We get our first look at Audi’s hot Q8.
When we tested the 2019 Audi Q8 a few weeks ago, one of its greatest stumbling blacks was its lack of power. It has enough grunt to get out of its own way, but it’s not blisteringly fast. Enter the high-performance RS Q8, which undoubtedly take care of the speed issue. We’ve known that a hot version of Audi’s flagship crossover is inevitable. The question is just how much grunt will it have, and will it be enough to give the laws of physics a solid punch in the gut.
Here, spy photographers caught the upcoming Audi RS Q8 testing on the Nürburgring. Nearly every time a a prototype is out here, that’s a good sign for its performance. Exactly what’s lurking within remains a mystery, but there are a couple prevailing theories. The most obvious is this car’s not-too-distant cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. Like the Audi R8 and Lamborghini Huracán, this too could share its powertrain with its crossover cousin. After all, the Urus uses a modified version of Audi’s own 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, putting out 641 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. That power makes its way to all four wheels through an eight-speed ZF 8HP automatic transmission.
If that comes to pass, it would put the RS Q8 in an entirely different league to the 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque we have in the standard model. If over 600 horsepower is a bit much, Audi is also working up an SQ8 for 2020 that will split the difference on performance.
When is the RS Q8 coming?
As far as when Audi will officially see the Audi RS Q8, we’re speculating sometime in the later part of this year or early next year. Since the rest of the Q8 range has been revealed to the world, odds are Audi won’t wait long to show off its hottest crossover yet. These photos suggest Audi is pretty much ready to unleash the RS Q8 on the public for a price well within the six-figure range.