This Subdued-Looking Audi Q8 Could Come Packing 600 Horsepower

Spy Shots

Could Audi be building the best sleeper on the road?

Hot off the heels of the Lamborghini Urus’ first known public appearance, its cousin by Volkswagen blood, the Audi Q8, has just shown its face to our spy photographers with the same titanic grille we’ve been expecting to see since the Q8 Concept was unveiled at last month’s Detroit Auto Show. Like the Urus we spotted testing, the Q8’s level of utility will take a back seat to styling and on-road driving in efforts to appeal to luxury buyers that would otherwise opt for the BMW X6, Mercedes GLE Coupe, or upcoming Land Rover Velar.

As such, the Q8 is slated to seat a maximum of five occupants unlike the seven that can be packed inside of the Q7. The Q8’s extra space is done away with using a sloping rear roofline and dimensions that are wider but lower than the larger full-size SUV. Compared to the Q7, the Q8 we see here also looks a tad shorter, but you wouldn’t guess that it carries smaller dimensions by looking at its grille, which will go down in history as Audi’s largest single-frame grille ever. That should help it hold a candle to other SUV status symbols that will be introduced to or infiltrate the market in coming years. Like the Q7, expect the Q8 to feature Audi’s latest gadgets, including semi-autonomous driver aids and connectivity gizmos galore.

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It's also wise to expect the Q8 to be packed with enough safety tech to make your mom start calling less often to see if you’re still alive. We were already happy to hear that the Q8 would be sharing platforms and engines with the Q7, but the news that excites us the most are recent rumors claiming that an RS Q8 could arrive at the Geneva Auto Show with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 ripped from the upcoming Urus with upwards of 600 horsepower. Barring the grille, the Q8 we see here looks fairly subdued, although that may be the work of the camouflage. The point, though, is that if a 600 horsepower RS Q8 becomes available, it could be the ultimate factory sleeper car given how tame it appears.

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