Scorching-hot Audi RS Q8 offers sports car pace in an SUV
The first ever, full-size Audi SUV to bear the RS badge has debuted at the LA Auto Show. The Audi RS Q8 comes to us offering 592bhp, 800Nm of torque, 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.
Thanks to the twin-turbo V8 under the bonnet, these figures put it on a par with some of the most focused sports cars.
The biturbo V8 in the new RS Q8 draws on a mild-hybrid system (MHEV) that uses a 48-volt main electrical system as its basis. The core of the MHEV is a belt alternator-starter connected to the crankshaft. During deceleration and braking, it can recover up to 12 kW of power and store it in the compact lithium-ion battery.
If the driver lifts off the accelerator at speeds of between 34mph and 99mph, the Audi RS Q8 can either recuperate, travel with the engine at idle, or coast with the engine completely deactivated for up to 40 seconds. This helps reduce fuel consumption in everyday driving by as much as 0.8-litres per 62 miles.
Another efficiency module on board is the cylinder on demand (COD) system. At low to intermediate load and rpm in the upper gears, it deactivates cylinders 2, 3, 5 and 8 by switching off fuel injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. They are reactivated immediately when the driver presses the accelerator.
Furthermore, there are eight driver profiles from which to choose: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, allroad, offroad and the individually configurable RS1 and RS2. Audi drive select affects such things as engine and transmission management, steering boost, the air suspension, all-wheel steering, engine sound and the characteristic of the automatic air conditioning.
A more aggressive bodykit and a coupe-like roofline further emphasise the mean and mighty credentials of the Audi RS Q8. Larger front air intakes and a gloss-black honeycomb grille feature at the front, while flared wheel arches, a large rear diffuser and rear spoiler intimidate at the back. As standard, the RS Q8 comes with a set of 22in alloy wheels, although larger five-spoke 23in rims can be chosen as an optional extra.
Step inside and it’s pure luxury. The SQ8 features two large touchscreens with haptic and acoustic feedback as its main operating elements, as also seen on the flagship Audi A8. Voice control, WiFi hotspot and support for Amazon Alexa, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are all included as standard. Leather and Alcantara-trimmed sports seats, stainless steel pedals and a digital instrument cluster finish off the interior.
The new Audi RS Q8 also supports the driver in many situations, with a comprehensive range of over 30 assist systems including adaptive cruise assist, efficiency assist, intersection assist, lane change warning and 360 degree cameras all standard.
“For the first time in the 25-year history of Audi RS models, we are putting a large SUV coupe with the genes of a true high-performance sports car on the road,” said Oliver Hoffmann, managing director of Audi Sport GmbH. “With its biturbo V8 petrol engine, the Audi RS Q8 is the prestigious spearhead of the RS model family.”