Packaging of power and poise

The RS Q8 isn’t simply Audi’s quickest SUV, it is usually the quickest SUV to lap the Nürburgring, which is now the de facto efficiency yardstick. Clocking at 7 min and 42.253 secs, the RS Q8 was round Eight secs faster than the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S, the earlier file holder, on a moist day! Lucky for us Audi flew us all the way down to the island of Tenerife to get a style of its newest high-performance SUV.

Audi couldn’t have chosen a greater venue for the drive. Tenerife boasts of Spain’s highest level — Mount Teide — at an elevation of 3,718m, and the plan was to drive from the beachfront all the way in which as much as the bottom of the volcanic cone via a mixture of open highways and twisty mountain roads. It was the proper surroundings to focus on the automobile’s strengths: power and poise.

The trip

Speaking of power, the RS Q8 makes use of the identical 4.0-litre TFSI V8 that powers the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the Lamborghini Urus. Here, it places out 600hp and an enormous 800Nm of torque. That is a lot of bang; much more than the Porsche’s 550hp and 770Nm. It is, nevertheless, decrease than the Urus’ output of 650hp and 850Nm.

Fire up the RS Q8 and it growls to life. Decibel-wise, the rumble is quite low, and at gradual speeds in ‘Comfort’ mode, you’d be hard-pressed to inform this model packs some critical firepower. Move right into a sportier mode and the mighty V8 will make its presence identified clearly; there may be additionally an optionally available RS sport exhaust system that takes issues a notch greater. Highlighting the SUV’s breadth of skills are a plethora of drive modes that tweak efficiency, together with a devoted off-road mode that raises the automobile by 90mm, and two individually configurable ‘RS’ modes referred to as RS1 and RS2. While RS1 enables you to arrange the engine, gearbox and suspension, RS2 influences the Electronic Stability Program. The two modes allow you to retailer your favorite setup for a fast name to obligation through the steering wheel-mounted ‘RS’ hotkey; it’s principally the programmable asterisk button from different Audis.

Packaging of power and poise

The RS Q8’s four-wheel steering offers it good manoeuvrability in site visitors and tight parking spots. Given the SUV’s dimension, I anticipated to make frequent two-point turns, however I didn’t must. The 8-speed torque converter is clean and fast, however at occasions, it takes some time to downshift. Moreover, in Comfort mode, upshifts are fairly early, because it runs a really financial setting. There is even a mild-hybrid system with cylinder deactivation, and Audi says that between speeds of 55-160kph, if the motive force lifts off the throttle, the engine can deactivate for as much as 40 seconds, relying on sure circumstances. However, with this being an RS-spec Q8, I wasn’t thinking about driving economically. The wave of torque flowing from the V8 is immense and is accompanied by a pleasant baritone growl from the exhausts.

Packaging of power and poise


It is within the mountains the place the SUV’s dealing with actually shines. Road grip is great, and there may be negligible physique roll. The steering is effectively weighted and fast too. I’m quickly attacking nook after nook, and the RS Q8 desires to go sooner nonetheless. This chic dealing with and physique management is all the way down to the RS Q8’s {hardware}: the extensive entrance and rear monitor, optionally available lively torque vectoring on the rear axle, four-wheel steering, and the air suspension setup — taken from the SQ8 — function firmer spring and damper charges. Then, there may be the 48V lively anti-roll bar system that makes use of an electrical motor to twist the roll bars in the other way to counter physique roll.

Rounding off the dealing with bits are the large 22-inch rims and 295/40 tyres — the most important factory-installed items on an Audi. Audi says the big rims have been additionally a necessity because of the massive disc brakes used. The brakes work persistently, however given the SUV’s weight, the optionally available carbon-ceramic brakes heated up and started squealing throughout some quick, downhill driving. Backing off for some time brings issues again to regular although.

Tenerife’s well-surfaced roads make it exhausting to guage general trip high quality. There is a sign of a barely agency trip — comprehensible, given the firmer spring and damper charges — however we should wait and see the way it fares on our roads.


On the design entrance, Audi has added a lot of sporting touches inside and out to set the RS other than the usual Q8, together with a sportier physique equipment, honeycomb grille and massive oval exhausts. The cabin options quite a bit of Alcantara and carbon-fibre end, together with getting RS sport seats and RS-specific graphics within the digital cockpit and multimedia show. Even the optionally available head-up show will get RS-specific screens. As for tools, the RS Q8 comes loaded with all of the goodies you’d anticipate from a high-end Audi — a killer 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and hundreds of driver assists like collision avoidance help and intersection help.

While the Audi RS Q8 will stay a distinct segment mannequin, it might be among the many higher faring choices. Its low roof lends it a sporty sufficient look, and by avoiding the sharp coupé-like dip on the rear, there may be extra headroom, and thus it may enchantment to a wider viewers. Furthermore, in ascending to the altar of pace, Audi hasn’t made any sacrifices — the RS Q8 is cozy, sensible and well-kitted. You may drive it to your golf membership, take your loved ones out on a fast sprint throughout the nation, and even take it to the racetrack for some enjoyable.


The RS Q8 isn’t going to be low-cost as will probably be a full import and is more likely to value near ₹2 crore. However, it might sit effectively in opposition to the BMW X6 M and Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Coupe, and even the Cayenne Turbo Coupe. However, in opposition to the Lamborghini Urus, the RS Q8 could be a relative discount. No doubt the Urus is an especially succesful SUV with a fancier nameplate besides, however Audi has the title of the world’s quickest SUV.

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