Audi Unveils Exclusive RS 7, Limited to 23 Units

The tasty RS 7, with a 4.0L bi-turbo V8 belting out nearly 600 horsepower packed into a slinky sportback body, is the sort of delightful lunacy which acts as a speedy tonic to the raft of dour crossovers and SUVs which crowd parking lots at the mall. A new exclusive edition – a trim infuriatingly spelled in all lower-case letters – ratchets up the rarity even if it doesn’t provide any extra German horses.

The price goes up, too. A lot.

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Circle the Wagons: Audi Shows A6 Avant E-tron Concept

Taking a quick look around parking lots on this side of the pond, one would be forgiven for thinking the station wagon – longroof, avant, variant, shooting brake – is dead and buried. Pockets of (rabid) enthusiasts remain and are likely a large part of the reason Audi decided to sell the tremendous RS6 Avant.

The future is murky for a North American launch of this new all-electric concept, given our propensity for SUVs and crossovers. Nevertheless, we’ll take any opportunity to run photos of a slinky wagon – especially one that could slingshot from 0 – 60 mph in under four seconds.

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Dirty Dozen: BMW Announces Final V12 Engine

Pour one out for the twelve-cylinder BMW, folks. The car company has just announced its final run of M760i xDrive vehicles, fitted with what BMW is calling the very last V12 engine ever to be fitted to a BMW series production road vehicle. The party comes to a halt in June.

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2022 Mercedes-Benz SL Beauty's Skin Deep

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz SL is a timed release. Its dramatic entrance will come before the end of 2021. Before its arrival, will you tire of it, or be that much more enthralled?

Previously, we saw SL prototypes drifting in the snow, showing off their all-wheel drive (AWD) capabilities. Now the automaker wants you to see beneath the surface, reinforcing the rigidity of its composite aluminum structure.

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8th Gen Mercedes-AMG SL Unveiled

Mercedes-AMG wanted to show you its new SL Roadster, a 2+2 seater, testing its 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system at a private proving ground in Sweden near the Arctic Circle. In typical Mercedes fashion, they said it was as much a test of the Roadster’s convertible top as it was the all-wheel-drive system under these harsh conditions.

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QOTD: VW Golf – Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone? [UPDATED]

VW today announced the end of the road for the base Golf for North America. The question is, will you miss the base Golf when it’s gone?

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First Audi ABT RS7-R in North America

The first new ABT RS7-R Limited Edition version of the 2021 Audi RS 7 has been completed by GMP Performance in Mooresville, North Carolina, at their facility in Lake Norman.

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Variation on a Theme: Audi Q5 Sportback

Like it or not, and it seems most of our readers don’t, manufacturers are pressing ahead with the coupification of luxury-grade small crossovers. The BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe generally offer a more sport and less utility, thanks in no small part to a roofline that begins to swoop dramatically to the pavement just aft of the driver’s noggin.

Audi wants in, of course. The existence of a Q5 Sportback was confirmed earlier this year. Now they’re ready to show a production version, complete with its so-called Singleframe grille aggressively tapered rear end.

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Ace of Base: 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

Our man Steph Willems chronicled the state of the station wagon in America a couple of days ago, reporting that longroofs (longrooves?) amounted to less than 2 percent of the new vehicle market in 2018 despite a 29 percent sales increase compared to five years earlier.

VW Group is doing its part, offering both the pricey A4 Allroad and the bargain Golf SportWagen shown here. The latter is a case of getting more for less, as the wagon is priced $160 less than its hatchback fraternal brother, despite having more horsepower and more cabin room.

And, oh yeah, it’s still available with a manual transmission.

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BMW Begins Production on $112,895 M850i

BMW’s new flagship model, the returning 8 Series, has officially entered production in Dingolfing, Germany. However, if you’re interested in one, you’d better check your business card for the applicable tags — words like chairman, president, or doctor. The model starts at a sizable $111,900, plus a $995 delivery fee.

If you find yourself lacking those credentials or the necessary income, we can recommend the slightly less ostentatious 6 Series and a helping of shame, as you’re clearly not the kind of earner you’ve aspired to be.

Of course, if you purchase the 6 Series Coupe you’ll be stuck buying last year’s leftovers and missing out on prestige and power — and we don’t mean symbolically. The base M850i comes with BMW’s 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 and 523 horsepower with 553 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the base 640i comes with an inline 3.0-liter powerplant. While you can upgrade to the 650i and its 4.4-liter V8, the unit will still be almost 100 ponies shy of what the 8 Series brings to the table.

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Coupe-tastic: BMW Brings Back the 8 Series

Fair warning: this post will include more photos than a normal news item. Why? Because BMW is once again applying an 8 Series badge to the trunklid of a slinky two-door.

I like big coupés, and I cannot lie.

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German Court Says Towns Can Officially Ban Diesel Vehicles Whenever They Want

Thanks to years of governmental promotion, Europe is still awash with diesel-powered passenger vehicles. However, in the wake of emission scandals and research suggesting diesel fumes might not be all that great to inhale, the region has changed its mind. It has gotten to a point where entire countries are now aiming to ban all internal combustion engines as local municipalities try to put the kibosh on diesels as soon as possible.

In Germany, birthplace of the diesel engine, this led to many asking if towns even had the right to regulate what people drove. According to a recent ruling from the nation’s highest administrative court, they absolutely do. With a precedent now set in Europe’s auto manufacturing hub, citywide diesel bans are likely to catch on — not only in Germany, but across the continent. Our condolences if you’re living east of the Atlantic and wanted to sell your diesel secondhand.

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Can Automakers Convince Germany to Skip the Pending Diesel Bans?

Europe’s love affair with diesel engines is fading faster than a VHS tape left sitting beneath the summer sun in a car’s rear window. Encouraged by automakers, European governments incentivized diesel cars in the 1990s by taxing them at a far lower rate and suppressing the price of the fuel they burned. Studies came out claiming that diesel’s below-average CO2 emissions could even help with air quality. By 2012, diesel models made up 55 percent of Europe’s passenger vehicle market.

Things certainly have changed. Now concerned primarily with smog-producing NOx output, health and safety advocates have called diesel a menace to society. The EU has been pressing automakers to abandon the fuel by adopting much more restrictive emissions regulations for passenger cars. Volkswagen’s emission scandal further complicated things, prompting cities to call for a total ban on certain vehicles.

However, Germany still has to decide whether the mandates are even legal — and the decision comes this Thursday.

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2016 Audi A3 Sportback E-tron Review - EWagons Ho!

Emissions legislation politics is a hairy subject at the company holiday party. But there are some unexpected benefits regardless of your take on California’s ZEV mandate or the EPA’s CAFE standards.

Without this legislation we may never have seen Audi’s smallest station wagon return to America. Yep, Audi’s first plug-in hybrid comes in the form of a small hatchback-cum-station-wagon. That means if you want an Audi plug-in, a compact wagon is in your future. If you want a compact wagon, you aren’t going to get one without a plug.

Fortunately, the Audi in question is the tasty new A3 Sportback E-tron.

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2016 BMW 340i Review - The Lightest of Refreshes

The BMW 3 Series has been the benchmark to which all manner of vehicles are measured. The comparisons go beyond the likes of the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo S60, and include BMW M3 vs Chevy Camaro and BMW 328d vs Toyota Prius. It seems that every car company in America makes at least one “3-Series fighter.” But there’s a problem with your largest volume product being put on this kind of pedestal: die-hard fans hate change.

Enthusiasts claim that BMW ruined the 3 Series when they redesigned it in 2012. The “F30” sedan got bigger, fatter, softer, and more gadget-filled than ever before. BMW fanbois cried in their gemüsesuppe, Road & Track called it an “also ran” and … BMW laughed all the way to the bank.

For 2016 the 3-Series gets a facelift, new engines and a redesigned suspension. What isn’t changed, however, is BMW’s new direction. And that’s a good thing in my book.

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  • FifaCup Loving both Interior and exterior designs.
  • FifaCup This is not good for the auto industry
  • Jeff S This would be a good commuter vehicle especially for those working in a large metropolitan area. The only thing is that by the time you put airbags, backup cameras, and a few of the other required safety features this car would no longer be simple and the price would be not much cheaper than a subcompact. I like the idea but I doubt a car like this would get marketed in anyplace besides Europe and the 3rd World.
  • ScarecrowRepair That's what I came to say!
  • Inside Looking Out " the plastic reinforced with cotton waste used on select garbage vehicles assembled by the Soviet Union. "Wrong. The car you are talking about was the product German engineering, East German. It's name was Trabant.