At the debut of the Audi RS Q8 at the 2019 LA Auto Show, I had the chance to speak with an Audi exec about the brutish SUV. He made it a point to mention the RS Q8’s lap record for SUVs at the Nurburgring. He also said that power and straight-line performance are great but, if you wanna lap the ‘Ring fast, it needs to handle well, too. That’s true but there’s one more important question: is it actually fun to drive?
Being capable and being fun can be two very different things. So Autocar had the chance to drive the Audi RS Q8 to see what it’s actually like on the road. So what’ it actually like?
Well, it’s really, really fast. Thanks to its 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, it’s shockingly fast. But we already knew that.
What we didn’t know was just how comfortable and luxurious it is. Typically, when cars are sent to the Nurburgring to break lap records, their suspensions are too stiff for public use. But not the Audi RS Q8. It’s supple and comfortable when you want it to be.
Thank clever electronics and technology for that. The RS Q8 comes with adaptive air suspension as-standard and there’s an optional active anti-roll bar system, which is borrowed from the Lamborghini Urus. So it has the ability to be both a comfortable cruiser and psychotic performance car. Which is honestly not what we expect but a pleasant surprise.
It seems as if the Audi RS Q8 might be one of the very best performance SUVs on the market, if not the very best, besting even its Lamborghini sibling. Would we still prefer the Audi RS6 Avant? Of course but, as far as SUVs go, the RS Q8 doesn’t seem half bad.