The efficiency coupe-SUV is a distinct segment market that is flourished lately, and the Audi RS Q8 is the newest member of the membership. Sitting atop Audi’s high-performance SUV vary, above the V8 diesel-powered SQ8, it competes with the BMW X6 and Mercedes-AMG GLE Coupe, in addition to the Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo and the Lamborghini Urus with which it shares components, most notably the engine.
The engine in query is a 592bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8. When the RS Q8 is in its most aggressive driving mode, the sound of the engine from the massive oval exhaust pipes is intoxicating. Zero to 62mph is dispatched in a Cayenne Coupe-matching 3.8 seconds, however what’s extra spectacular is the RS Q8’s dealing with and traction, which permit it to maintain up with notable sports activities vehicles on a twisting street or monitor.
Regardless of Audi’s makes an attempt to mood its thirst with mild-hybrid expertise, the RS Q8 will even require deep pockets to run. Returning simply 20mpg and emitting 314g/km of CO2, it is unlikely to look on many company-car shortlists. The tyres on the automobile’s enormous 23-inch wheels are additionally not going to be low-cost after they want changing.
Given the automobile prices round £100,000, you’d anticipate the RS Q8’s inside to be particular, and it’s trendy and filled with expertise. The distinction between the within of the RS Q8 and the entry-level Audi Q8 isn’t as vital as some folks would possibly like, although, even when there is a smattering of RS badges and sports activities seats. You will must improve to Carbon Black or Vorsprung specification for the total impact, as these function black Alcantara for the headlining, steering wheel and kit lever.
The Audi RS Q8 is dearer to run than hybrid and electrical alternate options
Until it is electrical, you are unlikely to anticipate a 592bhp, two-tonne SUV to be something apart from perilously costly to run, each day-to-day, and by way of upkeep. Nonetheless, Audi has thrown a great deal of efficiency-boosting expertise on the RS Q8, together with its newest 48V mild-hybrid system. This harvests power because the SUV slows down, storing it in a small battery and utilizing it to energy the automobile’s electrics. Not solely does this take a number of the burden away from the engine, it additionally permits engine-off coasting (for as much as 40 seconds) and improved cease/begin efficiency.
Even with all this gadgetry, the RS Q8’s massive 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine can solely handle 20.5mpg and emits 314g/km of CO2. Street tax prices £565 a 12 months for the primary 5 renewal years (£145 thereafter), and insurance coverage is prone to be within the prime group 50. Then there are objects like its 22- or 23-inch tyres and big ceramic brakes to think about – they’re unlikely to have an easy life. In fact, rivals just like the Lamborghini Urus are simply as pricey to run, however alternate options such because the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe (as much as 57.6mpg) and Tesla Mannequin X use different gasoline powertrains to convey prices down.
It is unbelievable how shortly the Audi RS Q8 can deal with a racing circuit
The Audi RS Q8 is as fast across the notorious Nürburgring race monitor in Germany as a comparatively latest mannequin of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS – a light-weight, thoroughbred sports activities automobile. It is lap time of seven:42 seconds (in damp situations) can be a file for an SUV, achieved partly due to the automobile’s spectacular quattro four-wheel-drive system.
It additionally helps that the 592bhp V8 in ‘RS2 mode’ is an animal, barking because the RS Q8 goes from 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds to match the time of the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe. It is electronically restricted to a prime velocity of 155mph although, whereas the Porsche can run onto an astonishing 183mph.
Like the newest Audi RS6 Avant, the RS Q8 has new RS mode buttons on its steering wheel, similarly to BMW’s M buttons. These can be utilized to decide on one of many automobile’s eight driving modes, with out having to delve into the automobile’s infotainment menus. In ‘Consolation’, the RS Q8 would not really feel too completely different to the common model; it’s largely refined on UK roads, even with its enormous 23-inch alloy wheels.
Swap into Dynamic mode and the RS Q8 turns into distinctly wilder. The air suspension lowers and the steering and throttle response swap into their most hardcore settings. The engine is far more responsive too, with each prod of the throttle leading to explosive bursts of acceleration and a growling exhaust notice.
Regardless of the massive energy on supply, the RS Q8 delivers all of its efficiency competently due to grippy quattro all-wheel-drive, with 0-62mph taking solely 3.8 seconds. It’s an astonishingly fast time for a close to three-tonne SUV.
To rein in all the automobile’s energy, Audi has fitted enormous 10-piston brakes to the RS Q8. Whereas the brakes do an incredible job of slowing the automobile down underneath onerous braking, the forces concerned do remind you of the automobile’s sheer measurement and weight.
The automobile stays steady and composed when pushed on twisting roads, shrugging off physique lean and provoking confidence with grip from the massive tyres. The in depth array of hi-tech help methods, nonetheless, does separate the motive force from the motion considerably; rivals, such because the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, supply extra agility and driver involvement.
If you need to take issues extra regular, the RS Q8 feels very regular to drive, hiding the extra excessive aspect of its character convincingly. At decrease speeds, even on 23-inch alloy wheels, the journey is refined and composed, though shudders brought on by larger potholes do make it via to the inside. The engine and gearbox are unobtrusive throughout regular driving, with the rear-wheel steering making the automobile simpler to manoeuvre across the tight confines of a metropolis than you’d anticipate.
A beautiful inside, nevertheless it’s out there for a far cheaper price within the common mannequin
Like most go-faster variations, the Audi RS Q8 retains a lot of the similar inside design of the usual mannequin however there are many welcome additions too. Most noticeable are the gorgeous Tremendous Sport seats, completed in Valcona leather-based. Carbon Black and Vorsprung specs get a black Alcantara headlining, whereas the latter additionally contains a head-up show and seats with air flow and massaging capabilities.
The RS Q8 will get Audi’s newest infotainment system, which is already in the usual Q8 and A8 Saloon. It offers the cabin a hi-tech and upmarket really feel, incorporating a ten.1-inch infotainment display and a decrease 8.6-inch panel that’s used to regulate the heating and air flow.
Audi’s Digital Cockpit digital instrument cluster panel additionally options, with a full-colour 12.3-inch show. This show might be configured by the motive force to indicate an array of knowledge, together with a 3D map show and customized RS-specific readouts.
Carbon Black and Vorsprung variations additionally get an ‘RS design bundle’, in both crimson or gray, including contrasting stitching, together with Alcantara trim for the centre console, gear selector and steering wheel.
Consumers will even discover RS logos on the steering wheel, illuminated door sills and exterior, to remind them the place their £100,000 has been spent.
There’s as a lot area as sizzling property vehicles supply
Regardless of being classed as a ‘coupe’ SUV, the RS Q8 remains to be an enormous car, and it’s extremely sensible in consequence. Headroom is satisfactory in each seat – though there isn’t any third row supplied like in an Audi Q7.
There are three seats within the again, and the bench may slide fore and aft to juggle passenger and baggage area. With the rear seat backrests folded down there’s 1,755 litres beneath the powered hatchback.
Numerous security equipment is on the market, however the RS Q8’s sheer complexity may hinder reliability
The RS Q8 is probably the most potent model of Audi’s flagship SUV, and as such it is bristling with security expertise. Nonetheless, it is also exceedingly complicated, which will not be the very best information for reliability. It is too early to know for positive, in fact, however myriad electrical methods and such excessive efficiency may trigger some gremlins.
Energetic security gear ought to assist make the RS Q8 very stress-free to drive once you simply need to cruise within the automobile. A myriad of sensors are positioned across the automobile to assist preserve you in your lane on the motorway and out of hazard ought to a automobile, bicycle or pedestrian come into your path.