The RS Q8 is the most powerful SUV Audi has ever made, and the fastest production SUV around the Nurburgring
The Audi Q8 is big, brash and it stands out among a sea of SUVs with squared-off rear-ends. But it isn’t what you’d call blisteringly quick. What you would call blisteringly quick is the RS Q8, and it can call your garage a home now! The RS Q8 gets the same engine doing duty in the Lamborghini Urus, aggressive styling, a host of standard equipment, rear seats to scare your passengers and space to carry their luggage. Even at Rs 2.07 crore, it is just about the fastest thing you can take off the road.
The RS Q8 gets a familiar four-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 592bhp and 800Nm of torque, paired to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, sending power to all four wheels via the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. This enables a neck-snapping 0 to 100kmph time of just 3.8 seconds, and a top speed of 305kmph. The latter is unlocked if you spec the optional RS Dynamic package, otherwise it is limited to 250kmph.
The RS Q8 also gets all-wheel-steering, RS-specific dampers, an ‘RS Mode’ button to switch between customisable RS-1 and RS-2 modes, and optional carbon ceramic brakes and active roll stabilisation. All this helps achieve its record-setting Nurburgring time of 7 minutes and 42 seconds, making it the fastest production SUV to lap the ‘Ring.
The RS Q8 also gets a 48-volt mild-hybrid system which improves efficiency, and cylinder on-demand technology to switch off cylinders when not in use, to essentially make it a relatively more economical and efficient SUV when you need it to be.
As standard the RS Q8 gets a digital instrument cluster, an ‘Air Quality package’ with four-zone climate control, an RS Sport flat-bottom steering wheel, electric tailgate and LED headlights and taillights, among other features. The optional extras include matrix LED headlights, a sports exhaust, an RS-specific head-up display with shift lights, sports seats in Valcona leather (regular sports seats are standard) and a Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Mr. Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India, said, “The recently launched Audi RS 7 and the Audi RS Q8 that debuts today are at the cutting edge of Audi Sport. This shows our commitment to offering the very best to our customers in India. We will add more exciting new models from the Audi global range to India this year and look forward to enhancing the celebrations of our customers during the festive season”.
In terms of pricing and competitors, at Rs 2.07 crore, the RS Q8 is a touch more expensive than the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe, but it does make more power and torque than the Porsche. It is a whole lot more affordable than the Lamborghini Urus, which is more powerful and faster to 100kmph. But the most important trick up the Audi’s sleeve is that it isn’t as in-your-face as the Urus, or have a badge as special as the Cayenne. The RS Q8 will definitely get you noticed, but not too much. People will look back and stare, but you can definitely get away with parking it in a public garage without worrying about enthusiastic Instagrammers scratching your Giallo Auge paintwork. Although, depending on what you like, that may also be its downfall.
Of late, Audi has switched on their game in India, with the launch of the A8L, the new A6 and more recently the RS7. The RS Q8 might not become a common sight on our roads, but it is a cool halo car to have for the brand here in India, something for buyers of other Audi models to look up and relate to.