Kind of like the R8 in the sense that you buy an Audi and get a more Germanic Lamborghini.
It was beginning to get a bit worrisome that Audi was doing so well at keeping its lips sealed about RS-badged SUVs, and the question of whether or not the Four Rings had abandoned future RS Q models was beginning to become relevant. And then the floodgates opened. Just after hearing about the RSQ3 and its 400 horsepower powerplant, Auto Express has extracted more information about future RS Q models from Audi Sport boss Stephan Winkelmann, specifically one that may as well be an Audi-badged Lamborghini.
Noting the success of Mercedes-AMG and BMW M Division SUVs, Winkelmann emphasized Audi's intent to catch up in the segment. "Today we have a product line-up which we are working on which will be expanded in more prestige segments and body styles which are sellable around the world, SUVs." He didn't exactly mention which SUV variants would get the Audi Sport treatment, but he did say it'd be something higher than the range-topping Q7, leaving little doubt that a high horsepower variant of the Q8 is coming. "The Q7 is now in a phase of its lifecycle which, in my opinion, to be profitable is too late to step in," said Winkelmann. "But a lot of markets are demanding bigger cars."
Unlike the three row Q7, the Q8's main focus will be on luxury, with the Q8 Concept containing only four seats inside the large cabin, allowing for ample space in between each occupant. Audi is known for sharing platforms with the rest of its Volkswagen family, and the Q8 is expected to use a variation of the Q7's platform, which is already shared with the Bentley Bentayga and will likely be what underpins the upcoming Porsche Cayenne. More importantly, however, is that the Lamborghini Urus is likely to get a copy. As the ex head of Lamborghini, Winkelmann could be conspiring with his old employer to share the Urus engine with Audi so that his division can build the RSQ8.
That's likely what will happen since Winkelmann eliminated the possibility of an Audi Sport SUV with a diesel. "Diesel is not compatible with a world car; there are countries where you cannot sell the diesel," said Winkelmann. By sharing both an engine and a platform, the Four Rings' super SUV would effectively be an Audi version of a Lamborghini Urus, much like the R8 is just a rebodied and rebadged Huracan. Being a German luxury car, an RSQ8 would still have to be comfortable, but it's not like Audi hasn't thought of that. "The other key aspects for us are comfort, quality and safety. Here we don't compromise and even if we do SUVs they have to have all of this," added Winkelmann. All that's left to learn is when it'll be built.