- The performance flagship SUV will have a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 that will produce 650bhp.
- The RS-badged Q8 is expected to break cover soon given the final stages of testing is in place.
Audi revealed their new flagship SUV in the form of the Q8 last month. However, we all knew a more potent version of the Q8 was in works since the German carmaker showcased the Q8 Sport Concept way before the production car rolled out. So what you see here is the RS Q8 put through its paces at the Nurburgring ahead of its late-2018 debut.
Powering the behemoth will be the same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 from the Lamborghini Urus. A 650bhp output is on the cards, which could be further boosted if the carmaker decides to plonk the hybrid powertrain from Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. While the engine develops 542bhp of power and 770Nm of torque, the electric motor from the hybrid setup will deliver an additional 134bhp of power and 400Nm of torque, taking the total power output to 670bhp and 850Nm. The Quattro all-wheel drive and the S-tronic automatic gearbox will be standard.
The test mule gives out its performance intentions with its gaping air intakes up front, a pair of large oval exhausts, six-piston callipers and massive alloy wheels. We also expect a lowered ride height to lend a baller stance to the RS Q8. There are also roll cages seen inside the cabin, but that is only for testing purposes and will go away in the production car. The SUV-Coupe is wearing very little camo to hide the sporty bits and this indicates an imminent launch. Contrary to the Audi tradition, there won’t be any S Q8 variant between the fully-blown RS and standard Q8.
When it arrives, the RS Q8 will rival the likes of BMW X6M, Mercedes GLE 63 Coupe and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. It could also be an alternative to other VW Group SUVs like the Urus and Bentley Bentayga.