Darcy Foster • Audi Sport has revealed its all-new RSQ8, sitting above the SQ8 as the most hardcore version of its flagship SUV.
Power is put to the road through Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic gearbox, able to direct up to 70 per cent of drive to the front wheels and 85 per cent to the rear wheels.
A 12kW mild-hybrid system, which runs off a belt alternator-starter, handles the RSQ8’s start/stop function for more immediate response off the line, while cylinder deactivation improves efficiency under low load in the upper gears.
This powertrain allows the RSQ8 to sprint to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds, to 200km/h in 13.7 seconds, and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h, though it's capable of 305km/h if the optional Dynamic Package is ticked on the options list.
Like the SQ8, the RSQ8 features an air suspension system able to adjust its ride height by up to 90 millimetres depending on drive mode.
The electromechanical active roll stabilisation present in other Volkswagen Group products like the Porsche Cayenne and Lamborghini Urus is available, capable of actively fighting roll with a set of electrically-powered anti-roll bars, while rear-wheel steering is also present on the RS Q8.
Able to turn the rear two wheels up to five degrees in the opposite direction for added manoeuvrability and 1.5 degrees in the same direction at speed.
Aesthetically, the RSQ8 continues Audi Sport’s design philosophy of taking fairly sedate vehicles and adding a heavy dose of aggression.
Externally, the hot Q8 features all the usual RS trimmings including a new front bumper, a racier rear diffuser, oval tailpipes, 22-inch wheels, and a roof-edge spoiler which Audi says produces real downforce at high speeds.
The sloping roofline and gloss black exterior accents further help accentuate the RSQ8’s muscular design.
Inside, the dashboard, virtual cockpit digital instruments, and MMI infotainment system are borrowed from the SQ8 – while RS specific displays and bolstered sports seats with RS embossing help differentiate the RSQ8 from its sibling.
The RSQ8’s boot space with the rear bench folded flat is rated at 1755 litres, the same as the SQ8.