2021 Audi RS Q8

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2021 Audi RS Q8 Review: Power Move

Super SUVs are all the rage, with buyers proving that this is more than just a passing fad. Who can blame them? They offer incredible space, comfort, and performance in one complete package. While Mercedes may have been one of the first to create this kind of vehicle with the GLE63 S, Audi's first performance SUV in America is not without heritage. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 under the hood is shared with the likes of the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga. Here, it produces an impressive 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, all controlled via an eight-speed automatic transmission feeding all four wheels. Of course, the RS Q8's dramatic coupe-like style is another big part of its appeal. But is it as good as the Urus or the BMW X6 M?

Read in this review:

8.8
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2021 Audi RS Q8 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 RS Q8?

The Audi RS Q8 was only introduced to us last year and is still fresh enough to get away with another year on the market without any major changes, but the bright green paint available last year is missing from the palette.

Pros and Cons

  • It looks fantastic
  • Handling and performance are mind-blowing
  • Interior is a tech frenzy
  • Luxurious cabin matched by ride quality
  • Much cheaper than a Urus
  • It's very wide
  • Fuel economy isn't great
  • Screens control most functions, which will annoy some

Best Deals on 2021 Audi RS Q8

2021 Audi RS Q8 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
4.0 TFSI quattro
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$114,500
See All 2021 Audi RS Q8 Trims and Specs

2021 RS Q8 Exterior

2021 Audi RS Q8 Front View Audi
2021 Audi RS Q8 Rear View Audi
2021 Audi RS Q8 Frontal Aspect Audi
See All 2021 Audi RS Q8 Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 197.3 in
  • Wheelbase 117.9 in
  • Height 66.7 in
  • Max Width 78.7 in
  • Front Width 66.6 in
  • Rear Width 66.7 in
  • Curb Weight 5,490.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Daytona Gray Pearl Effect +$595
  • Florett Silver Metallic +$595
  • Glacier White Metallic +$595
  • Orca Black Metallic +$595
  • Navarra Blue Metallic +$595
  • Galaxy Blue Metallic +$595
  • Dragon Orange Metallic +$595
  • Matador Red Metallic +$595
  • Night Black

2021 RS Q8 Performance

2021 Audi RS Q8 Front View Driving Audi
2021 Audi RS Q8 Rear Perspective Driving Audi
2021 Audi RS Q8 Exhaust Audi

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

As standard, the RS Q8 features adaptive air suspension, and much like the throttle and transmission settings, you can adjust how the suspension reacts too. In cornering, everything tightens up to create a flat and level cornering experience that is otherworldly for such a behemoth. The rear differential works well to apportion power where it'll be utilized best, but the standard all-wheel-steering system has a hand to play too, improving your turning circle at low speeds and heightening stability at higher speeds. The RS Q8 is simply a testament to how far technology has come, proving that diminutive size and a low center of gravity are not the be-all and end-all of handling. Despite this, the RS Q8 is rather compliant, soaking up bumps and imperfections with ease. In racier modes, it'll naturally stiffen up, but not to the point that the drive is uncomfortable. When it's time to stop, the standard brakes do a great job of slowing the bulky SUV and are easy to modulate, while the optional carbon-ceramic setup is similarly amazing.

2021 RS Q8 Interior

2021 Audi RS Q8 Dashboard Audi
2021 Audi RS Q8 Steering Wheel Design Audi
2021 Audi RS Q8 Front Seats Audi
See All 2021 Audi RS Q8 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.6 in
  • Front Head Room 37.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 40.2 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.1 in

2021 RS Q8 Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Audi RS Q8 Rear Passenger Seats Audi
2021 Audi RS Q8 Seat Adjustments Audi
2021 Audi RS Q8 Cargo Room Audi

2021 RS Q8 Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2021 Audi RS Q8 A Good SUV?

The RS Q8 is not the same car as the Lamborghini Urus. Despite their numerous similarities, Audi's ultimate SUV is different in many ways. However, the biggest difference is that it doesn't have the emblem of an Italian supercar company on the hood. Should this concern you? Well, it's a lot cheaper than the Lambo, isn't too far down on power, and has the title of being the fastest SUV around the Nurburgring ever. But as a standalone vehicle that isn't compared to any other, it's just as impressive. It looks fantastic, goes like stink, and has a gorgeous cabin that elevates the luxury and style of the regular Q8 to an even higher plateau. It's got plenty of cargo space, has a clever suspension setup, handles wonderfully, and comes with a ton of features. It is also just really cool. While Lambos have a reputation for being slightly obnoxious, the Audi brand doesn't bear the same stigma, and this is the kind of SUV that won't draw too much attention where you don't want it to while still appearing right at home on the red carpet. Plus, it can do off-road stuff. If it weren't for the RS6, which is cooler simply because it's a wagon, this would be the ultimate one-car garage filler.

Check out other Audi Q8 Styles

2021 Audi RS Q8 Comparisons

Lamborghini Urus Lamborghini
BMW X6 M
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Audi RS Q8591 hp13/20 mpg$125,800
Lamborghini Urus 641 hp12/17 mpg$225,500
BMW X6 M 600 hp13/18 mpg$113,700

2021 Audi RS Q8 vs Lamborghini Urus

Lamborghini's Urus is an epic machine. It's nothing short of a raised supercar with more space and luxury. It looks almost alien and, thanks to a 641-horsepower 4.0-liter V8, it's a seriously rapid machine. However, although it produces a lot more than the RS Q8's 591 hp, it laps the Nurburgring five seconds slower. Apparently, this is because the Lambo is better suited to flat racetracks while the RS Q8 performs better on tracks with climbing elevation changes, and although the Nordschleife is no Laguna Seca, it's not exactly level either. The Audi wins in the cargo stakes too, offering around eight cubes more volume in the back, and although the prestige of the Lambo badge is difficult to look past, the Urus costs a whopping $207,326. Considering that the Audi is almost $100k cheaper, we'd certainly opt for the RS Q8.

See Lamborghini Urus Review

2021 Audi RS Q8 vs BMW X6 M

BMW's X6 M is marginally cheaper than the RS Q8, with a starting price of $108,600 compared to the Audi's $114,500. In addition, its considerably bigger 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that does duty in most of BMW's M cars these days produces 600 horses and 553 lb-ft of twist. That said, you can have a Competition variant that ups power to 617 hp, allowing the Bimmer to match the Audi's 3.7-second 0-60 mph time. Things swing back in the RS Q8's favor when you look at top speed figures though, as the X6 M tops out at 177 mph with the M Driver's Package. Still, not many people will ever fully exploit either car's performance capabilities, so let's look at practicality. The X6 M only offers 27.4 cubic feet of volume, 3.1 cubes less than the Audi. With seats folded flat, the Bimmer almost closes the gap, but the Audi offers better rear headroom, a more tech-focused cabin, and Nurburgring bragging rights. We'd have the Audi.

See BMW X6 M Review
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