Audi RS Q8 Review
The Audi RS Q8 sits at the top of the Q8 range. It’s powered by a monstrous V8 petrol engine and benefits from steering and suspension changes to help it corner more quickly.
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What's not so good
Audi RS Q8: what would you like to read next?
You can forget the RS6 and RS7 – if you want the most expensive car Audi’s RS division makes, you should check out the RS Q8. It’s the sort of car that gives you an idea of what it’s like to have your cake and eat it. Yes, it’s a massive, practical, comfortable SUV, but it’s also ridiculously fast and good fun to drive.
This all comes as no surprise given the way it looks. Everything about the new Audi RS Q8 screams ‘GET OUR OF MY WAY!’ That huge grille looks big enough to hoover up a few hatchbacks without a second thought and if you thought 22-inch wheels were big, check out the RS Q8’s optional 23-inch rims.
The oversized details don’t stop there. The RS Q8’s backside comes with plenty of contrasting black details and a set of gigantic oval exhaust pipes – an RS-model signature. These lead to the RS Q8’s party piece – its engine. It’s a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 that’s shared with the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga. In the Audi, it produces 600hp and a whopping 800Nm of torque.
It does have a sensible side, though. At a cruise, it can revert to four cylinders to save fuel and its 48V power supply helps do the same, regenerating energy when coasting on the motorway and under braking. Nevertheless, you’ll still be lucky to get more than 25mpg on a run.
But do you really care about fuel economy in a super-SUV such as this? Probably not. More exciting is the fact it’ll sprint from 0-60mph in less than 3.8 seconds, which is nearly half a second quicker than a svelte Porsche 992 Carrera sports car. Keep going and the RS Q8 nails 125mph in 13.7 seconds on the way to its limited top speed of 155mph. That said, send some cash Audi’s way for the optional dynamic package and that limit can be lifted to 190mph.
The RS Q8 will be an absolute brute in the bends, but if it's anything like the standard Q8, it should be calm and quiet when needed, too.
The RS Q8 gets comfy air suspension as standard but if you want to drive it as its maker intended, you’ll want to upgrade to the optional electromechanical active roll stabilisation system. On bumpy roads, it can decouple the Audi’s anti-roll bars to give you a butter-smooth ride. In bends though, the opposite happens, the roll bars stay linked and small electric motors counteract the cornering forces going through the car.
All-wheel steering means the huge Audi RS Q8 is much better at tight manoeuvres than you’d ever think. In town, it turns the back wheels in the opposite direction to the front to swing the rear end around tight corners. At higher speeds, though, it does the opposite, turning the back wheels in the same direction as the fronts – virtually shortening the wheelbase, making the lumbering Audi feel more like a slightly porky hot hatch.
Inside, the RS Q8 gets sports seats as standard and they can be upgraded to RS-seats that are finished in soft Valcona leather and also heated and cooled. The RS Design packs, meanwhile, finish the interior in red or grey contrast stitching, while the steering wheel and gear gaiter are covered in Alcantara.
Even the infotainment gets the RS treatment. Its graphics correctly illustrate the car and add unique gauges measuring things like tyre temps and G forces which… you’ll never, ever use.
We’ll have a full review on the Audi RS Q8 once we’ve driven it. For now, head to our news story for full details.
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