At the 2019 LA Auto Show, Audi has showcased the top model in the Q product line and yes, it's the RS Q8. Set to arrive in the European markets by the first quarter of 2020, the RS Q8 will certainly leave hearts thumping. It's for the first time in the company's 25-year history that an SUV coupe gets a hit of adrenaline to make it a high-performance sports car. It's high performance because under the hood the RS Q8 comes with a 4-litre V8 which punches out 600 bhp and 800 Nm of torque. The turbocharged gasoline engine with direct injection accelerates the large SUV coupe from 0 to 100 kmph in just 3.8 seconds and to 200 kmph in 13.7 seconds. The 250 kmph top speed is electronically governed but with the optional dynamic package, top speed is rated at 305 kmph.
As is typical for the RS models, the dual exhaust system features an oval tailpipe on each side. The driver can influence the engine's sound via the Audi drive select system. The optional RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trims offers an even sportier sound. The biturbo V8 gets a mild hybrid system (MHEV) and it is based on a 48-volt main electrical system. The core of the MHEV is a belt alternator-starter connected to the crankshaft. During deceleration and braking, it can recover up to 12 kW of power and store it in the compact lithium-ion battery. If the driver takes their foot off the accelerator at a speed between 55 and 160 kmph the drive management selects one of two solutions depending on the driving situation and the current setting of the Audi drive select dynamic handling system.
The new RS Q8 recuperates or coasts for up to 40 seconds with the engine off. The belt alternator starter starts the engine within fractions of a second when the accelerator is actuated. MHEV technology allows for start/stop operation at a speed of up to 22 kmph. The mild-hybrid system is connected to the camera sensors for even greater efficiency. When stopped, the engine starts up while the brake pedal is still depressed as soon as the front camera detects that the vehicle in front of the new RS Q8 begins to move.
The power of the 4.0 TFSI flows to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via the standard eight-speed tiptronic. Configured as a planetary gear, the purely mechanical center differential typically distributes the drive power in a 40:60 ratio to the front and rear axles. In the event of slip, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70 percent can be directed to the front wheels and up to 85 percent to the rear wheels. Wheel-selective torque control perfects the safe and agile handling of the new RS Q8. During dynamic cornering, the optional quattro sport differential distributes drive torque between the rear wheels as required. This active torque vectoring improves traction, stability and dynamics.
The standard all-wheel steering moves the rear wheels via a high-torque electric spindle drive and two track rods. At low speeds, the rear wheels turn up to 5 degrees opposite the direction of the front wheels for greater agility. At high speeds, they turn up to 1.5 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels to improve stability during fast lane changes. With variable ground clearance, short overhangs, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and hill descent control, the new Audi RS Q8 can carry on calmly and confidently when paved roads end.
The RS Q8 comes with the imposing octagonal singleframe, the RS-specific radiator grille in high gloss black and the gloss black RS honeycomb grille, gives the SUV a unique look. This combined with the solid side air inlets and the blade in high gloss black perfectly highlights the athletic character of the large SUV coupe.
The sloping roofline flows into the forward-canted D-pillars and rests against the quattro blisters above the wheel arches. The new Audi RS Q8 is available in a choice of nine colors: one solid paint finish and eight metallic or pearl effect shades.
The interior of the new RS Q8 features a deliberately clean design. All elements beneath the black cloth headlining have a logical connection and harmonize with one another. The headlining is optionally available in lunar silver cloth, Alcantara lunar silver or Alcantara black. The slim instrument panel and the strongly horizontal lines convey a feeling of spaciousness. The central element in the cockpit is the top MMI touch response display.
Special RS displays in the Audi virtual cockpit and MMI display provide information on such things as tire pressure, torque, output, temperature, lap times and g-forces. 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 sport seats in black pearl Nappa leather/Alcantara with RS embossing fit perfectly into the athletic ambiance of the large SUV coupe. An even more luxurious option are the RS sport seats in Valcona leather with a honeycomb pattern and RS embossing. In addition to a massage function, the RS sport seats are perforated to also provide ventilation. They come standard in black, with options for cognac and granite gray. The two RS design packages include red or gray contrasting stitching on the knee pads, steering wheel rim, floor mats, selector lever and the edges of the seat belts. With both packages, the center console, selector lever and steering wheel are covered in Alcantara.
The new Audi RS Q8 comes with various driver assist features like adaptive cruise assist, efficiency assist, intersection assist, lane change warning and 360 degree cameras among others.