Audi RS Q8 Review

Overall Rating:

Audi RS Q8 Estate

The Audi RS Q8 Estate blends endless practicality with scintillating performance to make itself one of the most versatile cars on the market.

Pros

  • Stylish interior.

  • Breathtaking performance.

Cons

  • Shocking running costs.

  • Sluggish gearbox.

Exterior

5/5

Driving Experience

4/5

Interior

4/5

Practicality

4/5

Running Costs

1/5

Our Rating:


Overall Verdict

The Audi RS Q8 is one of the most versatile cars on the planet. It manages to blend the practicality of a grand SUV with the performance of a top-of the-range supercar. 

Everything about the RS Q8 is colossal, from the monstrous V8 engine to its hefty price tag. From just over £100k, the new Audi RS Q8 is the most powerful and expensive SUV coupe from Audi Sport to date. 

A family-friendly performance SUV by day and roaring supercar by night, the talented all-rounder has gained plaudits for both its on and off-road capabilities.

On the track, the Audi RS Q8 has the fastest SUV time ever recorded. Period. The RS Q8 smashed the previous time at the Nurburgring Nordschleife race track with a 7 minute and 42.253 second lap time. 

The RS Q8 has its 4.0-litre, twin turbo, 592bhp V8 engine - which it shares with the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga - to thank for its record breaking feat. The revolutionary engine combines effortlessly with the quattro all-wheel drive powertrain, four-wheel drive steering and adaptive air suspension to help the RS Q8 take corners at record-breaking speeds and handle with unconditional composure.

Venture off the beaten track track and the Audi RS Q8 handles itself with confidence and vigour. Stick the car into ‘off-road’ driving mode and the lift function increases ground clearance by 90mm to allow the RS Q8 to flourish.

Glance around the RS Q8’s grand cabin and you’ll spot a few subtle upgrades from the standard Q8 including the heated front super sport seats upholstered in suave Valcona leather and the leather sport steering wheel with contrast stitching and RS badging.

The sophisticated infotainment system adds more sparkle to an already glossy cabin. Not 1, not 2, but 3 screens have found their way into the RS Q8. The central twin touchscreens are complemented by the fully digital RS-specific Virtual Cockpit display located behind the steering wheel. 

We’ve showered the RS Q8 in praise, but how does it stack up against competitive rivals such as the BMW X6 M Competition, Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe and Mercedes - AMG GLE 63 S Coupe? Check out our full Audi RS Q8 Review to find out! 


Available Trims

RS Q8

The entry-level RS Q8 is the ideal option if you’re not bogged down by the finer details. It’s got all the essential features and more importantly, the same V8 engine. The 22” ‘10-spoke star’ galvano silver alloy wheels coordinate with the standard all-wheel steering and active roll stabilisation to guarantee a comfortable ride at any speed. The RS HD Matrix LED can activate, deactivate, or dim individually according to your driving situation, while Audi’s Virtual Cockpit projects a digital display of all your driving stats as well as housing your sat-nav screen. All of these features can be appreciated by the comfort of your Super Sport seats in Valcona leather with honeycomb stitching design. 

RS Q8 Carbon Black  

As the name suggests, the Carbon Black trim offers an alluring blend of carbon and black characteristics. The larger 23” ‘5-Y-Spoke rotor’ glossy black alloy wheels give the RS Q8 a distinctive look, while the exterior carbon styling pack adds carbon touches to the front radiator grille frame, front and rear bumpers, door mirrors and the black Audi rings. Internally, the Carbon Black trim decorates the steering wheel, gear selector and headliner with Alcantara suede as well as providing extra USB charging points and a pair of electrical sun blinds for the rear windows. The upgraded RS Sport exhaust system also intensifies the RS Q8’s purring crackle.

RS Q8 Vorsprung 

 The range-topping Vorsprung is a cut above the rest if you can afford its hefty starting price of £117,000. In addition to the RS Q8 Carbon Black, the Vorsprung trim adds an upgraded 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen sounds system, a panoramic glass roof, heated front seats with massage function, as well as a refreshing range of safety features. You’ll receive a heads-up display, front and rear cross-traffic alert, a 360 degree bird’s eye camera and blind-spot monitoring. 


Exterior

Our Rating:

Everything about the RS Q8 is gargantuan. The chunky 22” alloy wheels are a dominant base which can be upgraded to 23” for an extra £2,1000 (standard on Carbon Black up) if you’re looking for optimal suspension.

The large black honeycomb front grille is styled in aluminium matte with the Audi rings and badges decorated in a contrasting chrome finish.

The bold rear reinforces the RS Q8’s athletic character. The RS-specific glossy black diffuser insert spans the length of the rear to accompany a pair of gigantic RS-typical oval exhaust pipes.

The RS Q8 is available in a range of nine different colours, but there’s something about the beastly SUV in Dragon Orange that sets it apart from the rest.


Driving Experience

Our Rating:

In terms of engines, the RS Q8 is a one trick pony, but rest assured this jacked-up pony will be winning every grand national for years to come.

Available in a 4.0L V8 TFSI quattro 592bhp petrol engine, the RS Q8 sends power to all four wheels via an 8-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox.

With 212bhp more than the Porsche 911 Carrera sports car, this super-SUV can zip from 0-62mph in an audacious 3.8 seconds. Keep your foot down and the RS Q8 maxes out to its limited top speed of 155mph. However, send some extra cash Audi’s way for the optional dynamic package and you can unshackle your Audi to reach a top speed of 190mph.

 The Audi RS Q8 also offers a softer side for when you’re cruising through city streets. At slower speeds, the sporty SUV can shut down half of its eight cylinders to save fuel if they’re not needed. Better yet, the RS Q8’s 48V mild hybrid system does the same, recouping some of the energy that would normally be lost when coasting and under braking.

The only slight concern we have with the RS Q8 (apart from its shocking running costs) is its laggy gearbox. There’s a significant gap from putting your foot down on the accelerator to the gearbox changing down. If you want to glide off in a hurry, you’re better off gently pressing the accelerator instead of slamming it down.


Driving Position

Steering wheel and seat adjustments are made easy by the RS Q8’s electrical capabilities, so getting comfortable is effortless.

Front and rear visibility is ideal thanks to the RS Q8’s brawny build. You’ll also receive front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera as standard to make life a little easier.


Handling

The standard quattro four-wheel drive with sports differential helps the Audi RS Q8 make the most of its dynamic performance. By distributing variable amounts of driving force to the front and rear wheels, the electronically regulated sport differential inspires record-breaking cornering, improved steering and more agile handling.

All-wheel steering ensures that size doesn’t get in the way of manoeuvring out of tight situations. The handy feature turns the back wheels in the opposite direction to the front to swing the rear end around tight corners. Let the RS Q8 loose at higher speeds and the versatile SUV does the opposite - turning the rear wheels in the same direction as the front to unleash its true race-car personality.

Upgrade to the optional active anti-roll bars and the RS Q8 will handle like an olympic figure skater on ice. Just bear in mind that the Turbo version of the Porsche Cayenne Coupe is more involving at similar speeds.


Suspension

The RS Q8 gets electronically controlled adaptive air suspension that regulates ride height and dampers automatically. It’s comfy and will do the job, but if you want to see the Audi in its true form, you’ll want to upgrade to the optional 48V electromechanical anti-roll stabilisation system.

The clever technology counteracts body roll in bends by stiffening up the anti-roll bar to make corners flatter. On bumpy roads, the anti-roll bars disconnect to provide a silky smooth ride.

There are an astounding eight driving modes for you to play around with including Comfort, Automatic, Dynamic, Allroad, Off-Road, and Efficiency on top of two RS settings that can be activated via a steering wheel button. Dynamic is where you’ll see the RS Q8 in its natural habitat - aggressive, scintillating and untouchable.

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