The Audi RS Q8 is the brand’s high-performance derivative of the regular Q8. It shares its engine, tech and platform with the Lamborghini Urus. It is supposedly the fastest product SUV to have lapped the Nurburgring.
The Audi RS Q8 is powered by a 4.0-litre, twin-turbo petrol engine, producing 591bhp and 800Nm of torque while the brakes, suspension and steering have been tweaked by Audi Cars to help it driver unlike a heavy SUV.
The Audi RS Q8 looks properly muscular and is perhaps the best-looking SUV-coupe you can buy today. It sports huge intakes, pumped-up wheel arches and RS signature oval exhausts, giving it a sporty look. The Audi RS Q8 gets 23-inch rims; however, you can opt for the 21 and 22-inch ones as well. If you opt for the Black Package, you get a smoked-out look, including the logos.
Sport combined with luxury
Inside the RS Q8, a lot is similar to the Audi Q8. The levels of quality are fantastic and it gets a twin-touchscreen infotainment system that gives the cabin a modern look. However, it does take a little getting used to. All the information you’ll need is available on the Virtual Cockpit digital dials, also featuring an RS mode. You can change a lot inside the car, right from the steering, the seats, to the colours and features, but all at an extra price. The driver’s seat is powered and there’s plenty of space to stretch your limbs and you get an adjustable backrest angle too.
The RS Q8 is quite easy to work with; you can simply trust this hardcore SUV the moment you get going, thanks to the Quattro all-wheel-drive. It’s a very fast SUV and it can sprint from 0-100kph in 3.8 seconds. With launch control on, it feels pretty intense. As you accelerate, the V8 engine rumbles while it is accompanied by pops and crackles from the exhaust. Performance is absolutely mind-boggling; so is the handling. It doesn’t only master straight lines but also proves its salt around corners, very unlike an SUV. It also features all-wheel-steering as standard and Quattro all-wheel drive that sends a major chunk of torque to the wheels at the back. However, with the active roll stabilisation and sport rear differential, it further adds to the wonderful experience.
We find a few corners and start tackling them with ease; it stays flat and the weight transfer is kept in check very effectively, while mechanical grip is unexpectedly great. Pushing this big SUV even harder only results in more traction; it doesn’t run wide and neither is there understeer. It refuses to lose confidence under hard braking as well. This is a portly SUV that thinks it’s a supercar and it feels docile when you least expect it to be. When driven at a relaxed pace, it feels very similar to the regular Q8; it feels composed. The mild-hybrid system can take over, giving the IC engine rest for up to 40 seconds at a steady pace. We still can’t work our minds around the fact that the same SUV is the fastest around the green hell. Surprisingly, the ride is comfortable and the sidewall of the tyres can withstand a certain level of impact while the air suspension help it further. However, you’d still have to be careful on our roads, and the moment you spot a stretch of uneven tarmac, just switch it to the Off-road mode and the ride height goes up by 3.5 inches.
Heart over head?
With the massive performance, you get a big price tag too, and this is something that has to be digested by a lot of buyers. But remember, the Lamborghini Urus is costlier. The RS Q8 has the makings of those full-blown, performance Audi Cars for the family. It’s heaps of fun to drive despite being an SUV and looks pretty unique, if you ask us. All it takes is getting behind the wheel of one; maybe then, you’ll understand it’s worth.