• Audi revealed the all-new Q8 just a few weeks ago.
• The high performance RS Q8 will pack a 4.0-litre V8 with 650+bhp
• It is expected to be revealed sometime next year.
Audi took the wraps off the all-new Q8 earlier this month as their flagship SUV. But we know a high performance variant of the Q8 was in the pipeline thanks to the Q8 Sport Concept from the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Now, for the first time a test mule of the performance flagship SUV was spotted hauling weights at the Austrian Alps with minimal camouflage.
The RS Q8 will be powered by the fully-blown 4.0-litre twin turbocharged V8 from the Lamborghini Urus. The power output of the V8 for the Four Rings is unknown yet, but under the hood of the Raging Bull it produces 650bhp and 800Nm. We expect similar power output from the Q8 as well, since the RS Q8 will be the most powerful car in the Audi’s line-up. The quattro all-wheel-drive system along with the eight-speed transmission will also be part of the package.
The test mule had camouflage, albeit scanty, over the front fascia and the rear to hide its aggressive RS styling. The imposing grille of the Q8 has been replaced by blacked out hexagonal inserts flanked by massive air-vents. The bumper lip adds to the the sporty design upfront. The wheel arches seem to be a tad wider than the standard car. The SUV was riding on larger sets of wheels with bigger brake callipers to keep all the firepower in check. At the rear, there were large oval exhaust tips with diffusers instead of skid plates.
There are no images from inside the cabin at the moment. But given the performance oriented nature of the Q8, we expect sports seats and steering wheel apart from other sporty elements like carbon fibre inserts and lots of RS badges.
The standard Q8 will hit the market in late 2018. So Audi might reveal the RS Q8 in 2019, probably at the Geneva stage. With rumours abound of the R8 not getting a new generation, the RS Q8 might become the flagship offering from the Ingolstadt-based carmaker.