Luke Wilkinson 2019-11-20 15:00
Audi Sport’s SUV offensive continues with the new Audi RS Q8, which will challenge the Range Rover Sport SVR at the £100,000 price point
Audi Sport, the division responsible for Audi’s hottest RS models, has expanded beyond its familiar range of sports cars, saloons and coupes with this – the RS Q8. Designed to rival the 567bhp Range Rover Sport SVR, it’s a full-sized, performance-focused SUV with a price-tag expected to start north of £100,000. UK sales will start in early 2020.
Like all of Audi’s RS models, the RS Q8 wears an aggressive body kit with larger front air intakes, a blacked-out radiator grille, deeper side skirts, flared wheel arches and a large rear diffuser which houses the firm’s trademark oval exhaust tips. Buyers also get a large tailgate spoiler and a pair of air outlets on the SUV’s rear quarter panels.
As standard, the RS Q8 comes with a set of 22-inch alloy wheels, although larger five-spoke 23-inch rims can be specced as an optional extra. The SUV’s body is available in a choice of nine paint finishes, while the car’s exterior trim can be specced in either aluminium or carbon fibre.
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Inside, the Q8 features a pair of heated, cooled and massaging sports seats, an “RS” branded Alcantara sports steering wheel, aluminium pedals and a range of RS-specific displays for the SUV’s digital gauge cluster and 10.1-inch infotainment system.
The Audi RS Q8 is powered by the same 48-volt mild-hybrid drivetrain as the recently launched Audi RS 7 Sportback, which comprises a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine and a belt-driven starter/alternator. The system produces a combined output of 592bhp and 800Nm of torque.
In an attempt to maximise fuel economy, the RS Q8’s MHEV powertrain is fitted with a cylinder deactivation on demand and energy recovery system. The former system deactivates one of the engine’s cylinder banks under low-load driving conditions. The latter reclaims kinetic energy which would otherwise be wasted under braking, at speeds between 34mph and 99mph. The electricity generated can then power the car at speeds up to 14mph.
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Like the standard Audi Q8, power is fed to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Audi claims the RS Q8 can cover 0–62mph in 3.8 seconds and hit an electronically limited top speed of 155mph – although buyers can have the limiter raised to 189mph with the Audi’s optional dynamic plus package.
The RS Q8 also comes with a host of chassis upgrades, such as adaptive dampers, optional carbon ceramic brakes and optional electromechanical active anti-roll bars. There’s also a rear wheel steering system, which turns up to five degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels at low speeds for greater agility, and up to 1.5 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels at high speeds for improved stability.
What do you make of the new Audi RS Q8? Let us know in the comments section below…
Associated Advanced Gallery New 2020 Audi RS Q8 arrives with 592bhp – pictures