Range expansion and diversification continue apace at Audi Sport, as demonstrated particularly conclusively by the new Audi RS Q8, which has made its world debut today at the 2019 LA Auto Show. The first ever full-size Audi SUV to bear the RS badge pushes the boundaries of performance for a model of this type, a claim that it underscores by being the first ever production Audi SUV capable of a sub-four-second 0-62mph sprint. The 600PS, twin-turbo V8 TFSI responsible for this incredible accelerative force will be available to UK Audi Sport enthusiasts in the new RS Q8 from early next year.
Behind the brawn of this versatile SUV Coupé is exceptional intelligence and ingenuity – the new RS Q8 incorporates some of the most technologically advanced Audi features available, and combines them with outstanding flexibility and maximum everyday usability to redefine the traditional performance car genre. The impressive technical specification includes highlights such as RS-specific adaptive air suspension, all-wheel steering, sport differential and active roll stabilisation, and customers will have the option to upgrade even further to Carbon Black and Vorsprung versions which unleash even more of the sporting potential.
“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 petrol engine, the Audi RS Q8 is the prestigious spearhead of the RS model family.”
Maximum power and high efficiency: the engine
Drawing on 600PS and 800 Nm (590.0 lb-ft) of torque between 2,200 and 4,500 rpm, the 4.0-litre V8 TFSI accelerates the new RS Q8 to 62mph from rest in just 3.8 seconds and to 124mph in 13.7 seconds – figures that put it on a par with some of the most focused sports cars. An electronically governed top speed of 155mph swiftly follows.
Its 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 ignition sequence also guarantees a voluminous sound which is further enhanced by the RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trims fitted as standard to Carbon Black and Vorsprung models. As is typical for an Audi RS, the dual exhaust system features a large oval tailpipe on each side. The driver can also influence the engine’s sound via the Audi drive select system.
The biturbo V8 in the new RS Q8 draws on a mild-hybrid system (MHEV) that uses a 48-volt main electrical system as its basis. 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 34mph and 99mph, 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 13mph. 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.