Thursday, February 26, 2015

Audi introduces leaner, fitter second-generation Q7 | Imports by Day

After a long run on the market, Audi has finally signaled the end of the first-generation Q7 with the introduction of the long-awaited second-gen version of the brand's first crossover.

The 2016 Q7 is a far lighter machine than the vehicle it replaces, thanks to ample use of hot-shaped steel and aluminum. Beyond that, the Volkswagen Group's MLB platform will allow the fullsize Audi to accommodate a range of engines, including more potent versions of the US market's 3.0-liter, supercharged V6 and 3.0-liter TDI. On top of that, the next-gen Q7 will also be available as a diesel plug-in hybrid, complete with a version of the brand's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

The Q7's new design, meanwhile, gives the car an almost wagon-like appearance and profile. The "Singleframe" grille is wrapped in an aluminum-looking surround, not unlike Audi's smaller RS Q3. Audi's cleanly styled headlights flank it, while the large taillights aren't as aggressively angled as Audi's other crossovers.

The cabin is lavish, featuring a typically stylish design with plenty of tech. A 12.3-inch TFT display takes the place of a conventional instrument cluster, while the center stack is crowned by its very own display. Even the HVAC display controls are handsome.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE is a sleek take on brand's future CUV | Imports by Day

Volkswagen continues its long tease leading up to an eventual US-built, seven-passenger, three-row crossover with the Cross Coupe GTE at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

While it's still affixed with the tinsel of a concept car, there are a lot of details that will arrive on VW's eventual production crossover. The wheelbase of the GTE is said to be identical to the production model, although this five-passenger CUV is actually about a foot shorter overall, Volkswagen's chief of design, Klaus Bischoff, told Autoblog.

The overall shape of the GTE's greenhouse, meanwhile, will also be very similar to the car that'll come to market, although more progressive from the C-pillar forward (that's right kids, that sexy sloping rear end isn't for production). Despite the aggressive rake, a peek in the GTE's trunk revealed room for the CUV's third row.

Beyond hinting at a new addition to the company's lineup, the GTE also gives us a look at future Volkswagen design, including the use of four-element LED running lamps. Body lines will be as sharp as is feasible.

Look for the production version of Volkswagen's seven-passenger SUV at the end of next year.