2020 Audi RSQ8 – 592 hp V8, the fastest SUV around the Nürburgring and the most mind bending Audi ever
It was just a matter of time. As Mercedes is rolling out the GLE 63 s AMG and BMW its X6 m, Audi can´t be worse. People seem to love high performance SUVs, and with an already existing base, the one which the Lamborghini Urus is built upon, Audi is throwing all the stops to show who´s boss.
It may not win the most beautiful car of the year, but the RSQ8 has a brute, I don’t give a f***, style which follows the same concept as its cousin, the Urus. Almost as big as the Q7, the RSQ8 has an imposing size. Audi says that it has the practicality and flexibility of an SUV, the elegance of a premium coupe and the power of an RS-model, trying to combine all into one package? I am not worried. The times of people doubting the success of SUVs with influences from coupes are done and dusted. Oh, and the rims are massive. 22 inch as standard, but 23 inch ones are available, and weight 43 kilos a piece. It is thus no surprise that the RSQ8 weights over 2.3 ton.
Inside is a familiar sight. The interior has been lifted straight from the new RS6 into the RSQ8, with some minor tweaks such as the upper part of the door panel and the metal that goes around the center screen. Everything looks cleaned up and the RSQ8, compared to the new Merc GLE which has a wall looking center console with a vertical screen, has a heavily angled center console to increase the feeling of space.
What kind of drugs the engineers at Audi were on when they fitted the power plant in the car is something I will never know, but looking at the acceleration stats and the fact that the RSQ8 is the fastest SUV around the Nürburgring, tells me that it must have been something strong. Bi-turbo v8 (600 hp and 800 Nm) with a mild hybrid system catapults the car from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, and if you don’t release the gas pedal you will reach a top speed of 306 km/h.
To save fuel, there is cylinder deactivation. The hybrid system is supposed to save 0.8 L of fuel per 100 km, which in all honesty does not sound that much.
Impressively enough, the sheer speed and pace of the RSQ8 is not what impresses me the most. It is the suspension. The ride height can be changed by up to 90 mm, and Audi says that the car is as home at the racetrack as it is off-road. That may be the case, but for the love of good, think about those 22 inch rims. Optional electromechanical active roll stabilization (EAWS) will help keep the car upright during fast cornering by implementing an electric motor and increasing the effect and the usability of the sway bar (or stabilizer). Adaptive suspension and four wheel steering are also technologies implemented in the RSQ8. All of this means that you can make the car feel soft and comfortable, or hard and responsive. The level Audi set when developing the RSQ8 is proven to be as high as ever. The price starts at 127 000 euro or 1 339 000 sek, yikes, and the car will be available in the first quarter of 2020.