Well, Audi’s done it. It’s taken down the Nurburgring SUV lap record and replaced it with its own. The upcoming Audi RS Q8 is now the fastest SUV to ever lap the ‘Ring with a time of 7:42.253. Not only that but it’s a whopping 12 seconds faster than the previous record holder, the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S. Considering the RS Q8 is both bigger and heavier, that’s seriously impressive.
While it hasn’t been revealed yet, Autocar does have the scoop on this story and some specs of the car. Powering the big Audi RS Q8 will be a familiar 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 from the RS6 Avant. That means it will make 592 bhp (600 US hp) and 590 lb-ft of torque. It’s also said to get from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and have an impressive 190 mph top speed.
Apparently, most of the reason for the impressive lap time of the Audi RS Q8 is its tires. Audi worked with Pirelli for the bespoke tires for the RS Q8 and both brands went to great lengths to make sure it had the right tire setup.
“We wanted the RS Q8 to be able to deliver on the track, but also be usable every day,” said Victor Underberg, Audi Sport’s head of development. “We needed a tyre that’s quiet, comfortable and can cope with all sorts of weather but has the performance to deliver a strong lap time. With this tyre, we have achieved our targets.”
The tire in question is a Pirelli P Zero that measures in at a whopping 295/35/ZR23. So the largest wheels you’ll be able to get on the Audi RS Q8 are 23-inch.
What’s even more impressive about the lap time, the Audi RS Q8 and the tires, is the fact that the track was actually a bit damp in the record-breaking run. If the track had been perfectly dry, there’s a chance it could have shaved a few more seconds off the final time.
Autocar got a bit of a ride along in the RS Q8 on the ‘Ring with Audi Sport hot-shoe Frank Stippler and had some interesting things to say about it. One of which is that the Audi RS Q8 isn’t prone to understeer much, like most powerful SUVs are. Instead, it’s actually more prone to oversteer.
It seems like the RS Q8 is an awesome performance SUV, one that’s really fast and surprisingly exciting. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait too long to see it officially. It’s said that the RS Q8 will officially debut at the end of the month, so it’s likely to show up at the LA Auto Show. If that’s the case, we’ll have some live photos and video to bring you of the new Nurburgring record holder.8