The Audi RS Q8 may be the company’s fastest and most powerful SUV ever, but tuners are constantly finding ways to extract even more power to give these speedy high-riding luxobarges some extra muscle. After ABT got its hands on Ingolstadt’s super SUV at the beginning of the year, it’s now Manhart’s turn to unlock the full potential of Audi’s cheaper Lamborghini Urus alternative.
“Cheaper” is perhaps a relative term since the Audi RS Q8 still costs £103,790 or £61,160 less than the raging bull on stilts. The tuners at Manhart are asking an eye-watering €280,000 (approx. £244,000) for their heavily modified version and will only convert 10 units to the RQ 900 specification. In exchange, they’ll throw in a wide body kit and a vented carbon fibre bonnet, with more of the lightweight material on the front spoiler lip, side skirts, wheel arch extensions, and the rear diffuser.
Gallery: Audi RS Q8 by Manhart
A shiny new set of 23-inch alloy wheels with a double-spoke design is also part of the deal, as is the aftermarket exhaust system replacing Audi’s largest-ever oval tips with a menacing quad setup. Manhart also fiddles with the suspension by lowering the ride height by 30 millimetres (1.18 inches). Inside, the OEM upholstery can be replaced with the tuner’s own leather and Alcantara, while custom floor mats and gold accents rounding off the changes.
Needless to say, the biggest changes have occurred underneath the bonnet where the twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 no longer produces the 592 bhp (441 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-metres) of torque) available in the standard RS Q8. It has been taken to 887 bhp (661 kW) and a mountain-moving 797 lb-ft (1,080 Nm) via bigger turbos and other modifications to the engine. To cope with the added grunt, Manhart has upgraded the eight-speed automatic transmission responsible for sending all that power to the Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
While the tuner doesn’t say anything about the performance of its RQ 900 build, we’ll remind you the stock Audi RS Q8 jumps to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds and completes the 0-124 mph (0-200 km/h) run in 13.7 seconds before maxing out at an electronically capped 189.5 mph (305 km/h). The healthy power bump should allow the flagship SUV to reach those speeds considerably quicker, provided your bank accounts can handle it.