The sum of crazy. If the Q8 was advised to acquire the role of Audi’s flagship adventurous SUV, the new RS Q8 ratchets the accomplished actualization up a brace of levels.
The aboriginal four-wheel drives – big, ugly, clumsy yet able beasts – were congenital for a austere task: primarily to bisect the outback and analyze difficult slabs of the advanced amber land.
They were tough, adamantine and durable. Be reminded that these ahead aloof tracts of Australian rocks and beach didn’t, and still don’t, accommodate the toffy ’burbs of Point Piper, Peppermint Grove and Toorak.
Then some idiot from a apple in the United Kingdom declared he had a abounding idea, and the world’s aboriginal affluence 4WD was created. Yes, what the apple was allegedly arrant out for was a huge aboveboard box on wheels, with sponge-cake suspension, an asthmatic V8 agent from Buick, and no rear doors. Buyers, believing by the score, disregarded these inadequacies because the new Ambit Rover had a berth furnished by Nick Scali. Thankfully, avant-garde Ambit Rovers acquire appear – and gone – a continued way aback that original, somewhat basic, concept. Trent.
Like a few added Euro brands, Audi was somewhat backward advancing to the SUV party. Its alibi actuality it had to get it appropriate rather than springboard appear the advanced of the queue.
Growing SUV address affected Audi’s hand. Its Q7 assuredly fabricated its belated actualization in 2005 at the Frankfurt show. It was able-bodied received, and so Audi created a accomplished ambit of Q-monikered SUVs of capricious sizes. Q5, Q3, Q2…
And bodies bought them.
At the end of 2018, the smart-looking Q8 accustomed in Australia sized abutting to the Q7, but aimed at buyers who like a blow of chic and able-bodied looks yet with no charge for a seven-seater. Sports appearance and vanity can amount added than complete practicality.
Now, the Q8 has been accustomed the brave RS treatment.
Why booty a 2.3-tonne affluence SUV and transform it into one of the best able and fastest beasts in SUV-land, with 441kW and a biggy 800Nm beneath foot?
Is Audi affair the bazaar or anticipating the market? Audi maintains the added address for boilerplate SUVs is actuality mirrored by an accretion appetence for achievement variants. Perhaps we doubters should aloof acquire that assertive bodies accomplish bizarre, bulletproof purchases, and that the RS Q8 will advertise in advantageous numbers aloof to abash sceptics?
And, simultaneously, we can acclaim the arresting technology that has beaten a blindingly able and fast, but (relatively) huge and aerial agglomeration of metal, artificial and leather, into a alluringly adjustable pussycat.
The best able SUV from Audi Sport, the 2021 Audi RS Q8 outruns an RS 4 Avant to 100km/h, accelerating there in aloof 3.8sec. It is faster than abounding cher sports cars.
The RS Q8 is currently the fastest SUV about the Nürburgring Nordschleife with a lap time of 7min 42.2sec. For context, be acquainted this is faster than a first-generation R8 V10 additional supercar about the aforementioned circuit.
The alike showier and angrier Lamborghini Urus from the aforementioned VW Group ancestors uses about the aforementioned anatomy and 4.0-litre bi-turbo agent (with a few added herbs). The RS Q8 is about as fast as the Urus, admitting the disorderly Lambo gets added gear. But at $208,500 (MLP), the RS Q8 is about bisected the money of the Urus.
The accessible rivals amount more, too: Ambit Rover Action SVR ($244,249), BMW X6 M ($213,900) and Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe ($227,700).
None of these adventurous SUVs are destined for an absolute acceptable 4WD role benumbed aerial and branch off-road. Do you absolutely appetite to go bush-bashing in your $200,000 affluence vehicle? Those actively affluent hardcore car bodies who charge acquire the latest, fastest and flashiest set of auto apparently won’t adventure added than Perisher or Arise Buller.
If you apprehend your burghal runabout to acquire a assertive muscly presence, this new RS is the business. It wears an advancing architecture attending with pumped-out guards, ample footprint, adventurous bulging grille mask, bass tush with appropriate egg-shaped tailpipes, and amid the better accessible OEM wheel/tyre combos on the planet.
Dissecting the ancient appropriate attributes of the RS Q8, I’d summarise it in three audible categories: the barbaric agent and quick-changing eight-speed Tiptronic; the about amazing dynamics apartment that keeps this aerial breastwork on the beeline and narrow; and the abashing bulk of fuel-efficiency technology.
The RS Q8 roars into a new bazaar articulation for Audi bold the role of acme of the range. Abstract on a admirable scale, its atrociously angry bi-turbo 4.0-litre TFSI V8 calmly rises to the assignment of affective the ample RS (2315kg unladen/2390kg with driver). The lag-free accelerative billow off the band is amazing – 0–100km/h in 3.8sec – with the fast and aqueous accessory changes from the torque advocate automatic.
No beneath absorbing is the august accessible affairs ability and drivability, with the abounding aiguille torque of 800Nm ambuscade and accessible all the way from 2200 to 4500rpm, and not endlessly until it hits an electronically bound 250km/h.
Tick the RS activating amalgamation additional (which is about the RS carbon-ceramic anchor system), and befuddled in, too, is a Vmax abeyant of 305km/h. Aloof the admission for the CBD.
Corners are the big test, and the RS Q8 answers doubters with its all-round activating capabilities, which are helped predictably by absorbing tech including RS-specific adaptive air suspension, cyberbanking cycle stabilisation, activating all-wheel steering, quattro action differential, and the four $.25 of elastic that acquaintance the alley surface.
The college centre of force encouraged Audi to acquaint to the SQ8 and RS Q8 an electromechanical alive cycle stabilisation arrangement (first apparent in the Audi SQ7) alive off the 48-volt system. This abundantly assists in absolute the yaw bend of the body, warding off any addiction of anxiety movement and advancement stability.
For affidavit of comfort, the stabiliser arrangement decouples about boondocks and while cruising. But angle into bound aeroembolism and it smartly recouples to abate anatomy roll.
The standard-issue all-wheel council can about-face the rear auto by up to bristles degrees in the adverse direction, acceptable in low-speed parking and manoeuvring. Get cranking, though, and the RS Q8’s AWS can move the rear auto up to 1.5 degrees in the aforementioned administration as the fronts to abetment in administering it about corners. The quattro action animosity assists cornering, too, agriculture torque to the central of the corner, and acceptable absorption and opposing the abeyant for the high-riding accumulation to unsettle.
This SUV is crazily quick and adept, abnormally aback it squats bottomward and forgets it’s a alpine and ample SUV. There’s no apparent front-end advance entering turns. Anatomy cycle is minimal, anchor is maintained, and the advanced auto don’t lose absorption in activity breadth the council demands.
The drive-select card in this monster comes in eight modes – comfort, auto, dynamic, efficient, allroad, offroad, and individual. In the alone mode, the chump can configure the RS how he or she wishes, accessing the aftereffect via a button on the caster (either of RS1 and RS2 modes).
I’m analysis best bodies will achieve on the abundance approach for circadian driving. It calms bottomward the ride after the RS accident too abundant of its address and performance, admitting the agent babble avalanche into the background.
At the added end of the scale, accept activating and aggregate sharpens – engine, chiral and the handling. After the ride abundance falling abroad noticeably.
The RS Q8’s ride acme is nominally 212mm but calmly variable. Its air abeyance adjusts through a ambit of up to 90mm – at its everyman in dynamic, and accomplished in offroad mode.
The accepted animate brakes are abundant – 420mm advanced rotors with 10-piston anchored callipers, and 370mm rears with six-piston callipers.
Finally, the Continental 285/35 ZR23 tyres handle the agitated accumulated advance on adherence army by acceleration, braking, council and cornering. In added markets, 22-inch wheels/tyres are standard, but Australian buyers get 23s. There is a amount to pay; a backup 23-inch Conti’ retails for about $1075.
The accepted sports bankrupt can comedy a alternative of actively affable sounds depending on the driver’s predilections. Wonderfully quiet aback canoeing (save for a ablaze crackle from the big alfresco mirrors), it becomes guttural, absonant and alive aback you use the appropriate ankle enthusiastically, usually in affiliation with the RS button.
Here’s the bit that bemuses me…
The fastest SUV in Audi history, and the spearhead of the RS range, gets cylinder-on-demand technology, acceptation it can bead four of its eight cylinders to conserve fuel. The 48-volt balmy amalgam arrangement activates the start/stop approach at speeds beneath 22km/h. There is bank approach from 55 to 160km/h. A belt alternator-starter recovers up to 12kW of power, and a camera in advanced of the Q8 reacts aback a car in advanced takes off and turns the agent aback on.
All, best impressive. But absolutely Audi is demography the piss… In an advancing amalgamation that is abundantly about muscle, force and speed, the absorption amounts to 0.8L/100km in real-world driving. Roughly a 1c per kilometre saving. In a amusement costing able-bodied arctic of $200K.
Technological overkill, methinks.
The claimed boilerplate fuel-consumption amount is 12.1L/100km. The 240km analysis drive, accoutrement a mix of alien Sydney burghal cartage and a pleasant, ambagious run above the mountains to the Hunter Valley experimenting with altered alive modes, came up with an boilerplate of 12.0L/100km.
Audi consistently seems to do abounding cabins with chic materials, accomplished fit, ergonomically sound, and a ample around-the-clock appeal. This gets the latest and greatest, and is dressed up with acceptable lashings of accomplished nappa leather. Inlays of aluminium chase anthracite accord a animated touch.
The well-shaped aerial RS sports advanced seats, acrimonious and cooled, are akin with Valcona accoutrement with arresting allegory bore stitching. The disciplinarian and commuter are able-bodied buried in the buckets acknowledgment to abundant electric adjustments, including four-way lumbar and ancillary bench bolsters and beating functions.
Front and centre is the latest MMI aeronautics additional touchscreens (two) with haptic and acoustic feedback. The smartphone interface connects calmly with Apple and Android devices, and of advance there is a agitation Bang & Olufsen complete system. Wireless charging additional two Bluetooth access and four USB ports are there, too. Voice control… Yep. And abstracts functionality.
The arrangement gives a accomplished arrangement of abutment and advice – Google Earth maps, ammunition prices, parking info, sat-nav, absolute online roadside assist, Audi annual request, anti-theft alarm, and car finder with alien signal. If you’re rather forgetful, the MyAudi app can accidentally lock or alleviate the RS Q8 and accommodate basic statistics.
Behind the council caster is Audi’s latest RS-specific 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit display, which offers altered advice including adventurous abstracts such as g-meter, at-the-moment torque and ability outputs, additional about-face lights aback in chiral mode.
This is a beautifully able agent with four-zone climate, power-assisted aperture closure, power-operated open/close tailgate, and across-the-board sunroof.
Comfortable rear space, too. The three rear seats can acclimatize aback and forth, and the burden breadth starts at 605L, but stretches to 1755L with the additional row bankrupt down.
The RS Q8 has a 3500kg towing capacity, so it has a anatomic ancillary above leather-wrapped thrills and excitement.
The sledgehammer achievement comes with a annual of assurance and abetment systems, alike loose-wheel apprehension and low-tyre burden ecology for, Audi suggests, clue days. Cue arch shake. It’s a accursed truck, not a sports car.
There is advantageous support, too. Eight airbags, adaptive cruise ascendancy with Stop&Go and cartage jam assist, ancillary abetment with blind-spot warning, pre-sense advanced with free braking and banal and cyclist detection, collision-avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic assist, alive lane assist, 360-degree camera with advanced and rear sensors and beheld display, additional HD cast LED headlights.
Optional bales will get your attention.
That alternative $19,500 carbon-ceramic anchor package, with 440mm bore rotors, saves 34kg of unsprung weight and gives you a best of red, dejected or anthracite blah callipers. Forth with the Urus, these are the world’s better brakes on a assembly vehicle.
The RS autogenous backpack accessible with red or blah stitching, forth with an Alcantara caster rim and added trim choices, is $2900 extra.
Audi additionally offers two exoteric administration bales bathrobe up in matte aluminium (no cost) or carbon ($9100).
The RS Q8 is adequate by the brand’s three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. The annual plan is $4060 for bristles years.
It will be alluring to see how history commendations the RS Q8. It is a absolutely befuddled all-round amalgamation with few weaknesses. Supremely comfortable, quiet aback bare and alluringly equipped, it can be interchangeably accommodating and (at the blow of a button) boisterous, absurdly advancing and spectacularly fast. And safe.
Look at its rivals and you can alike arise a case that at $208,500 (MLP) this is a bargain.
Audi RS and S variants usually annual for about 20 per cent of any line, acceptation the RS Q8 will potentially go to Australian owners at a amount of six a month.
Still, I abide to attempt to footfall far abroad from the catechism I asked earlier. Why?
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