Audi RS Q8 to hit the roads in Q1 2020

Nov 28, 2019   Vehicle Launch

The new Audi RS Q8 is the top model in the Q product line. It combines the power of an RS model with the elegance of a premium coupe and the flexibility of an SUV.

“For the first time in the 25-year history of Audi RS models, we are putting a large SUV coupe with the genes of a true high-performance sports car on the road,” said Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “With its biturbo V8 gasoline engine, the Audi RS Q8 is the prestigious spearhead of the RS model family.”

441 kW (600 hp), 800 Nm (590.0 lb-ft) of torque between 2,200 and 4,500 rpm – the 4.0 litre V8 in the new Audi RS Q8 delivers impressive RS performance. The turbocharged gasoline engine with direct injection accelerates the large SUV coupe from Audi Sport GmbH from 0 to 100 km/h (62.0 mph) in just 3.8 seconds and to 200 km/h (124.3 mph) in 13.7 seconds. The 250 km/h (155.3 mph) top speed is electronically governed. With the optional dynamic package, top speed is 305 km/h (189.5 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. The optional RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trims offers an even sportier sound.

The biturbo 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. 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 km/h (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 22 km/h (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 litres per 100 kilometres.

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. During four-cylinder operation, the operating points of the active cylinders shift to higher loads and map points with high efficiency, while the deactivated cylinders run largely loss-free as gas springs. They are reactivated immediately when the driver presses the accelerator.

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% can be directed to the front wheels and up to 85% to the rear wheels.

The five-link construction at the front and rear axles handle longitudinal and lateral forces separately. The linkages and the subframes are made largely of aluminium. The SUV coupe has a track of 1,692 millimetres (5.55 ft) up front and 1,696 millimetres (5.56 ft) at the rear.

The standard adaptive air suspension sport with controlled damping means the new RS Q8 is equally at home on the racetrack or an off-road 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 millimetres (3.5 in).

The new RS Q8 comes standard with 22-inch aluminium wheels in a 10-spoke star design with 295/40-series tyres – the largest ever factory-installed on an Audi production model. Optional 23-inch cast aluminium wheels in a 5 Y-spoke rotor design and a variety of colours are available exclusively for the RS Q8. Behind the large wheels is an RS brake system with internally vented composite disks (420 millimetres (16.5 in) up front, 370 millimetres (14.6 in) at the rear). Their 10-inch piston calipers are painted black as standard, but are available in red as an option. The calipers of the optional RS ceramic brakes are available in gray, red or blue and measure 440 millimetres (17.3 in) up front and 370 millimetres (14.6 in) at the rear.

With its imposing octagonal Singleframe, the RS-specific radiator grille in high gloss black and the gloss black RS honeycomb grille, the new Audi RS Q8 sports a strikingly self-confident face. 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 from Audi Sport GmbH.

Customers can choose between two different LED headlight configurations. The optionally tinted RS 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 of the new RS Q8 features a deliberately clean design. All elements beneath the black cloth headlining have a logical connection and harmonise 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. With its black-panel look, it almost dissolves into a large, black surface when switched off.

Another primary design element is the wide, symmetrical console of the center tunnel. Framing it are design elements in Aluminium Race, anthracite, which underscore the sporty character of the large SUV coupe. 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.

The new Audi RS Q8 supports the driver in many situations. The comprehensive range of over 30 assist systems includes such things as the adaptive cruise assist, efficiency assist, intersection assist, lane change warning and 360 degree cameras.

On the German market, 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.

The new RS Q8 will arrive at dealerships in Germany and other European countries during the first quarter of 2020. The price list for the high-performance SUV coupe starts at €127,000 ($139,700).

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