LOS ANGELES - 3.8 seconds from 0-100km/h. That’s what makes the new RS Q8 Audi’s fastest SUV ever, and one of its quickest full stop, given that it’s just 0.2 seconds slower off the mark than the beastly RS 6 and just 0.6s shy of the R8 Plus for that matter.
As you would have guessed by now, the RS Q8 is powered by the same 4-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine that does service in the aforementioned RS6 and RS7, and it’s in the same state of tune, with 441kW and 800Nm on command.
A 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 ignition sequence and RS sport exhaust system ensure that you hear the engine in all its glory, and the soundtrack can also be configured by the driver via the Audi drive select system.
Let’s make no mistake, this is not an economical car, but Audi has done its best to mitigate consumption through a 48-volt mild hybrid system featuring a belt alternator. The system can recover up to 12kW of power during light deceleration, which is then stored in a separate lithium ion battery. The set-up can save up to 0.8 litres per 100km in everyday driving.
The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system that, under normal circumstances, pushes 60 percent of the torque to the rear wheels, but if required it can increase that to 85 percent, or even send 70 percent to the front if need be.