to the competition, but it's all functional enough. The 2020 edition of the Tundra gains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is enough to get me to ignore the massive "Home/Apps/Audio" buttons that surround the screen.

With the competition launching enormous 12-inch-plus touchscreens, I don't think Toyota will be able to wait too much longer before reworking this interior. In the middle console are numerous cupholders and storage cubbies, surrounding an enormous phallic shifter. There's a massive center storage bin under the armrest, which will come in handy for those using their truck as an office.

The rear seats have tremendous amounts of legroom, and the seats fold up to allow for more interior storage, though I wish the rear floor was totally flat to make loading Costco water bottles a little easier.

2019 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition The rear seats fold up allowing for more versatile cargo space.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

In the back, there's a truck bed. It's for putting stuff in. There's nothing elaborate here with in-bed lighting or fancy tailgates like the GMC Sierra has. It's just a truck bed, with a tailgate, that you can fill with things.

That's perhaps the best way to describe the Toyota Tundra. It's a pickup that allows you to haul things around. No fuss, no muss, nothing crazy. It gets you and your stuff from here to there, while slurping down massive amounts of fuel.

It's a Toyota. You know what you're getting. Enjoy it.

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The 2021 Cadillac Lyriq is a whole new take on luxe mobility for the company.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The Cadillac Lyriq will start at less than $60,000 when it debuts in late 2022 or early 2023, Steve Carlisle, president of General Motors North America, said Wednesday.

Cadillac won't announce official pricing anytime soon, but as the brand transitions to an all-electric portfolio, the Lyriq midsize crossover and other EVs have to be able to replace its current gasoline-powered vehicles, Carlisle said at the JP Morgan Auto Conference.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Cadillac is expected to infuse the Lyriq with a host of modern technology including its hands-free Super Cruise driving system. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

"We need to be in the same price zone," said Carlisle. "This car will need to be priced similar to how the industry prices midsize lux SUVs today, maybe a slight premium at the outset. It's a price that won't be high five digits. It won't start with a seven and it won't start with a six."

At that price it won't be Cadillac's priciest SUV - that will solidly be the Escalade - but it likely will be its most expensive two-row SUV. It's about the same size as the Cadillac XT5, which starts at near $45,000 and can go higher than $70,000 with all the options boxes checked.

General Motors is going all-in on battery-powered vehicles. The company recently announced a partnership with EVgo that will add 2,700 charging stations to the grid over the next several years. The first of those stations is set to go online next year.

Cadillac isn't the only arm of the Detroit-based automaker that is getting electric vehicles. The company recently outlined what's ahead for each brand. Chevy will have en electric utility vehicle coming to market in the near future and the GMC Hummer EV truck and SUV are well on their way. There are additional vehicles in the pipeline as well.

It was also recently revealed that GM CEO Mary Barra has entertained the idea of changing the company's name to better align it with their vision of the future of mobility.

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