Like most automakers, Audi is continuing to draw a line in the sand between their performance cars and their ecologically relevant designs. They brought both to this year’s L.A. Auto Show in SUV garb, showing off the e-tron Sportback and the top-dog RS Q8.
Today we’ll look at the RS Q8, the first RS SUV to reach American shores. After seeing those spy shots in the summer of 2018, it was good to finally meet the high-performance SUV and get a solid look at how Audi finalized the design.
From the front, the RS Q8 looks all business; the nose is downright bulldog, with a blacked-out grille and intakes, and black LED headlamp backings, giving it a looming presence on the road that is offset by the graceful roof line and stacked trio of side creases. A honeycomb pattern for the grille and conspicuous aluminum and carbon fiber accents present plenty of contemporary flash.
Other notable exterior features include the wheels—22” rims, a first for Audi’s regular production—and an RS roof-edge spoiler. Within, the big SUV looks remarkably clean and uncluttered, boasting Audi’s Virtual Cockpit and head-up display as well as a linear instrument panel and quilted sport seats.
The RS Q8 is outfitted with a 4L V8 biturbo that can deliver 600 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. The rig can reach 62 MPH in 3.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155. Adaptive air suspension, active torque vectoring, RS ceramic brakes, and electromechanical active roll stabilization—EAWS—are performance features of the RS Q8.
Deliveries should reach the U.S. in the spring of next year.