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2024 Audi A7 Sportback First Drive

While SUVs may seem the darlings of the automotive industry right now, there’s definitely plenty of room to innovate and wow the crowd in other segments: especially when you have a long list of new things to show off, like Audi. While the 2023 A8 represents the marque’s vision for sedans, the 2023 A7 Sportback embodies Audi’s vision for those buyers who demand a sportier sedan. The A7, however, is not one that can be confined and defined inside a rigid box. Instead, it takes inspiration from both past and present, and in the process embracing coupe, sedan, and even wagon in a single body.

Audi places heavy emphasis on the new A7 Sportback’s design over other aspects, and for good reason. Similar to the 2023 A8, the A7 takes inspiration from the Prologue concept, while, at the same time, still remaining unmistakably an A7. In fact, though the A7 and A8 may share many things in common, they offer it up in very different ways.

At its most straightforward, it’s about being driver-centric. Where the A8’s interior is defined by horizontal lines and an emphasized sense of space, befitting its sedan status, in the 2023 Audi A7, everything is turned toward the driver. The new Audi MMI system, functionally similar in both sedan and four-door coupe, is slanted more towards the driver in the latter. Everything is easily within reach and available at a quick and safe glance. The A7 Sportback puts the driver at the visual center of its universe.

It’s not an absolute, however. Unlike in the Audi TT, where the focus is completely on the driver, the new A7 straddles its three car lines and doesn’t ignore passengers altogether. In the real world, it makes a big difference: compared to the A8, which really feels like a car to be driven in, the A7 is a car that’s meant for you to drive yourself. During our two day drive in Cape Town, S. Africa, there was plenty of seat time both behind the wheel and as a passenger.

A welcome gain from the A8 is the extra space. The 0.8 inches of added length may not sound much but, combined with its 3.4-foot width, sitting comfortably inside the A7 would almost make you think you were inside the sedan instead. The lines blur even further when you see the familiar refreshed MMI system: like the 2023 A8, the new A7 Sportback is equipped with Audi’s new-generation MMI system.

Ease and speed of use are still also there, despite the complexity of digital user interfaces. Options are laid out on a single level, minimizing the need to drill down into menus before reaching the exact feature you’re hunting for. A new 12.3-inch virtual cockpit sits directly in front of the driver, replacing the analog instrumentation of old while still giving the illusion of depth thanks to the very high-resolution and responsive screen.

From the driver’s seat, operating the dual displays settles into an up-and-down cadence, almost tai-chi like in its zen. The icons, text, and graphics are easy to read with minimal complexity, a welcome relief compared to some of the more complex systems in rival cars.

While all carmakers boast of their attention to design and to detail, the A7 feels worthy of the praise. Take, for example, the extra sensors inside the front grille, which Audi’s designers managed to integrate into the car’s core design and thus give the coupé a unique fascia. Rather than wearing its active-assistance sensors like warts, the A7 subtly hides another pair of eyes inside the new “singleframe” grille.

Of course, the 2023 A7 Sportback can’t just be an art project: it must be functional, too. Compared to its predecessor, the 2023 model keeps the telltale silhouette while doubling-down on the sportier touches. The lower and wider grille, a new unified tail light, sharper shoulders, a built-in spoiler that automatically extends at 75 mph, and a more pronounced lip on the back are just some of the more obvious new design marks. At the same time, the familiar roofline and distinctive tapered rear remain, to continue the aesthetic legacy.

Under the hood, there’s more newness: the mild hybrid engine or “MHEV”. Combining a 3.0 liter V6 TFSI engine with a 48-volt electrical system, the 2023 A7 offers 340 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque, enough to do the 0 to 62 mph run in 5.3 seconds. More than just being about power, however, the A7 Sportback is also about efficiency. The belt alternator starter (BAS) charges a lithium-ion battery up to 12 kW when braking, as well as shutting the engine off not only when the car is at a halt, but when coasting between 34 and 99 mph. Indeed, Audi’s new start-stop feature doesn’t even wait for you to actually stop. Instead, it activates automatically from 13 mph, then uses the front cameras to restart the engine when the car in front begins to move.

Given the A7’s interior, there are worse places to be trapped, but it’s really the open road where the car shines. Still, before getting there I had a first-hand experience of just how important – and how capable – the active safety technology is in this new car.

In Cape Town, it seems, it’s commonplace for pedestrians to walk on the side of the road, both on city streets and highway. Indeed, it’s fairly normal for pedestrians to cross over the freeways. It’s a worst-case-scenario for any driver, as was a man jumping out in front of the A7 while I was at the wheel. I slammed on the brakes, but Audi’s pre sense front and pre sense city active safety systems joined in too, kicking in their own exaggerated braking force and helping prevent an accident.

I’ve had plenty of hands-on experience aiming a car towards a mannequin and having the system jolt things to a complete stop before a collision, but nothing in those test scenarios quite prepares you for a real-life experience of the technology at work. Beginning with the Audi A8 and now the A7 Sportback too, the Audi pre sense and pre sense city safety systems can also detect cyclists in addition to pedestrians, while the car is traveling at up to speeds of 40 or 52.8 mph, depending on the model. They’re also able to detect other cars on the road, at up to speeds of 155.3 mph.

Equipment and features for the US market aren’t nailed down yet, nor pricing, and as such we don’t know if the 48-volt “coast mode” will make it stateside. It’s possible that the feature won’t be high on the list of priorities for buyers in the US, which I can understand, though if I was buying the A7 Sportback and Audi didn’t allow me to check off the optional Dynamic all-wheel steering, I wouldn’t be so happy. While the standard equipment package includes progressive steering with a sports ratio, the combination of dynamic steering and rear-wheel steering takes driving to a whole new level.

Cruising at lower speed around town, pulling into tight parking spots or making U-turns is significantly easier because the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction up to 5 degrees. It essentially shortens the wheelbase of the car, at speeds between 3.1 to 9.3 mph. At higher speeds, especially for quick passing maneuvers, the rear wheels follow the movement of the front wheels by an angle of up to 3.5 degrees. In that case, you get the sense of a longer wheelbase car, which ultimately results in more stability.

What we do know will make it to American shores is Audi’s drive select system. Depending who you’re with and the road conditions, there’s the option of allowing the drive modes to do all the heaving lifting in auto; or, as seemed preferable once free of traffic jams, you can switch over to dynamic and push the A7 Sportback to its fullest potential. There’s also efficient and comfort modes, with each adjusting factors like how quickly the transmission changes gears, the behavior of the sports differential and quattro drive, the steering, and the suspension’s damper control. If you prefer, you can customize individual mode with your own choice of settings.

Audi is positioning the 2023 A7 Sportback as a break from the past, with a new design and new technologies. All the same, though, the 2023 model is clearly an A7 through and through, picking up the torch not only in its design but in its spirit too. Sporty like a coupe, spacious like a sedan, and versatile like a wagon, the 2023 A7 Sportback is the perfect marriage of old and new, putting design, engineering, and technology at the service of what should truly be the center of a car’s universe: the driver at the wheel.

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2024 Audi A8 First Drive: The New Luxury

2024 Audi A8 First Drive: The new luxury

It’s a more striking car than its predecessor, from the bold “Singleframe” grille at the front, through the more sculpted crease-lines on the hood and sides, to the muscular emphasis above the wheel arches and the rear with its distinctive lighting. I suspect it’ll age more gracefully than many of its competitors. Audi has both standard and long-wheelbase versions, though the US will only get the latter: just 10-percent of sales of the old A8 were of the short-wheelbase model.

Sadly the dramatic lighting on the car you see here won’t make it to American shores. Blame archaic regulations for the absence of laser headlamps up front, and the more dramatic OLED lighting at the rear. Audi puts the latter to great use, with sweeping animations that the automaker claims makes turn signals and such more readily recognized, but the US rule-makers don’t think you’re ready for them.

Audi will keep it easy for the US, with a single engine option at launch that’ll also help the car escape the automaker’s fairly confusing new badging nomenclature. The A8L will come with a 3.0-liter V6 TFSI, with 340 HP and 369 lb-ft. of torque, and a top speed of 155 mph. It’s paired with a sweet- and smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission, and 0-62 mph comes in 5.7 seconds.

It’s a so-called “mild hybrid” engine, which means Audi adds a 10 Ah battery and a belt alternator starter, but that the electrification never actually supplies motive force to the car. Instead, the A8 uses it for some clever coasting: between around 34 and 99 mph, for instance, the car can shut the engine down completely and glide with no fuel consumption, then start the engine up again near-instantaneously. Engine stop-start now works at up to 13.7 mph, rather than when you’re just waiting at the lights. It’s the quietest, most surreptitious implementation of such a system I’ve ever experienced; most of the time, I didn’t even realize it had kicked in.

The economy gains from the mild hybrid system aren’t going to win the A8L any green awards, nor probably challenge the diesel version that Audi has no plans to launch in the US. Rather, it’s all about the smoothness of the experience.

The combination of the silken eight-speed, permanent quattro all-wheel drive, and the purring V6 make for an unruffled car on the road. Speak to Audi’s suspension engineers, though, and you find they have even more ambitious things in mind. Traditionally, the A8 has found itself in the middle of the German luxury sedan space: perceived as not quite as sporting as BMW’s 7 Series, yet not quite as sybaritic as Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class. Audi wants to change that perception, and it wants to have its cake and eat it too.

Clever, then, but not as clever as the electromechanical suspension system. Powered by the 48V system, it can individually control actuators on each of the wheels, for even more precise and rapid adjustments to the car’s dynamics. When combined with a new, forward-facing laser scanner, the A8 will be able to actively look ahead to upcoming road conditions and preemptively adjust its ride height and suspension settings to minimize speed bumps and pothole judder.

It’s almost eerie in how well it works. Watch from the outside, and you can see the A8 crank itself up just before it hits a bump: Audi says it can smooth out more than 3-inches of obstacle, leaving only the slightest of shake in the cabin. Brake hard and there’s no nose-dive as you might expect from a big, heavy sedan; even when I made several laps of a roundabout, pushing harder with each orbit, lateral roll was astonishingly absent. Turns that might normally have your passengers leaning against the doors are flat and steady.

Throw in the dynamic all-wheel steering option, which allows the rear wheels to turn up to 5-degrees – either with the front, or in the opposite direction, depending on speed – and the A8 becomes positively nimble. The turning circle is noticeably reduced, particularly welcome when you consider the A8L is 17.4 feet long, while lane-changes feel more confident.

Indeed, though I’d need to drive them back-to-back to be certain, I suspect the A8 with active suspension is more than enough to take on what Mercedes and BMW are doing right now. If there’s a weakness, it’s that Audi won’t have an S8 at launch to combine those fiendishly clever underpinnings with a performance engine. Though all signs point to one in the pipeline, there’s no telling when an S8 might arrive. Indeed, the V8 and W12 gas engines earmarked for Europe are conspicuously missing any sort of North American roadmap, though Audi at least is making positive noises about the eight-cylinder together with a plug-in hybrid with wireless charging support.

It’s not that the 3.0-liter V6 TFSI is a disappointment. It’s a refined, capable engine that suits the A8’s cruising talents well, with enough pep that overtaking at highway speeds and even a little backroad jaunting were easily within its means. Compared to the beastly Mercedes-AMG S63, though, or BMW’s flight-footed M760i, and Audi’s car is understandably just too restrained by its power shortfall.

The active suspension has another trick, though it’s not something you’d want to see in action. As part of the pre sense 360 safety system, if you get t-boned while you’re traveling at speeds up to 37 mph, the A8 can jerk the car up suddenly by maxing out the suspension travel. In a split second, the car lunges 3.15-inches on the side of impact, enough to redirect the crash forces into the more structural components lower in the doors.

Somewhat confusingly, Audi is eager to highlight that the new A8 was designed for Level 3 autonomous driving, but it won’t launch with the functionality. The Audi AI traffic jam pilot will be able to take over stop-start driving at speeds up to 37.3 mph, on highways and multi-lane highways as long as they have a physical barrier between you and the opposite direction of traffic. Unlike traditional adaptive cruise control systems, there’ll be no reminders to keep your hands on the wheel.

MORE 2023 Audi A8 Level 3 autonomy first-drive

As Vincent found when he tested the system himself, Audi AI traffic jam pilot certainly works. However, it also requires more than just the driver putting their trust in the A8 – it needs regulatory approval, too. It’s that, not the technology, which won’t be ready for the A8’s US debut next year.

When it does arrive, it’ll be a cost-option – final US pricing for the A8 hasn’t been decided, though the current model kicks off at $82,500 – and it’s unclear at this stage whether A8 early adopters will be able to retroactively add AI traffic jam pilot support via a software upgrade later on. Fundamentally it’ll demand a more comprehensive sensor suite be fitted, adding the aforementioned laser scanner at the front to the combination of 12 ultrasonic sensors, four 360-degree cameras, mid-range and long-range radar, and regular and infrared cameras that give the A8 its all-round vision.

They’re not just for autonomous driving, mind. Also under the Audi AI umbrella is remote parking pilot and remote garage pilot, which allow the car to maneuver itself in and out of parallel and perpendicular spaces, or in and out of garages, respectively. As long as the various sensors can see the right gap, and as long as you’ve got your finger on the AI button – either on the dashboard or in the Audi smartphone app – the A8 will trundle its way into the right place, handling the steering, brakes, acceleration, and transmission all by itself.

Inside, the cabin has been completely updated. The A8 gets seating for five, the A8L for four courtesy of a full-length center console and armrest. As well as heating, cooling, and massage options, there’s a “relaxation seat” package that adds a foot massager for the rear right seat, four-zone climate control, Audi’s detachable Android-powered tablets mounted behind the headrests, and a Rear Seat Remote. The latter, about the size of a phablet, pops out of the center armrest and can be used to control multimedia, seat and window settings, and even work as a phone handset for the A8’s VoLTE system.

Those in front aren’t short on touchscreens, mind. Gone is Audi’s old scroll-wheel system, replaced with MMI touch response: a 10.1-inch touchscreen atop the center console, an 8.6-inch touchscreen below it, and the familiar Virtual Cockpit digital instrumentation in front of the driver (with an optional head-up display above).

The center top display is responsible for infotainment – it also shows Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – while the panel beneath it is dedicated to the HVAC and comfort controls. Audi’s capacitive touchscreens support haptic feedback, with a mild buzz as you tap each virtual button. Gone is the old handwriting system, which required you to sketch out letters individually atop the MMI touch rotary controller; now, the whole lower touchscreen can show either a QWERTY keyboard or a huge handwriting panel.

The latter is, quite frankly, the best example of such an interface that I’ve tried to-date. In addition to its sheer size, it usefully supports both block and cursive text. You can trace individual letters with your fingertip, or whole words, and even when I scrawled across the screen – not even looking at the display – it was able to translate my messy cursive. Audi offers auto-predict and auto-correct alternatives as you type, while a simple swipe from right to left clears out the text box.

Alternatively, there’s a new voice recognition system. Though the A8 still uses onboard processing, it also has a cloud-based system when the car is connected. That supports natural language and conversational recognition, though personal details aren’t stored in the cloud for privacy reasons. Eventually, I’m told, the goal is to include voice support for other car features, like being able to control the air conditioning.

If there’s a drawback to all this technology and active safety gadgetry, it’s the potential for driver overload. There are a lot of icons, graphics, and messages to absorb, and while you can shut off the center console top touchscreen, I’d love to see a broader “quiet mode” which pared things back to the bare minimum. The good news is that Audi confirmed to me that they’re also looking at how all that information could be made tidier.

It’s an issue that affects both the 7 Series and the S-Class, too, both of which have each been cranking up their own tech levels. Of the three cars, I prefer Audi for the look and feel of its infotainment system, but I suspect there’ll be a learning curve involved when first getting behind the wheel.

We’re at a fascinating place in high-end vehicles. If the A8 is restrained, it’s by a regulatory framework – or, more accurately, many often-conflicting frameworks – yet to catch up with the technology. Like its peers, Audi could distance the driver even further from the experience of actually driving. That it hasn’t is a matter of policy, not impossibility.

You are the legally-mandated, morally nebulous meat-fuse in the system. Audi knows the car is cleverer than you are; after just a few minutes at the wheel, you yourself know that to be true, too. So much of the technology is designed to stop you from doing dumb, human things. Door handles that pause even as you pull them, should a cyclist be approaching from behind. Sensors that watch out for signs you might be about to curb your beautiful 20-inch alloy wheels. Brakes that automatically stop you if you’re headed for a parking lot ding.

At this point in the luxury sedan game, smooth power, supple leather, and gadgets galore are table stakes. Impressive, cosseting, deeply pleasant table stakes, certainly, but nonetheless the bar has been raised. In a world where technology has eclipsed mere mechanical engineering, the 2023 Audi A8 is quite possibly as smart as it gets.

2024 Audi S6 And A6 First

2024 Audi S6 and A6 first-drive – Autobahn blitz

There are some interesting options when you’re in the market for a big sedan from the mid-$40s upwards, but the 2024 Audi A6 and S6 are hoping to make their case that they’re all the car you need. Overshadowed in recent years by the stunning A7/S7, Audi’s handsome sedan is making a renewed play for 2024 with updates across the styling, engines, transmissions, and the accommodations inside. I headed to the autobahns of Dresden, Germany, to see how the A6 and S6 hold up.

Audi’s styling across its range is one of the more consistent of any of the big car brands, and so the changes to the design have been restrained. While the body as a whole is the same as before, there’s a new bumper with more aggressive venting, reshaped lights with more LEDs, and a more angular grille that borrows some of the new TT’s style.

At the back, the rear lamps are more distinctive, and the tailpipes get crisply-hewn trapezoidal tips which counter the curves of the rear valance nicely. There may be a couple of tweaks between here and the US launch in 2024, but the changes to what’s to my eyes a very successful refresh should be minimal.

I started out in the A6 with its 2.0-liter TSFI engine. Its 252 HP and 273 lb-ft – both increased for MY2024 – are evidence of just what Audi can do with some turbocharging, routed thankfully not through the lazy CVT of the old car but a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. EPA figures aren’t settled yet, but Audi tells me economy should be up despite the bump in power.

A four-cylinder in a large sedan like the A6 might give some drivers pause for thought, but the TSFI has no such reticence, especially out on the autobahn. It’s not a light car, at around 3,700 pounds, but it hides that heft well, picking up speed rapidly and cornering well; there’s a little oversteer to be discovered when you push the FWD car hard, but you’ll only really see it at the sort of pace where any passengers will be giving you dirty looks.

Audi’s four-cylinder is smooth, but the fun really starts when you switch keys for the 2024 S6. That uses a 4.0-liter TFSI V8, turbocharged for 450 HP and 406 lb-ft of torque, and hooked up to a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive.

Audi says the S6 V8 is good for a 4.3 second 0-60 mph time, and the Euro-spec car showed little reluctance to gallop along the autobahn at speeds which would quickly lose you your license were you to try them in the US. Stomp your foot to the right and there’s a surge of torque which sees the speedo needle hurtle up, seemingly no matter whereabouts in the rev range you do it.

It’s incredibly sure-footed, too. Audi’s quattro AWD has a reputation for grip, and the S6 doesn’t let it down. Driver-selectable suspension modes actually make a noticeable difference to the driving style: in Comfort, the S6 does a fair job of impersonating a luxury cruiser, while in Dynamic it becomes sticky as glue.

No, you’re not going to whip the rear end out – I’m not sure most people would want that, frankly, in a car of this size and type – but you do have the confidence to know that you’ll pretty much always end up around the corner you’re fast approaching. The pleasing balance of quiet and V8 engine noise is the icing on the cake.

Whichever the model, you get Audi’s excellent cabin and dashboard. Build quality is top-tier, and there are new dash trims, leather options, and finishes to pick between. Some of the marquetry is of a level you’d more commonly expect to find in a high-end luxury model; Audi’s pairing of careful slivers of veneer and aluminum are particularly eye-catching, though exactly what will make it to the US is unclear at this stage.

I’ve seen what Audi can do with a few high-resolution displays and NVIDIA’s Tegra processor in the new TT, and the updated MMI system in the 2024 A6/S6 are similarly competent. An 8-inch screen rises smoothly from the center stack, similar to in the A3 only a little larger, and it’s paired with a large driver information display sandwiched between the analog dials.

It’s fast, and smooth, and well-connected thanks to onboard 4G LTE piping things like Google Earth 3D navigation to the dash. A head-up display can show the core details, too, like speed and your upcoming turn. Rather than a touchscreen you get a rotary controller flanked with shortcut keys and a trackpad, the combination of which takes a little getting used to initially. Still, Audi’s crisp graphics and sensible UI layout are proved enough to win me over.

The A6 isn’t a sports sedan in the traditional sense, but neither does it need to be. Instead, it’s a capable and refined cruiser, a handsome way to transport five people in a beautiful cabin. Audi’s updates strike a great balance between dynamics and comfort, with the new transmission a particular improvement over the outgoing car.

As for the S6, it still manages to be discrete to the eye while packing enough power and stability to surprise the unwary, whether you’re running from a standstill at the lights or already at speed on the highway. Audi’s quattro AWD takes a powerful sedan and gives it all the traction you want, safely betting on the idea that the target audience will prefer predictable (and superlative) dynamism to tail-happy abandon. Even if you can’t make it to the autobahn, it’s a huge improvement and a highly capable car.

Audi Night Vision Assistant Demo

2024 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet And 4S First Drive

The 2023 911 Carrera S’ engine is the 6,000-pound gorilla in the room. When Porsche announced the replacement of the naturally-aspirated engine, fear spread far and wide. Welcome to a new age of turbochargers, and Porsche has finally jumped on the bandwagon – primarily due to government requirement for lowering CO2 emissions as well as improving fuel economy. The first 911 on the 991 platform replaced the 997 back in 2012, and moving forward, all modern 911s on the second gen 991 platform (991.2) are turbocharged. That being said, there’s a reason turbochargers have found favor: the new, rear-mounted 3.0-liter twin turbocharged flat-six is more powerful than the old powerplant, making it quicker while also being more fuel-efficient.

At your disposal is 370 HP and 332 lb-ft in the 911 Carrera 4 and 420 HP, 370 lb-ft in the 4S, a 20 HP, 45-lb-ft increase from their predecessors. Peak torque starts at 1,700 rpm and keeps kicking to 5,000 rpm, but it’s also capable of redlining at 7,500 rpm, which is something many of us love to do with a naturally-aspirated engine. All 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S models come standard with a 7-speed manual transmission.

There’s no artificial or digitized sound piped into the cabin – the purists can only take so much, after all – so while you still hear the high-pitched whine of the spinning turbo there’s also the underlying grunt from the 3.0-liter itself. Long-time Porsche aficionados will of course notice the difference, but it sounds great to my ears, and there’s no lag before the turbo power kicks in.

All this power, you’d expect – and hope – you could stop on a dime too, and Porsche takes no chances on that front. For 2023 you get new, larger four piston calipers and 13-inch front rotors for the base model; the S model comes equipped with 13.8-inch discs or optional carbon ceramic brakes sized at 16.1-inches in the front and 15.4-inches in the rear. My test 911 Carrera 4 Cab was outfitted with handsome 20-inch RS Spyder design wheels, a $2,370 option.

It’s not the only way to kick the sticker price up a notch. Also available as an option is Porsche Doppelkupplung, the company’s dual-clutch transmission or PDK, which adds $3,200. Fitted in both the 911 Carrera S Cab and Carrera 4S I tested, I couldn’t help but be impressed with its ability to deliver instantaneous gear-shifts. Porsche actually began developing it back in 1970, but it took until the 2009 model-year 911 and Boxster/Cayman before it made it to production cars.

There’s an old belief that soft-tops are the softer option on the road, but the gorgeous convertible Sapphire Blue Metallic 911 Carrera S Cabriolet belied such accusations. It has a base price of $115,700, a $12,300 premium over the similarly-specified coupe. However, for a typical Porsche buyer, loading up on options is a way of life; with a few ticks down the order sheet, this particular model came out at $144,805.

The costliest option – and also, ironically, my favorite – is the rear-axle steering, though with its $6,810tag Porsche will also throw in a Sport exhaust system. It’s available for all S models, having once been reserved exclusively for the 911 Turbo and 911 GT3 models.

At low speed, the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels, essentially cutting down on the turning circle. That helps when squeezing in and out of a tight parking spot, or generally maneuvering in places you really, really wouldn’t want to scratch your car; the overall feel is like you’re driving a shorter vehicle.

During more spirited or sporty driving, however, the rear wheels steer in the same direction as those at the front, mimicking a longer wheelbase for greater agility and improved overall stability.

I get it, it’s an expensive option. It’s also rare and only available on the S model, so I think you’d be remiss if you bought the car but didn’t check this particular box.

Another option worth ticking is the Front Axle Lift System ($2,590), which raises the front lip 2-inches to help climb over driveway bumps or speed bumps.

Financial Report Of Xiaomi For The First Quarter Of 2023: Overview

In the smartphone business, in the first quarter of 2023, Xiaomi’s smartphone revenue was 30.3 billion yuan ($4.25 billion), an increase of 12.3% year-on-year; shipments reached 29.2 million units, an increase of 4.7% year-on-year. Driven by 5G high-end models, the average selling price of Xiaomi smartphones increased by 7.2% in the first quarter of 2023.

In addition, this quarter, Xiaomi also has new perspectives on globalization. According to the financial report of Xiaomi, the overseas market revenue was 24.8 billion yuan ($3.48 billion), a year-on-year increase of 47.8%. And the proportion of total revenue reached 50% for the first time.

Dual-brand strategy and 5G boost ASP by 7.2%

In 2023, Xiaomi split the Xiaomi brand and the Redmi brand. In addition, the 4G-to-5G switch that began in 2023 also brought a certain opportunity for the Xiaomi brand.

During the epidemic, Xiaomi released the Xiaomi Mi 10 5G flagship series. According to the financial report of Xiaomi, its shipments exceeded 1 million units within 2 months after the sale.

Driven by 5G high-end models, the average selling price of Xiaomi’s smartphones increased by 7.2% in the first quarter of 2023. Among them, the average selling price of smartphones in the mainland China market increased by 18.7% year-on-year, and the overseas market increased by 13.7% year-on-year.

This quarter, the Redmi brand also laid out multiple price segments. For example, it launched the K30 Pro equipped with the Snapdragon 865 processor for the premium market. In the low-end Note series, the global sales of the Redmi Note 8 series exceeded 30 million units.

In terms of smartphone gross margin, it increased from 3.3% in the first quarter of 2023 to 8.1% in the first quarter of 2023. Xiaomi said that with the continuous promotion of the dual-brand strategy, it is expected that the average selling price of Xiaomi smartphones will continue to rise in 2023.

The steady growth of IoT business affects transportation and installation

The financial report of Xiaomi shows the consumer goods industry was greatly affected by the epidemic. And the production, transportation, and sales of white goods and television were affected by the epidemic. In this quarter, Xiaomi’s IoT and consumer products business continued to grow. During the reporting period, revenue reached 13 billion yuan ($1.82 billion), an increase of 7.8% year-on-year.

During the reporting period, as of March 31, 2023, without including smartphones and laptops, the number of connected IoT devices on the Xiaomi IoT platform reached 252 million units, a year-on-year increase of 42.6%. The number of users of Xiaomi IoT platform devices increased to 4.6 million, a year-on-year increase of 67.9%.

In the first quarter of 2023, 2.7 million units of Xiaomi Smart TV were shipped globally. According to the financial report of Xiaomi, it has increased by 3% year-on-year when the overall scale of the Chinese mainland market declined.

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Wang Xiang, president of Xiaomi, said in a conference call that there were some categories in this quarter, including TVs, whose installation was greatly troubled. The second quarter is in the process of recovery. In addition, Wang Xiang said that Xiaomi has also launched a larger TV, adding new categories, continuing to raise TV products at different price segments, and developing new market areas. For example, during the reporting period, Xiaomi released the Redmi Smart TV ‘MAX98’ giant-screen TV, priced from 19999 yuan ($2802).

Internet business accounted for more than 10%, gross margin decreased

During the reporting period, Xiaomi’s Internet service revenue was 5.9 billion yuan ($0.83 billion), a year-on-year increase of 38.6%. And its share of overall revenue exceeded 10%, reaching 11.9%.

The user activity of Internet services increased significantly. According to the financial report of Xiaomi, in March 2023, MIUI monthly active users reached 330 million, an increase of 26.7% year-on-year. Among them, the monthly active users of MIUI in the mainland are 110 million.

Also Read: Xiaomi Active Users Exceed 500 Million Worldwide

Wang Xiang said that the substantial increase in revenue from Internet services is partly due to the fact that users spend more and more time on smartphones. This allows many of our smartphone-related businesses, such as gaming, to grow.

In the first quarter of 2023, Xiaomi’s overseas market revenue reached 24.8 billion yuan ($3.48 billion), a year-on-year increase of 47.8%, and overseas market revenue accounted for 50% of total revenue. This is the first time in the history of Xiaomi that the contribution of overseas income has reached half, and this proportion was 44.3% in 2023.

According to Canalys data, the shipment of Xiaomi smartphones in Europe increased by 58.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023, and the market share exceeded 10% to 14.3%. This is of great significance for expanding operator channels. At the same time, shipments of smartphones in the Western European market increased by 79.3% year-on-year. Among them, the market share in Spain ranked first for the first time, with a market share of 28%. It is in the top four in Italy, Germany, and France.

In the Indian market, according to IDC statistics, in the first quarter of 2023, Xiaomi smartphones have maintained the number one shipment in India for 11 consecutive quarters, with a market share of 31.2%. Xiaomi is also accelerating in Latin America and the Middle East And the layout of the African region.

However, after the epidemic in China, it also broke out on a large scale. This also puts a certain pressure on Xiaomi’s second-quarter results.

Xiaomi President Wang Xiang said that 100% of China’s supply system has been restored, and India’s resumption of work is still in its infancy. The country’s government has just begun to lift the ban gradually. It is expected that recovery will take time. He revealed that India is currently recovering 60%. But future changes will depend on the prevention and control of the epidemic.

In the European market, Wang Xiang said that the recovery situation is better than the Indian market. At present, Xiaomi’s smartphone activation rate in the European market is about 90%, which is higher than the normal level. ‘This is a good signal. But we still think that the second quarter will be a challenge to our business growth.‘

Best Ssd (Solid State Drive) Laptop

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Traditional storage systems are bulky and slow. If you are looking to purchase an SSD laptop, then I guess, you must be tired of waiting several hours when transferring your files, hate your system for taking forever before booting up, want to do away with that loading screen and want to multiply your workflow speed. However, you can agree with me that it is excruciatingly hard to make a choice, as the market is swamped with thousands of SSD laptops ranging from good to excellent. I have done all the research considering all the nitty-gritty of each product and come up with a comprehensive list of the best SSD laptops available.

List of Best SSD (Solid State Drive) Laptop Here is the complete List #1: ASUS VivoBook 15 – Best Value Laptop SSD

If you are looking for a great value laptop, then going for ASUS VivoBook 15 from ASUS is the right choice. It is one of the best SSD devices featuring an Intel Core m3-8100Y Processor, 8 GB RAM, and 128 GB SSD makes an excellent combination of performance and power. This product with fastest SSD allows users to boot OS, games and other programs from SSD, while the HDD to store up your movies and infrequently used files. As a result, it offers improved performance at a budget.

I like its elegant chrome book style not seen in other devices within its price range. Multimedia users and gamers will find the full HD graphics and 0.3″ NanoEdge bezel appealing and unbelievable at such price.

I like the 178-degree viewing angles, could view crisp color irrespective of the side I was viewing from. The device comes with an agnomical, backlit keyboard, which guide you on your task and meet up with your deadlines.

Also, ASUS VivoBook 15 weighs 3.97 lbs and features a slim, thin 0.7 inches making most systems look old with its aesthetic design. On the con side, the ASUS VivoBook 15 display has a produces only 68% of the sRGB color spectrum leading to a dull display compared to competitors. However, it is capable of handling anything thrown at it including editing software, without getting too hot – thanks to its hardware. The well-featured, high-performance and aesthetic device has become an excellent alternative to individuals who feel MacBooks are too expensive.

Pros

Lightweight

Aesthetic design and durable

Smooth performance

Good sound speakers

Well-constructed keyboard

Responsive Precision Touchpad

Cons

No SD card reader

Below-average battery life

Dull Display

#2: Microsoft Surface Go 3 – SSD Laptop for Creative Minds Adaptive Dial and Pen

This super high-end machine has earned the respect of painters and artists, and have dropped their tablets for Microsoft Surface Go. No doubt, Microsoft has not failed in its design and has produced a laptop offering futuristic and classy design.

If you prioritize versatility, then Microsoft Surface Go should be your choice. You can use this device in three different modes – tablet, laptop, and book. It is an appropriate choice for people who prefer the outstanding design and eye-catching SSD laptop over power and performance. However, this doesn’t mean the system lack enough horsepower. The system is available in five varieties including the pricey variant with 10 inches’ screen and an Intel Pentium processor.

The machine sports an improved Surface Pen with low latency, accuracy, tilt and pressure sensing making it an excellent stylus in the business. I love the Adaptive Dial rotary accessory, which performs general computing functions such as controlling the volume, zooming, scrolling through web pages, etc. The Adaptive Dial can prove effective on some specific tasks while working on creatives tools like Photo editors. It can adjust opacity, sizes of brush and other settings.

Although its 3.2K IPS display may not be up to par with the popular 4K display, it still offers superb visual quality optimized for better battery life and excellent performance. I think it is a decent tradeoff. The machine may not be able to perform excellently as most of its competitors, yet it offers a tremendous performance thanks to its ‎AMD Radeon Vega 11 powered and latest processors.

Surface Go isn’t touted by Microsoft as a device perfect for content-creation like Surface Studio, however, it comes with the same excellent color profile – enhanced profile and standard RGB – making its colors slightly more vivid.

Another remarkable feature is its incredible battery life. The laptop has 70 watts hours with an impressive overall battery life of ‎11.5 hours. It eliminates the needs to plug in your laptop to a power source constantly. Unlike most convertible notebooks, the product lacks the appealing 360-degree hinge, which makes it easy to flip the display and reattach for tent mode or detach for use as a conventional tablet.

Pros

Incredible long battery life

Excellent cooling

Lightweight yet strong performance

Great audio

Dramatic Design

Adaptive Dial and Pen are cool

Cons

Small trackpad

Very Pricey

No Thunderbolt 3 support

#3: HP Envy – SSD Laptop

HP Envy Laptop comes with Windows 10 OS that enables us to easily markup the website on screen using an edge web browser. This Solid State Drive laptop has a 11th generation processor that brings us for way processing performance for HD computing. With this laptop, we are getting 512GB Solid State Drive, which requires less storage space compared to a hard drive; therefore, it increases startup time.

The maximum resolution of the panel you are getting here is 1920×1080, is which is enough for doing office work. The weight of such a laptop is 2.87 lbs, and the design is so appealing that you can easily carry it from one place to another.

The bright view screen of this laptop maintains vivid colors in your video and photos. It offers 8GB system memory for performing multitasking. HP Envy is a basic laptop and suited for those searching for the laptop at less price.

Pros

It quickly boots up.

Run smooth for everyday use.

Offers SD card slot to extend storage need.

It is lightweight.

Provides good battery life.

Cons

Laptop speed is not good.

#4: MacBook Air – Mac OS with Excellent specs and after sale service

MacBook Air are popular for delivering impressive futuristic devices, and MacBook Air is no exception. Just like the older versions, this device with best SSD for laptop features the same aesthetic and minimalistic outlook. However, it would have been nice to have a different futuristic and classy look.

MacBook Air features a thicker bezel around its 13.6″ IPS display compared to some of its competitors and would have been perfect if it could be slimmed down. The MacBook Air has a 2560 x 1664 pixel panel that offers vivid quality images with a brightness of 354 nits. This laptop is the first to use the Apples True Tone technology feature to adjust color and intensity.

I like the Touch Bar, but it’s still in its infancy. With time, more applications will become compatible with Touchbar making it indispensable. MacBook Air 13.6″ doesn’t weigh more than 2.7 pounds and 11.97″ x 8.46″ x 0.44″ making it slightly lighter and help maximize your desk space better than the majority of its competing notebooks. Its 13-inch variant is designed to offer more portability and less weight, as it only weighs about 2.7 pounds and 12″ x 8.4″ x 0.6″.

Apple has designed to be competitive with windows 10 and other window based machines and is excellent for workstations and gaming laptops. It has an option for the System on Chip (SoC); Apple M2 chip processor and a fantastic 3.2 GHz clock-speed ceiling, which makes it one of the best raw computing performance coming from the manufacturer.

The battery can easily sustain a full workday without charge. For regular usage like streaming videos, surfing the internet, etc. the battery can serve you for as high as 11 hours, which is exceed most battery life experienced with several premium laptops with an average time of 18 hours.

I like the Force Touch Trackpad that has pressure sensing capabilities and cursor control.

Although it is pricey, it is among the very best laptop offering high power and performance right now.

Pros

Fast SSD

Thin and light design

Improved keyboards

Extended battery life

Great sound

Sharp, vivid display

Great and speedy performance

Cons

Very expensive

Port selection still stinks

Warm underside

No USB Type-A ports

#5: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 – SSD Laptop

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is one of the best SSD laptops, which consists of 16GB DDR RAM. It has lots of wonderful features that help you to work conveniently. This laptop has a comfortable keyboard and dedicated webcam shutters.

Lenovo laptop offers two connectivity options, one is Wi-Fi, and another one is Bluetooth. They are built-in, so you do not require to attach any external adapter for them. It remains popular for artists and graphics designers due to its flex 15.6’s touch screen. So, it is an ideal laptop which is at ease to write, draw, and sketch.

If we keep our focus on battery, then this laptop will give you 12 hours of battery life. It is one of the best laptops with SSD which uses recharge technology that allows you to recharge up to 80% in a few hours. The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 can be used in laptop mode for working tent mode, sharing data, and stand mode to watch movies. This extremely versatile and fully featured laptop is a worth buying option that can make your work simple and easy.

Pros

It has a good large screen.

You can easily switch to a tablet and a laptop.

You do not need to waste money on purchasing a large amount of disk.

Provides great portability.

Cons

The keyboard is not comfortable.

#6: Dell XPS 13 9310 – Best value in Premium SSD Laptop

Dell XPS 13 9310 weights about 2.80 lbs and is designed not to eat up your desk space, as it is only 13.4″ deep, 0.45 – 0.66″ tall and 14″ wide. Unlike those flaky and traditional swipe-style fingerprints reader, this 1TB SSD laptop has the reader integrated into the power button.

This is one of the best SSD laptops available ideal for anyone irrespective of your walk of life. The machine sports the 8th generation Intel Intel Core i7-1195G7 processor operating with a clock-speed of 5 GHz. It has a 16GB RAM size, which is more than enough for multitasking and storage of 1TB SSD that can store almost anything.

I like the radiant silver look, and it has give you wireless connectivity option. The webcam is poorly positioned below the display rather than above the display. The poor positioning gives a rising view of your nostrils and chin. In my tests, the battery lasts up to 4 hours of intense gaming and 14 hours watching movies with the windows media player in airplane mode.

You will love the gorgeous edge-edge screen with an Infinity edge design, 13.4in 4K UHD touchscreen display that is perfect for video editors and photographers. This laptop with 512GB SSD has an impressive Intel Iris Xe Graphics dedicated graphics card.

Pros

Amazing 4K resolution touchscreen display

Lightweight, yet impressive performance

Simple aesthetics

Great battery life

Cons

Poor positioning of the webcam

SSD suffers slow write speed

#7: Samsung Chromebook 4 – Best Budget SSD Laptop

I am impressed with Chromebook’s plastic build quality which is somewhat surprising considering its affordable price. The plastic has a classic-looking metallic black color which gives it a premium feel. This laptop with SSD drive comes with an 11.6″ screen display with a battery life that can stay as long as 12.5 hours. However, just like most product in this price range, its keyboard does not permit flexing around. The laptop is excellent for anyone who needs a small-size laptop with average performance to take on trips or carry around. The device can easily be tuck under your arm and light enough not to make you sweaty.

I found the resolution of the Chromebook 3 pretty good with adequate brightness, warm tones, and authentic colors. You can see all the colors on the screen from a 45-degree angle and with a screen resolution of 1366 X 768 Pixel the display is not full HD.

Although you may not get that excellent gaming performance from this gadget, it still performs excellently for surfing the internet, word processing, streaming videos, etc. without lagging or taking forever to log. Nothing less should be expected from this gadget – thanks to its Intel Celeron N4020 (1.10 GHz up to 2.80 GHz 4 MB L2 Cache) processor.

Pros

Luminous, accurate display screen

Incredible battery life

Excellent performance

Fun webcam

Cheap price

Cons

Inappropriate as a graphics workstation.

Muddy speakers

Require the internet always to use its apps.

❗ Why Choose a Laptop with SSD Not HDD?

If you are not a computer geek, you may find the terms “SSD” and “HDD” mere letters and purchase any as long as the storage numbers in front work for you: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB. About half a decade ago, only thin and high-end laptops featured an SSD data storage, which was often expensive. SSD laptops are not only requested in colleges and schools, but different individuals from different walks of life also make use of these type of data storage for maximum productivity.

Now, what is the difference between an SSD and HDD? Here are multiple reasons to help understand why SSD is highly demanded today.

SSD’s stores and retrieve data about five times faster than any Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Programs load faster and enhance the user’s productivity.

Hard drives needs power from laptop’s battery to spin its moving parts while saving or retrieving files resulting in shorter battery life, while SSD’s helps extend battery life.

SSD takes about 10 – 12 seconds to boot up while HDD takes 20 – 30 seconds more.

SSD’s lack of moving parts, therefore, it makes no sounds.

Durability is another great benefit that comes with the use of SSDs, and any external physical trauma does not lead to data loss or device breakdown.

You might be asking the question, “what will happen to your SSD once the lifetime expires.” Worry not because even as the lifespan of the drive becomes shorter over time, the data on it does not disappear. It becomes a read-only drive. I recommend that you replace the SSD two or three months before the expiration date of the old Drive.

💻 How to Buy the Best Laptop?

Looking to purchase a laptop soon? Here are a few factors to consider before buying one:

Choose the right size: Choose the size of your laptop depending on how portable your need for the machine is to you. Sizes vary from 11 inches which are the lightest systems to 1 i8 inch which are famous as a gaming laptops, and I recommend that you pick this size if you don’t intend to move about with your machine often.

Pick a Platform: Chrome OS, Mac, and Windows

Pick your specs: Choose a laptop whose specifications meet your needs. Specs like the processor, memory size, display, storage drive, graphics, Battery life, and ports are important aspects to consider before purchasing a machine.

Price: Plan your budget before you source for a laptop. A budget will assist in choosing a computer that has a better display, high performance, and fast without denting your finances.

Chose a good brand: Laptops are as good as their manufacturer. Invest in a model that has quality, durable laptops so you can get value for money and effective customer support.

Best SSD Laptops – Final Verdict

Making the right choice on the best SSD laptop won’t be a consensus decision, and will vary from person to person. However, I have provided you with a comprehensive list of the best laptops available for purchase to ensure you don’t go wrong. Laptops making out top 6 list have been vetted based on their strength and weakness.

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