Say hello to Audi’s fastest and most powerful SUV ever.
From the RS6 Avant to the refreshed TT RS, Audi has unleashed an onslaught of new hardcore RS models this year. At the 2019 LA Auto Show, however, Audi Sport has just unleashed its new flagship RS. Presenting the all-new Audi RS Q8, the fastest and most powerful Audi SUV ever made and the first Audi RS SUV to arrive in America.
Powering this brutal beast is a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 with a mild hybrid system that produces 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, allowing the large luxury SUV to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds and achieve a top speed of 155.3 mph, or 189.5 mph when equipped with RS ceramic brakes (which matches the Lamborghini Urus).
This setup also recently enabled the Audi RS Q8 to become the fastest production SUV to ever lap the Nurburgring, with an impressive time of seven minutes and 42.2 seconds. These specifications apply to the European model, however. According to Audi, US power and performance specifications will be announced closer to the SUV's launch.
Power is sent to the Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system through an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission. Wheel-selective torque control improves the handling by ensuring additional traction is across each axle through individual-wheel braking application. During cornering, the Quattro sport rear differential distributes drive torque between the rear wheels as required, improving traction, stability, and dynamics.
Thanks to adaptive air suspension with controlled damping, the RS Q8 can be configured for track or off-road use, while RS-specific damper tuning offers drivers a choice between long-distance comfort and high performance. Body roll is also minimized during cornering at high-speed thanks to Audi's electromechanical active roll stabilization and all-wheel steering also comes as standard, allowing for greater agility at low speeds and improved stability at high speeds. With variable ground clearance, short overhangs and hill descent control, enhance the Audi RS Q8's off-road capability.
Seven driving modes are available: comfort, auto, dynamic, allroad, offroad and the individually configurable RS-specific modes RS1 and RS2, which affect the engine and transmission management, power steering, the air suspension, all-wheel steering, and engine sound.
Compared to the regular Audi Q8, the Audi RS Q8 looks more aggressive with its octagonal Singleframe grille and the RS-specific radiator grille, combined with gloss black front air inlets, wide wheel arches, and a roof spoiler that provides downforce on the rear axle to keep the savage SUV stable at high speed.
Inside, the RS Q8's interior is clean, spacious refined, featuring a slim instrument panel and strong horizontal lines convey a feeling of spaciousness. Special RS displays in the Audi virtual cockpit and MMI display provide information such as output, g-forces, lap times, temperature, torque and tire pressure, while a head-up display is also optional. A sliding three-seat rear bench is offered as standard. With the seat backrests folded down, the luggage compartment offers 60.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
The Audi RS Q8 is expected to arrive in the US in 2020, with pricing details to be announced at a later date.