VW’s MLBeveo Brillant origins and cut and paste mantra make for a hell of a recipe for fast Luxury SUV. Sharing DNA with Bentley, Lamborghini, and Porsche, Audi cousin may upset the order somewhat with the brands largest and most powerful heart transplant candidate – the 4.0 litre V8 Biturbocharged 48V boosted is aided by a Hybrid-Electric system, good for 441kW and 800 Nm. The excessive propulsion results in 3.8 seconds zero to 100 km/h, 13.7 to 200 and 250 km/h German handshake gate shot after that. Keys to the said gate are explored through the optional Dynamic Pack, allowing the 305Km/h Top Speed to match the Bentuga Speed and Urus. Power is delivered to all four wheels via 8-speed automatic box. A centrally mounted centre diff is fitted standard with the option for a Quattro sport diff with torque split capabilities to the tune of 70% to the front and 85% rear. The 48V system is shared with Audi stablemates offers the same regeneration of energy and the engine off-coast up to 160km/h and cylinder deactivation.
The facts are simply that the Q8 RS is monstrous, Ingolstadt’s RS divisions have now claimed fastest production SUV lap time on the Green hell, with an official time of 7 minutes and 42,2 seconds around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Oliver Hoffman, Audi Sport Boss had high praise for tasteful creation the bespoke news the RS Q8 offers, calling it a “high-performance car”.
The delicate process of infusing the look of the large SUV and drizzling’s of the heritage the Brand beholds the RS Q8. The Audi Sport treatment has brought to the fold the typical need for larger frontal air takes and black single-frame grille. The track remains unchanged but width growing 10 mm and 5 mm in the rear through sudo-wide-body effect. The rear hosts the most striking part of the Q8, the infusion of the sharp angular lines ‘The hockey stick’ black panel as a node to the Original Quattro as the official Audi Sport cherry pop. The LED Light integration that makes the standard model so grasping fused with large diffuser and the quad exhaust and bumper placed air ducting hinting the extra girth.
The fit and trim of the standard Q8 not forgotten with the treatment extension compromising the 23-inch optional alloy wheels, large composite disc brakes and optional carbon ceramics. Adaptive air suspension in combination with the live-link suspension front and rear with damping control standard. Ride height can rise 90nm during off-road conditions and all-wheel steer is standard.
Inside the SUV the Audi simplicity is the best approach of digital display overload and button-less user interfaces, Virtual cockpit closes off the package stupendously. Given the RS nomenclature Alcantara sports seats, RS-leather wheel with RS 1 and 2 storable dynamic settings buttons, optional RS based heads-up display with lap and shift indicators. The vast dimensions mean around 1 755 litres of total load space. 8 Drive-select modes are available with 2 RS-specific. The drive select system features eight modes, including two RS performance modes and an off-road option.
With rivals like the new Mercedes-Benz GLE 63S, X6M, and Porsche Cayenne coupe it needs to be all that it promises to be to take the fight to the extensive list of rivals given the bullet train brisk.
Launching in the latter half of 2020 in South Africa
Engine: 4.0-litre V8 Bi-turbo 48V-hybrid Belt-driven alternator system
Gearbox: 8-speed Torque Converter Auto
Fuel economy: 12.1L/100 km (claimed)
Power/Torque: 441 kW/800 Nm
Audi’s Q8 gets the much-deserved RS treatment