Super SUV hits the 'Ring during performance testing.

The Audi RS Q8 has been spied at the famed Nurburgring circuit this week, ahead of an anticipated reveal in the next 12 months.

Spy photographers noted the loud exhaust note of this vehicle, along with the massive wheel and brake package indicating it's a performance model.

Other than the aforementioned aspects, the aggressive bodykit that's covered by the swirly black-and-white camouflage appears to have a very Audi RS-like design, as do the massive oval-shaped tailpipes out the back.

Behind the large alloys – which aren't the final design, mind you – there are six-piston front calipers and huge brake discs, again indicating this vehicle is an Audi Sport version of the Q8.

In terms of the powertrain, it's believed the RS Q8 will draw upon the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 as the related Lamborghini Urus. In its Italian cousin, that engine makes a beefy 478kW and 850Nm.

For the Audi version, we could see that figure detuned a little, perhaps to 450kW and 800Nm, though the company could go for the full-fat tune and allow for Lamborghini to create an even faster version of the Urus – the first 'SV' or 'Performante' SUV, anyone?

While previous rumours pointed to a plug-in hybrid system, the lack of any charging port on this prototype and previous ones leads us to believe a 48V mild-hybrid setup will be the only form of electrification offered, and that's if Audi electrifies its flagship performance SUV at all.

Given the standard Q8 was revealed in June, we may have to wait between 6-12 months for the SQ8 and RS Q8 to make their official debuts.

With that in mind, Audi could reveal the performance versions of its flagship crossover late this year, or very early next. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest, and head to the galleries section for more images.