Even if you’re not a fan of SUVs, it’s almost impossible not to like the Audi RS Q8. It’s essentially the epitome of what a sports utility vehicle should be since it ticks all the right boxes. It’s a tech-laden SUV that also happens to be massively powerful while offering generous practicality. Sure, it doesn’t have real off-road capabilities, but how many luxobarges ever leave the tarmac?
A new video released this week by Audi USA highlights some of the RS Q8’s strong points, including the twin-turbo V8 4.0-liter engine borrowed from the much more expensive Lamborghini Urus. To avoid stepping on the raging bull’s toes, the head honchos at the Volkswagen Group told Audi’s engineers to dial down the engine. It produces 641 hp and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm) in the Urus whereas the RS Q8 has to make do with “only” 591 hp and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm).
There’s more to the RS Q8 than its Lambo engine as it also looks significantly more aggressive than the Q8 and has a meaner soundtrack. Audi USA also points out the swanky front seats with the massaging and cooling functions and the honeycomb stitching. The striking Java Green paint also contributes to the SUV’s appeal, and so does the air suspension offered as standard.
Audi admits it was a difficult task to make a legitimate RS car out of such a large and heavy vehicle, but the company argues it succeeded. While BMW and Mercedes have given the full-fat M and AMG treatments to nearly all of their SUVs, only the Q3 and Q8 have received RS badges so far. While there are signs an RS Q5 is coming, possibly as early as next year, we wouldn’t get our hopes up too high regarding an RS Q7.
Performance SUVs are becoming more and more popular in the luxury segment, which is Audi also has a lineup of S models, varying from a not-for-America SQ2 to the SQ8. Some of these models have diesel engines in Europe whereas North America and other parts of the world get the vehicles such as the SQ5 and SQ7 with TFSI powertrains.