New In-Car Tech

At long last, Infiniti updates its infotainment system in 2020 models

Infiniti has updated its key models with a new infotainment system for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.

Infiniti has updated its infotainment system offering for the 2020 model year in the Q50, Q60, QX50, and QX80. This next-gen system replaces an aging set up that had become a pain point for the Hong Kong-based automaker in the last few years.

The system now consists of two twin high-definition touch screens and replaces button and knob controls in previous years' models. It keeps the Infiniti InTouch nomenclature, operates using a faster processor, and features an improved interface.

"Connectivity on the move is more important to drivers than ever – it allows them to keep up-to-date with the latest traffic information, while passengers can stream, surf, video call and more at their leisure," said Eric Rigaux, General Manager of Product Strategy & Planning, Infiniti Motor Company. "Having listened to feedback from our customers, we have vastly improved the system's features, intuitive use and functionality."

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard for U.S. customers. Users can utilize a USB port to connect their smartphone to the system. They can then access call making, message sending and receiving, navigation, and music capabilities. Apple users can enjoy Siri Eyes Free.

Buyers can add navigation capabilities to their InTouch system. The system incorporates 3D mapping, street and satellite view imagery, Destinations by Google, and points of interest.

Navigation-enabled vehicles feature a Wi-Fi hot spot with the ability to connect up to seven devices. This hot spot also enables over the air updates for the system.

The system also enables Bluetooth connectivity with easier pairing ability and a new high-definition microphone. Multiple phones can be connected to the system and owners can prioritize their favorite device within the system.

Infiniti's 2020 model year vehicles begin arriving at dealerships later this year.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Audi A7 will be available later this year in a plug-in hybrid format.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has revealed the third plug-in hybrid in its lineup, the 2021 A7 55 TFSI e, a powerful option for executive car buyers. It joins the Audi Q5 TFSI e and Audi A8 TFSI e as the only PHEVs in the company's U.S. lineup.

The A7 gets its power from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with an electric motor and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The car has a total system output of 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard.

Audi's new sedan can run as a hybrid or on all-electric power. Drivers can utilize the vehicle in three drive modes: hybrid, EV, and Battery Hold. Hybrid mode is activated automatically when the navigation system is issuing guidance in order to optimize battery power and reduce fuel consumption. In EV mode, the car exclusively uses battery power up to a certain speed. Battery Hold mode utilizes the car's powertrain to keep the battery capacity at its current level.

2021 Audi A7 55 TSFI e Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The A7 holds its lithium-ion battery under the rear cargo area of the sportback sedan. Final EPA-estimated fuel economy and range numbers are pending. The 14.1-kilowatt-hour battery features 104 pouch cells with a voltage of 381 volts.

Audi's predictive efficiency assist technology adjust the vehicle's behavior to save on fuel. According to the automaker, ". Detectable haptic feedback from the accelerator pedal and a visual signal in the MMI and head-up display indicate the proper time to let off the accelerator to use as much kinetic energy as possible."

The model comes standard with Audi's S line exterior package, which includes specific front and rear fascia designs, fender badgers, and illuminated doorsill inlays. The car also has Matrix-design LED headlights, high beam assist, quad-zone automatic climate control, Audi advanced key, Audi Virtual Cockpit, ad PHEV-specific displays within the infotainment system and cockpit. It rides on 20-inch Audi Sport five-twin-arm wheels wrapped in all-season tires.

The roster of standard features continues with audible low-speed exterior e Sound, a top view camera with Virtual 360 view, Integrated Toll Module, the Audi MIB 3 infotainment operating system, heated front seats, and leather upholstery for all five passengers.

A variety of packages are available.

Audi Virtual Cockpit now displays speed reductions, including those for speed limits, tow signs, curves, downward slopes, traffic circles, intersections, and highway exits.

The fresh version of the A7 can be charged at any SAE J1772 charging station or at home. Audi has partnered with Amazon Home for home charger installation should a vehicle buyer decide they want to install a charger at their residence. Charging can be monitored via the myAudi app.

The 2021 Audi A7 TFSI e starts at $74,900, a $5,000 increase over the base gasoline-only A7 55 TSFI. It will be available in Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels (the traditional A7 55 is available in three, including the lower grade Premium offering).

Audi says that customers who purchase purchasing the 2021 Audi A7 55 TFSI e will be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $6,712. Additional state incentives may also be available.

The model is expected to arrive in dealerships later this year.

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