Audi has unveiled its RS Q8, the top model in the Q range, accelerating from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds. It combines the power of an RS model with the elegance of a premium coupé and the flexibility of an SUV.
The new model is powered by a 4.0-litre V8 engine, which delivers an impressive 600 PS and 800 Nm of torque between 2,200 and 4,500 rpm. Its 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 ignition sequence gives the 4.0 TFSI a sportily voluminous sound. As is typical for the RS models, the dual exhaust system features an impressive oval tailpipe on each side. The driver can influence the engine’s sound via the Audi drive select system.
The bi-turbo V8 in the new RS Q8 combines maximum performance and high efficiency. Its mild-hybrid system (MHEV) is based on a 48-volt main electrical system. If the driver takes their foot off the accelerator at a speed between 34.2 to 99.4 mph, the drive management selects one of two solutions depending on the driving situation and the current setting of the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. The new RS Q8 recuperates or coasts for up to 40 seconds with the engine off.
The power of the 4.0 TFSI flows to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via the standard eight-speed tiptronic, distributing the drive power in a 40:60 ratio to the front and rear axles. In the event of slip, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction.
The five-link construction suspension at the front and rear axles handle longitudinal and lateral forces separately. The standard RS-specific adaptive air suspension sport with controlled damping means the new RS Q8 is equally at home on the racetrack or an offroad trail.
The driver can precisely influence the character of the RS Q8 via the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. There are eight profiles from which to choose: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, allroad, offroad and the individually configurable RS-specific modes RS1 and RS2, which can be activated directly via the ‘RS-MODE’ button on the steering wheel. Audi drive select affects such things as engine and transmission management, steering boost, the air suspension, all-wheel steering, engine sound and the characteristic of the automatic air conditioning.
The new RS Q8 comes standard with 22-inch aluminium wheels in a 10-spoke star design with 295/40-series tyres – the largest ever factory-installed on an Audi production model.
With its imposing octagonal Singleframe, the RS-specific radiator grille in the standard accent colour Manhattan gray and the gloss black RS honeycomb grille, the new Audi RS Q8 sports a strikingly self-confident front-end. This combined with the solid side air inlets in high gloss black and the blade in matt aluminium perfectly highlights the athletic character of this large SUV coupe from Audi Sport.
The sloping roofline flows into the forward-canted D-pillars and rests against the quattro blisters above the wheel arches. RS-specific trim strips in the body colour widen the body by 10 millimetres up front and 5 millimetres in the rear, providing space for the more generous track. An RS roof edge spoiler provides a striking finish at the top; design highlights closer to the road are the RS-specific rear skirt with a diffuser clip in matt aluminium and the RS-typical oval tailpipes.
The black (Vorsprung trim) and carbon (Carbon Black trim) styling packages set precise accents at the radiator grille, blades, diffuser clip and rear light strip (Carbon only). These models also come with the Audi rings and RS logos at the front and rear in black.
The tinted RS HD Matrix LED headlights have a three-dimensional daytime running lights signature with a digital character, similar to the LED tail lights. A light strip backed by a high-gloss black surface joins the rear lights, further emphasising the wide stance. The RS Matrix LED headlights and the rear lights include dynamic turn signals and are showcased by an expressive RS-specific animation when the car is locked or unlocked.
The interior of the new RS Q8 features a deliberately clean design. Black Alcantara headlining is standard for the Carbon Black and Vorsprung trims. Central to the cockpit is the top MMI touch response display.
Special RS displays in the Audi virtual cockpit and MMI display provide information on such things as tyre pressure, torque, output, temperature, lap times and g-forces. The shift light display prompts the driver to upshift when the rev limit is reached. The head-up display, exclusively available on Vorsprung trim offers several RS-specific graphics.
The luxurious RS sport seats in Valcona leather with a honeycomb pattern and RS embossing are standard for the RS Q8. The RS sport seats are perforated to also provide ventilation, with a massage function as standard on the Vorsprung trim.
The new Audi RS Q8 has a comprehensive range of over 30 assist systems, such as lane departure warning, parking system plus, rear view camera and pre-sense front. The RS Q8 comes standard with the top-of-the-line infotainment system, MMI navigation plus. It includes the Audi connect data transfer module with the LTE Advanced standard and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The navigation system learns the driver’s preferences from the routes driven and can therefore make intelligent suggestions.