Audi Sport has built the world’s fastest SUV in the Audi RS Q8. Faster in fact than its non-identical twin, the Lamborghini Urus.
With the official reveal of the all-new Audi RS Q8, Audi Sport will have completed the launch of a “quattro” of new high-performance luxury super-vehicles. Preceding this super-SUV was the sensual RS 7, the crazy RS Q3, and the insanely desirable and seductive RS 6 Avant. Here’s what you want to know about the flagship top Audi Sport RS model.
At a sneak-peak event last summer, members of the media were invited to take a closer look at these all-new Audi Sport vehicles. While I was completely entranced by the RS 6 Avant, the Audi reps were more interested in sharing and talking about the RS Q8. To them, the RS Q8 will elevate the “RS” brand to a level, at the very least, on par with AMG and “M”.
Those in the know know that Audi RS vehicles are nothing less than visceral, all about speed and performance and happen to be irresistible. Sadly, the competition is better known on a wider scale. Audi is, in part, responsible for this as only know are they bringing the majority of its RS vehicles to our side of the Pond. Although we’re unbelievably excited about the RS 6 Avant and have a huge soft spot for the RS 7 Sportback (and RS 5!), the bet is that the Audi RS Q8 super-SUV will become the RS poster-child.
Obviously, the RS Q8 starts off as an already highly impactful Q8 SUV. Physically, it gains a whole new front end with a high-gloss black honeycomb grille flanked by Audi’s LED matrix headlights. Both front and rear fascias are available with carbon or aluminium trim but the real sign that it’s an RS comes from the widened flares, 20mm up front and 10mm in the rear. Standard wheel size will be nothing less than that 21 inches while gargantuan 23s will be optional wrapped in custom-made Pirelli P Zero tires.
Powering the behemoth is the same 4.0-litre TFSI twin-turbocharged V8 coupled to a 48-volt mild hybrid system and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The V8 puts down 600 PS (592-horsepower) and a monstrous 800 Nm (590 lb.-ft.) of torque. The big 2,000 kg SUV is something else… It’s really in more way that one. Not only will it reach 100 km/h (62.1 mph) from not in only 3.8 seconds but it just set a serious record.
The Audi RS Q8 just set a one-lap of the famed Green Hell Nürburgring record time of 7min 42.253sec. Three things to take from this result. 1- This is no less than 7 seconds faster than the previous record holder, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S. 2- This time matches that of the Porsche Taycan Turbo. 3- The mildly more powerful Lamborghini Urus set an official time of 7min 47sec. I believe this is referred to as dominance.
Speed is clearly second nature to the RS Q8. Its top speed is set at 305 km/h or 189.5 mph. The course lap set an average speed around the ‘Ring at 162.238 km/h. But all this power does not come as a result of total irresponsibility. The RS Q8, as mentioned, features mild-hybrid technology which consists in a 48-volt electrical system, a belt-alternator-starter and a 12-kW battery. All said, fuel economy can improve by up to 0.8L/100km. It’s a detail, agreed, but an important one, right?
The list of technical and technological wizardry built into the Audi RS Q8 is immense. 4-wheel steering is included (provides 5 degrees opposite and 2 degrees same steering angle), a torque-vectoring Audi Sport rear differential, a standard air suspension with up to a total of 90mm of travel, and 8 drive modes accessible through Drive Select and the RS1 and RS2 mode buttons.
The Audi RS Q8 may very well be the best representation of Audi Sport’s philosophy which is: performance, prestige and exclusiveness with full everyday practicality.