AUDI Australia is bolstering its iconic Q family with the arrival of the first ever RS Q8 performance SUV. The most powerful SUV in the Audi range combines crushing performance with expressive design, space and comfort for all-round functionality.
The Audi RS Q8 is the prestigious spearhead of the Audi RS model range, with phenomenal performance credentials. It’s powered by a monumental 4.0-litre twin turbo TFSI V8 engine, developing an immense 441kW of power and 800Nm of torque.
This relentless engine performance catapults the RS Q8 to sprint to 100 km/h from rest in just 3.8 seconds, to 200 km/h in just 13.7 seconds, before reaching a limited top speed of 250 km/h. The roar of the drivetrain is just as vocal as the engine itself.
Its aural 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 firing order is amplified through the standard RS sports exhaust, easily activated via the Audi drive select function on the RS-specific virtual cockpit display.
Visually, the dual exhaust system is sleek with an oval tailpipe on each side, complete with black trims that create a suave, yet athletic appearance.
Progressive efficiency technologies further enhance the incredible characteristics of the engine too, with its 48 volt mild-hybrid (MHEV) system. The start/stop system also draws on the 48V electrical system and functions at speeds up to 22 km/h, saving fuel.
Additionally, cylinder-on-demand (CoD) technology can shut down four cylinders under light throttle load, resuming within milliseconds when required. All of this is imperceptible to the driver and passengers.
To fully harness the strength of the engine, the RS Q8 is equipped with a quick shifting eight speed tiptronic transmission, directing power to the road via the legendary Audi quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
Under normal driving conditions, torque is distributed asymmetrically, 40:60, front to rear respectively. This provides the perfect platform for dynamic handling with optimal traction.
However, up to 85 per cent of torque can be directed to the rear wheels for especially sporty handling. The quattro sport differential can provide further adjustment, directing almost all of the rear axle’s torque to either wheel during particularly dynamic driving.
The RS Q8 also benefits from dynamic all-wheel steering as standard to ensure complete stability on the road, despite unpredictable driving situations.
The rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels at low speeds, reducing the turning circle by up to one metre, turning the same direction as the front wheels at speed, which provides dynamic handling with unshakable stability.
Also equipped is the RS-specific adaptive air suspension, which has a very broad depth of ability. The system can adjust ride height by up to 90mm and the balance between suppleness and firmness depending on the driving conditions.
All of these dynamic systems, the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) and the standard RS sports exhaust, are integrated through the Audi drive select, including two new RS 1 and RS 2 modes that can be quickly accessed via the steering wheel.
The new face of the Audi Q family exudes confidence with an imposing exterior design, offering all the physical qualities of a luxurious SUV, but embodying the genes of a high-performance sports car.
The wide single-frame grille combines a black gloss finish with the RS-specific honeycomb structure, edged by arresting air inlets that sit below the standard dark tinted HD Matrix LED headlights, creating sheer dominance on the road.
For the first time ever on an Audi production vehicle, 23-inch alloy wheels feature as standard, alongside a range of other features, including anti-theft wheel bolts with loose wheel detection, an electric tailgate, and power assisted door closure.
Privacy glass, a panoramic glass sunroof, convenience key, metallic paint and exterior mirrors which are electrically adjustable, heated, folding, automatically dimming with memory function and kerb side function on passenger side, also feature.
Inside, the cabin is upholstered in premium Valcona leather with honeycomb stitching, alongside RS sport front seats with ventilation, featuring full electric adjustability to further enhance the athletic ambience of the RS Q8.
Additional standard equipment highlights include 4-way lumbar support, heated front and rear seats, 4-zone climate control air conditioning, a multi-function 3-spoke ‘RS’ leather steering wheel and an electric sunblind for rear side windows.
The RS Q8 also features a manual sunblind for rear window, air quality package (includes 2 fragrances and air ionisation), extended aluminium look and illuminated door sill trims with aluminium inlay and RS logo.
Intuitive technology and the very latest in infotainment systems defines the RS Q8, creating a truly connected driving experience. The MMI touch response system offers countless controls and switches for a clean, minimalist layout.
It features a 10.1-inch (upper) and 8.6-inch (lower) touch screen, further improved with the Audi virtual cockpit and the Audi smartphone interface, which supports Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay.
Additional features include a Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System (17 speakers, 730 watts), wireless phone charging, Audi music interface with two rear USB outlets, and Audi Connect Plus for a range of infotainment, security and assistance services.
The full suite of available Audi driver assistance systems are fitted to the RS Q8 as standard, including adaptive cruise assist with stop/go and traffic jam assist, front and rear parking sensors, Audi pre-sense front and rear, and active lane assist.
Side assist with cross traffic assist, collision avoidance, turn assist and a 360-degree cameras with kerb view also features. Additionally, tyre pressure monitoring, an alarm and head-up display round out the safety technology.
The Audi RS Q8 offers several equipment option packages with further interior customisation available, including a sensory package, two exterior styling packages, the RS design package and the RS dynamic package plus.
A selection of eight exterior colours are available on the Audi RS Q8, as well as three interior trims. The 2020 Audi RS Q8 is priced from $208,000 (plus on-roads).