In the world of Audi, that coveted RS badge lets you know that you are looking at the pinnacle of performance. The iconic RS (RennSport) cars offer breakneck performance, and horsepower numbers north of 400. Those crazy Germans take already incredible performing cars and dial the fun factor up to the maximum.. and then some.
Today, Audi unveiled its latest RS model at the LA Auto Show, and imagine our surprise when we saw that it was an SUV. But the all-new 2020 Audi RS Q8 lives up to the RS badging, with an impressive 600 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 mph in under 3.8 seconds and 0-124 in 13.7 seconds, with a top speed of 190 mph (with the optional Dynamic package).
Impressive numbers for a 5,291-lb SUV, don’t you think. But it doesn’t stop there. The Audi RS Q8 recently became the fastest production SUV to lap the renowned Nürburgring racetrack, with an official time of 7 minutes and 42.2 seconds. The dominating performance of an RS, functionality of an SUV, and dynamic design of an Audi coupe. What more could you ask for?
The 4.0-liter biturbo V8’s power flow to the Quattro all-wheel drive system via the eight-speed Tiptronic transmission. Wheel-selective torque control can help enhance handling by ensuring additional traction across each axle through individual-wheel braking application. During dynamic cornering, the quattro sport rear differential distributes drive torque between the rear wheels as needed. This active torque vectoring helps improve traction, stability and dynamics.
Adaptive air suspension with controlled damping means the RS Q8 is equally at home on or off the paved road. Its RS-specific damper tuning offers drivers a choice between long-distance comfort and high performance. The electromechanical active roll stabilization minimizes body roll while cornering at speed. The all-wheel steering allows for greater agility at low speeds and improved stability at high speeds. With variable ground clearance, short overhangs and hill descent control, the new Audi RS Q8 can carry on confidently when paved roads end.
Drivers can customize their driving experience through the standard Audi drive select system with seven different profiles: comfort, auto, dynamic, allroad, offroad and the individually configurable RS-specific modes RS1 and RS2, which can be activated directly via the RS-MODE button on the steering wheel. Audi drive select settings influence the engine and transmission management, power steering, the air suspension, all-wheel steering and engine sound.
With the octagonal Singleframe and the RS-specific radiator grille, the Audi RS Q8 has an even more menacing appearance. This combined with the front air inlets in gloss black & the blade in matte aluminum perfectly highlights the athletic character of the large SUV. The dynamic roofline ends in gently inclined D-pillars, supported by the wide, pronounced wheel arches that pay homage to the vehicle’s Quattro DNA, creating an unmistakable Audi silhouette. An RS roof-edge spoiler provides a striking finish at the top and provides downforce on the rear axle for improved balance at high speeds.
The interior of the new RS Q8 features a clean and refined design. The slim instrument panel and strong horizontal lines convey a feeling of spaciousness. The central element in the cockpit is the MMI touch response system. With its black-panel look, it almost dissolves into a large, black surface when switched off.
Special RS displays in the Audi virtual cockpit and MMI display provide information such as output, g-forces, lap times, temperature, torque and tire pressure. The shift light display prompts the driver to upshift when the rev limit is reached. The optional head-up display also offers several RS-specific graphics.
The first RS-SUV from Audi in America, the Audi RS Q8 is expected to arrive in the US in the first half of 2020, with pricing and order availability to be announced at a later date.