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The 592bhp Audi RSQ8 is Germany’s biggest, fastest-ever grille

Added: 20 November 2019

 The engine

The new model is powered by a 4.0-litre V8 engine, which delivers an impressive 600 PS and 800 Nm of torque between 2,200 and 4,500 rpm. The turbocharged petrol engine with direct injection accelerates the new RS Q8 from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds and to 124.3 mph in 13.7 seconds. It has an electronically limited top speed of 155.3 mph.

Its 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 ignition sequence gives the 4.0 TFSI a sportily voluminous sound. As is typical for the RS models, the dual exhaust system features an impressive oval tailpipe on each side. The driver can influence the engine’s sound via the Audi drive select system. Standard on Carbon Black and Vorsprung trims, the RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trims offers an even sportier sound.

 MHEV technology

The bi-turbo V8 in the new RS Q8 combines maximum performance and high efficiency. Its mild-hybrid system (MHEV) is based on a 48-volt main electrical system. If the driver takes their foot off the accelerator at a speed between 34.2 to 99.4 mph, 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 13.7 mph.

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 interplay of the MHEV components improves ride comfort and also has the potential to reduce fuel consumption in everyday driving by as much as 0.8 liters per 100 kilometers.

Another efficiency module on board is the cylinder on demand (COD) system. At low to intermediate load and rpm in the upper gears, it deactivates cylinders 2, 3, 5 and 8 by switching off fuel injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. The switching process takes just milliseconds, and is virtually imperceptible in the car.

 Quattro power

The power of the 4.0 TFSI flows to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via the standard eight-speed tiptronic, distributing 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. 

The suspension

The five-link construction at the front and rear axles handle longitudinal and lateral forces separately.

The standard RS-specific adaptive air suspension sport with controlled damping means the new RS Q8 is equally at home on the racetrack or an offroad trail. Its RS-specific damper tuning allows for a particularly broad spread between a setup biased toward comfort and an extremely sporty setup. Depending on driving situation and the driver’s wishes, the body’s ride height varies by up to 90 millimeters.

The standard electromechanical active roll stabilization (EAWS) minimizes body roll during fast cornering. There is a compact electric motor between the two halves of the stabilizer on each of the two axles. When driving straight ahead, the two halves of the stabilizer are decoupled, which reduces body movement on uneven roads and also increases ride comfort. During cornering, however, the focus is on optimum roll compensation.

The halves of the stabilizer are twisted in opposite directions, which significantly reduces vehicle lean while cornering. The electromechanical active roll stabilization is integrated in the 48-volt main electrical system and serves as a recuperating system. It can even recover power via the electric motors and thereby feed electrical energy back to the battery.

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 in the opposite 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.

 Audi drive select

The driver can precisely influence the character of the RS Q8 via the Audi drive select dynamic handling system.

There are eight profiles from which to choose: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, allroad, offroad and the individually configurable RS-specific modes RS1 and RS2, which can be activated directly via the ‘RS-MODE’ button on the steering wheel. Audi drive select affects such things as engine and transmission management, steering boost, the air suspension, all-wheel steering, engine sound and the characteristic of the automatic air conditioning.

The new RS Q8 comes standard with 22-inch aluminum wheels in a 10-spoke star design with 295/40-series tires – the largest ever factory-installed on an Audi production model.

Optional 23-inch cast aluminum wheels in a 5 Y-spoke rotor design are available exclusively for the RS Q8, with 23-inch 5-Y spoke wheels in Gloss black standard on the Carbon Black trim and 23-inch 5-Y spoke wheels in anthracite black with diamond turned finish standard on the Vorsprung trim.

Behind the large wheels is an RS brake system with internally vented composite disks (420 millimeters up front, 370 millimeters at the rear). Their 10-inch piston calipers are painted black as standard, but are available in red as an option.

 The exterior

With its imposing octagonal Singleframe, the RS-specific radiator grille in the standard accent color Manhattan gray and the gloss black RS honeycomb grille, the new Audi RS Q8 sports a strikingly self-confident front-end. This combined with the solid side air inlets in high gloss black and the blade in matt aluminum perfectly highlights the athletic character of the large SUV coupe from Audi Sport.

The sloping roofline flows into the forward-canted D-pillars and rests against the quattro blisters above the wheel arches. RS-specific trim strips in the body color widen the body by 10 millimeters up front and 5 millimeters in the rear, providing space for the more generous track.

The RS sills come standard in Manhattan gray, which makes the body appear even more athletic. An RS roof edge spoiler provides a striking finish at the top; design highlights closer to the road are the RS-specific rear skirt with a diffuser clip in matt aluminum and the RS-typical oval tailpipes. The RS roof edge spoiler provides downforce on the rear axle for even balance at high speeds.

The new Audi RS Q8 is available in a choice of nine colours: one solid paint finish and eight metallic or pearl effect shades. The Audi exclusive program offers numerous additional exterior colour options. The exterior mirror housings come standard in aluminum, with, carbon or black standard on Carbon Black and Vorsprung trims respectively .

The black (Vorsprung trim) and carbon (Carbon Black trim) styling packages set precise accents at the radiator grille, blades, diffuser clip and rear light strip (carbon only). In combination with the styling packages, the Audi rings and RS logos at the front and rear are black on Carbon Black and Vorsprung trims.

The tinted RS HD Matrix LED headlights have a three-dimensional daytime running lights signature with a digital character, similar to the LED tail lights. A light strip backed by a high-gloss black surface joins the rear lights, further emphasizing the wide stance. The RS Matrix LED headlights and the rear lights include dynamic turn signals and are showcased by an expressive RS-specific animation when the car is locked or unlocked.

 The interior

The interior of the new RS Q8 features a deliberately clean design. Black Alcantara headlining is standard for the Carbon Black and Vorsprung trims. Central to 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 head-up display, exclusively available on Vorsprung trim offers several RS-specific graphics.

The luxurious RS sport seats in Valcona leather with a honeycomb pattern and RS embossing are standard for RS Q8. The RS sport seats are perforated to also provide ventilation, with a massage function as standard on the Vorsprung trim.

The RS design package, standard on Carbon Black and Vorsprung only, and available in red or gray, includes red or gray contrasting stitching on the knee pads, steering wheel rim, floor mats, gear selector lever and the edges of the seat belts. With both packages, the center console, selector lever and steering wheel are covered in Alcantara.

There is an RS logo on the steering wheel. The illuminated front door sill trims sport an RS Q8 logo. The fully perforated RS sport leather steering wheel flattened at the bottom with shift paddles also includes multifunction buttons. The driver can directly select the new Audi drive select modes RS1 and RS2 via the RS-Mode button. RS-specific displays then open automatically in the Audi virtual cockpit.

The RS Q8 also demonstrates its uncompromised everyday usability in the rear. A sliding three-seat rear bench is standard. With the seat backrests folded down, the luggage compartment under the power rear hatch holds up to 1,755 litres.

Assist systems and infotainment

The new Audi RS Q8 has a comprehensive range of over 30 assist systems, such as lane departure warning, parking system plus, rear view camera and pre-sense front.

The RS Q8 comes standard with the top-of-the-line infotainment system, MMI navigation plus. It includes the Audi connect data transfer module with the LTE Advanced standard and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The navigation system learns the driver’s preferences from the routes driven and can therefore make intelligent suggestions. The online services from Audi connect add predictive features to the route planning process.

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