The Audi RS Q8 hasn’t exactly been a big secret. Camouflaged versions were spotted at Nurburgring a while ago, but aside from these glimpses, we haven’t known much about the new high-performance version of Audi’s mid-size SUV. Audi has released a preview of what we can expect, and it’s pretty exciting.
The excitement starts with what Audi is putting under the hood of their SUV “coupe.” The RS Q8 will feature a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with a Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system. The engine is the same engine found in the Audi RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback. The Europe-spec RS Q8 will pound out an impressive 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough power to propel the RS Q8 from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 3.8 seconds. If you opt for the dynamic package, the RS Q8 will top out at 190 miles per hour. The standard version is electronically governed to a top speed of 155 miles per hour.
The RS Q8 also comes with a 48-volt hybrid system that boosts efficiency when the car is decelerating. At speeds under 14 miles per hour, the same system uses a start-stop operation that turns the engine on and off to help save on fuel. The system relies on a front-facing camera that detects when the car in front of you starts moving and then automatically starts the car. If there’s not a car in front of you, then putting your foot on the gas pedal will also automatically start the car. When operating in “low to intermediate load,” the RS Q8 can shut down half of its cylinders, which drops fuel demand significantly. Finally, the car also comes with a coasting feature that can shut off the engine between speeds of 34 to 99 miles per hour.
The RS Q8 has an updated look as well, with oval tailpipes and a roof edge spoiler. There are also bigger air intakes and you can opt for a sport exhaust system if you desire. The RS Q8 comes in nine exterior colors, and you can pick up a carbon styling package as well.
Audi is finally letting the cat out of the bag when it comes to the RS Q8, and what we’re learning about the mid-size SUV has us drooling.