Audi Sport is not wasting any time as only months after introducing the SQ8, they’re now coming out with the big guns by unveiling the RS Q8. Already crowned the fastest SUV at the Nürburgring with a 7:42.253 lap time, the fully fledged RS version of the company’s flagship SUV is the fastest and most powerful model of the “Q” range and the third RS SUV to be unveiled this year after the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback.
Much like the recently introduced RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback, the RS Q8 uses a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine with a mild-hybrid system to develop 592 bhp and 590 pound-feet of torque. The eight-cylinder muscle enables the large SUV to hit 62 mph from a standstill in only 3.8 seconds, which makes it only two-tenths of a second slower than the mighty Lamborghini Urus. The 0-124 mph sprint takes 13.7 seconds or 0.9s more than the Urus, while electronically governed top speed is the same for both – 189.5 mph.
Gallery: Audi RS Q8 (2020)
The Q8 with its coupe-ish swoopy roofline is already one of the more attractive SUVs you can buy, but the RS version kicks things up a notch with its giant air intakes up front and the pair of oval exhaust tips reserved to the RS models. It rides on 22-inch wheels wrapped in the largest tyres ever fitted as standard on a production Audi, measuring 295/40. However, the rims you’re seeing are even larger, a 23-inch set available in different colours exclusively for the RS Q8.
Behind the large alloys are optional ceramic brakes for superior stopping power with massive 440-mm discs up front and 370 mm at the back. Equipped with all-wheel steering, the RS version is 10 mm wider at the front and 5 mm at the rear compared to the standard Q8 and has a sportier roof-mounted spoiler providing more downforce on the rear axle for increased stability at high speeds. High-gloss black exterior details further separate the RS model from the regular Q8.
Stepping inside, Audi has installed a pair of sport seats covered in black leather and Alcantara adorned by the embossed RS logo. The ones you’re seeing in the official images are the optional RS sport seats covered in Valcona leather and with a honeycomb pattern sending out a sportier vibe. RS-specific displays in the digital instrument cluster come as standard, and even the optional head-up display has some graphics reserved to the RS Q8.
Audi will have the RS Q8 on sale in European countries from the first quarter of 2020, with pricing in domestic market Germany to kick off at €127,000. UK order books will open during Q1 2020. Pricing to be announced closer to market launch.