Today Audi Sport has launched its top model of the RS and Q range; the Audi RS Q8. This high-performance SUV is shares various components with the Lamborghini Urus and lifts the Q8 to new heights in terms of performance as well as exclusivity. We had an opportunity to check out the new RS Q8 and talk to part of the development team for a first impression.
The new RS Q8 comes with Audi’s 4.0 liter V8 biturbo engine providing 600hp and 800Nm of torque. 0-100 km/h is done in 3.8 seconds and 0-200 km/h in 13.7 seconds. Top speed is limited at 250 km/h but can be raised to 305 km/h with the optional Dynamic Package. All the technology and standard equipment onboard adds to the weight which comes in at 2,315 kg. The RS Q8 is part of the same family as the recently introduced RS6 and RS7.
The 48V mild-hybrid system features a belt alternator-starter connected to the crankshaft which can recuperate up to 12 kW during deceleration and braking. Together with cylinder-on-demand technology it helps save fuel and reduce emissions. It is also equipped with a gasoline particle filter to comply with the latest emission regulations. Along with the EU regulations for noise pollution it makes the RS Q8 not as loud as we would like it to be but it is the way Brussel wants it. For a bit more sound you can opt for the performance exhaust which comes with black tailpipes but even this one is limited to 75 db. Inside the sound is enhanced so the 4.0 V8 still provides a full bodied V8 tune to the driver and passengers.
The RS Q8 comes with adaptive air suspension as standard. The ride height can vary up to 90mm and offers a particularly broad bandwidth between comfort and sport. The optional active roll-stabilization reduces body roll in the corners. Along with the quattro sport differential and ceramic brake system it is also part of the Dynamic package. With 8 different drive modes including the dedicated and configurable RS1 and RS2 modes it offers drivers a wide range of applications from off-road to track.
Design-wise the RS Q8 has a new more aggressive front and rear design with larger air intakes in the front and a dedicated RS spoiler and diffuser at the rear. It has a 10mm wider front and 5mm wider rear than the normal Q8. Personally I like the proportions and overall look of the RS Q8 a lot more than the Urus. You can chose between three exterior packages: standard is Manhattan grey with the RS typical matt aluminum parts and optionally you can pick high-gloss black or the carbon fibre package. The RS Q8 comes with 22” wheels as standard and 23” as optional extra.
Inside it features all infotainment displays and ergonomics from the normal Q8 with a plethora of RS badges and styling options. New is a dedicated RS button on the steering wheel and new optional RS sport seats that come with seat cooling and massage function for the first time. The standard equipment also includes 4-zone climate control and ambient lighting.
A range of standard and optional assistance systems are available for the RS Q8 these include adaptive cruise control, efficiency assist, intersection assist, lane change warning, curb warning and 360 degree cameras. RS specific is also a temperature display which displays the temperatures of key components of the car including tires, engine, gearbox and more.
The Audi RS Q8 will celebrate its world premiere at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show and will see first customer deliveries during the first quarter of 2020 in Europe. From Q2 onwards it will also be available in other markets around the world. Pricing will start at 127,000 euro in Germany which makes it a very interesting alternative to the Lamborghini Urus which costs double that.