First Look: New RS Q8 performance and Updated RS Q8

  • With 471 kW (640 PS) and 850 Nm of torque, the new RS Q8 performance1 takes the top position among models from Audi Sport GmbH
  • An expressive exterior and new, lighter* wheels significantly sharpen the appearance of Audi’s most powerful SUV yet again
  • With a time of 7:36.698 minutes, the RS Q8 performance1 sets a new best time for production SUVs on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit
  • Audi Sport boss Rolf Michl: “The RS Q8 performance1 owes its lap record to the interplay of the V8 engine and chassis components as well as the passion of the Audi Sport GmbH team for absolute performance.”

[source: Audi AG]

Audi is rounding out the Audi Q8 model range, not only with the new RS Q82 with an output of 441 kW (600 PS) but is adding a new, second version to the top model in the series: the RS Q8 performance1. Its increased output of 471 kW (640 PS) makes the SUV the most powerful series-produced combustion model in the history of Audi Sport GmbH. Both vehicles boast outstanding driving dynamics thanks to an optimized, self-locking center differential while guaranteeing an equally impressive suitability for everyday use. The exterior of the RS Q82 and RS Q8 performance1 take their cues from the recently upgraded Q8. New equipment packages allow more freedom for customization. The new Audi RS Q82 and RS Q8 performance1 will be launched in June of this year. Prices start at 141,900 and 155,700 euros.

Unmistakably an Audi Sport GmbH model: The exterior

With the new Audi RS Q82 and RS Q8 performance1, Audi Sport GmbH is intensifying its focus on the dynamics of the two high-performance SUVs. A new front apron with striking air intakes, a distinctive honeycomb structure, and a blade in high-gloss black (the RS Q8 performance1 features matte gray) clearly identifies the RS Q82 and the performance version as the top models in the series. The large singleframe features a reinterpreted honeycomb structure where each individual honeycomb cell is now three-dimensional. The rear section also plays a part in advancing the models’ position at the top of the range. The two oval tailpipes are the first distinguishing feature of an RS model. Audi Sport GmbH has placed a diffuser between them which is divided down the middle by a reflector.

Ready for anything: Eight-cylinder engine in two output levels

The new RS Q82 is guaranteed to impress with an output of 441 kW (600 PS) and 800 Nm of torque, which is available between 2,200 and 4,500 rpm. The output of the twin-turbocharged eight-cylinder engine makes for outstanding driving dynamics. The RS Q82 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. The standard electronically limited top speed is 250 km/h, which can be increased to 280 km/h or a maximum of 305 km/h as an option. Thanks to its increased output of 471 kW (640 PS) and 850 Nm of torque, the RS Q8 performance1 goes from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds. The advanced eight-cylinder engine boasts more output than the RS Q82 production model. Moreover, it is the most powerful series-produced combustion engine in Audi Sport GmbH’s history. By reducing back pressure, the newly developed, lighter exhaust system increases the output of the RS Q8 performance1 while creating a sportier, more evocative sound. Optionally, the exhaust system can be replaced with the RS sport exhaust system, which further intensifies the sound experience and stands out with glossy black tailpipes. “Both the new RS Q8 performance1 and the RS Q82 embody sportiness and elegance. The top model of the Q8 series combines a passion for performance, prestige, and suitability for everyday use to create an exhilarating experience,” says Rolf Michl, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH.

Driving dynamics for maximum driving fun: Self-locking center differential

Both versions of the new RS Q82 come as standard with permanent quattro all-wheel drive, which Audi Sport GmbH combines with an eight-speed Tiptronic with faster shifting times as standard. The wholly mechanical center differential, with its compact and lightweight design, distributes engine power to the front and rear axle at a ratio of 40:60.

If slippage occurs, no more than 70 percent of the drive torque is applied to the front and up to 85 percent to the rear axle. This mode of operation results in more precise cornering, less understeer, and more exact turn-in.

Agility and stability in every situation: the suspension

For an ideal balance of sportiness and comfort, the RS Q82 and RS Q8 performance1 come as standard with adaptive air suspension sport with controlled damping, which has been tuned specifically for the RS. The ride height of both versions varies by up to 90 millimeters.

As an option, both models offer electromechanical active roll stabilization (eAWS), which significantly minimizes lateral movements of the body. Both axles are connected by a compact electric motor between the two halves of the stabilizer. When the RS Q82 is driving straight, the two halves are disconnected, which reduces body movements on uneven roads. When the car corners, the electric motors turn the stabilizers in the opposite direction of each other, which noticeably reduces lateral tilt. A 48V lithium-ion battery supplies the eAWS with power. The compact, lightweight energy storage unit, which can absorb and release high currents in a very short time, supplies the two electric motors with a maximum power of 1.5 kilowatts each.

The optional dynamic package plus for the RS Q82 delivers even greater performance, giving the car a top speed of 305 km/h. Additional components include electromechanical active roll stabilization, the quattro sport differential, and the RS ceramic braking system (which comes as standard on the RS Q8 performance1). The standard all-wheel steering with high-torque electric spindle drive contributes to agility and stability. When changing lanes quickly, the rear wheels turn up to 1.5 degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels. At lower speeds, they turn up to five degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels. This reduces the turning radius accordingly.

The top model in the series also features new lighting technology

Like the product upgrade for the Q8, the most powerful model in the series now also uses Matrix LED headlights. HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light as an additional high beam are optionally available. A darkened bezel distinguishes the top model visually from the base model. The Audi laser light acts as an extra high beam with a significantly greater range. Any of the five digital daytime running light signatures add a striking look. Customers can select the signatures via the MMI, one of which is a checkered flag design exclusively available to the RS Q82. For the first time, the RS Q82 uses largely digitalized OLED rear lights featuring five digital light signatures. In conjunction with the assistance systems, they have a proximity indication feature for greater road safety.

Sporty from the wheels to the seams: Equipment options

An extensive range of new paint finishes is available for the exterior, including three metallic options: Sakhir Gold, Ascari Blue, and Chili Red. In addition to the standard range, Audi exclusive fulfills customer requests for individual finishes.

The RS Q82 and RS Q8 performance1 are distinguished primarily by the different standard colors and materials of many exterior components. While the exterior mirrors, front spoiler elements, and trim on the windows and rear diffuser always come in black on the RS Q82, the performance version features matte gray exterior mirrors, front spoiler elements, and a matte gray rear diffuser, with all other equipment in high-gloss black. Audi Sport GmbH also offers an additional package for the RS Q8 performance1 with all the standard RS Q82 features listed here in matte carbon or high-gloss black.

New optional 23-inch light-alloy wheels in a 6-Y spoke design and 295/35 tires give the upgraded RS Q82 a distinctly different look from the series standard models. They are also optionally available in metallic black, matte Neodymium Gold, burnished silk matte gray, or burnished metallic black. Both top versions of the series come with 22-inch 10-spoke light-alloy wheels (295/40). An RS braking system with ventilated composite brake discs (420 millimeters in the front, 370 millimeters in the rear) is behind the wheels. The brake calipers come as standard in black. They are also available with an optional red finish and feature RS lettering in the front and rear. A powerful 10-piston brake caliper system works on the front axle. Alternatively, RS ceramic brakes provide deceleration. Available as an option on the RS Q82, they come as standard on the RS Q8 performance1. Their discs measure 440 mm (front) and 370 mm (rear). The RS brake system comes in gray as standard in the RS Q8 performance1. It is optionally available in red or blue.

As an exclusive option for the RS Q8 performance1, 23-inch light-alloy wheels are available, which are manufactured using a high-tech forging and milling process. Inspired by motorsports, the 5-Y spoke design ensures optimal brake cooling. They also reduce the unsprung mass by around five kilograms each compared to the standard 22-inch wheels. The total weight reduction of around 20 kilograms improves the car’s throttle response. They are available in burnished metallic black, matte gray, or matte black. Customers may also choose the high-performance Pirelli P Zero 295/35 R23 tires, which offer consistently better grip on wet and dry roads, making for more precise and dynamic handling.

Red, gray, or blue RS design packages are available for the interior. The blue package is exclusive to the RS Q8 performance1. The blade in the center console, the floor mats, the steering wheel, and the seat belt edges feature red or gray contrasting stitching. The seat belts are entirely in Ocean Blue as a special feature of the blue RS design package. The steering wheel is covered with Alcantara. The selector lever knob and the side of the blade in the center console are covered in Dinamica microfiber, which is made from recycled PET fibers.

The perforated sports seats with honeycomb stitching also feature contrasting stitching in the chosen package color. Decorative inlays for both models are available in matte brushed aluminum with linear embossing in silver, aluminum Race Anthracite, matte Carbon Twill, or Gray Oak. As a further exclusive option, diagonal brushed black aluminum is available for the RS Q8 performance1.

The RS design packages plus, in three color choices, offer additional features on request. For example, the door and center armrests are available in Dinamica microfiber. One exclusive feature of this equipment variant is the seat center panel with gray, red, or blue inlay. The customer’s chosen color is revealed through the perforated sports seats. Moreover, the seat backs feature an RS logo embossed in matching colors.

Additional special features for the RS Q8 performance1: Besides an entrance LED that projects the lettering “RS performance” onto the ground, the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus features a shift light indicator in manual mode. It changes the rpm display from green to yellow to red, flashing in a manner identical to that used in motorsports to indicate the optimal time to change gears. Visible via symbols in the Audi virtual cockpit, Launch Control fully exploits the acceleration potential of the RS Q8 performance1.

The RS Q8 performance1: Record holder

The new RS Q8 performance1 has been awarded the title of the fastest SUV on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife at its market launch. Racing and development driver Frank Stippler completed the 20.832-kilometer track in the Eifel in just 7:36.698 minutes. That is more than two seconds faster than the previous fastest vehicle in the SUV class, off-road vehicles, vans, and pick-ups, and almost six seconds faster than the RS Q8 before the product upgrade. The increase in power to 471 kW (640 hp) and 850 Nm of torque (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.4-12.8; combined CO2emissions in g/km: 304-291; CO2 class: G) as well as the outstanding chassis components – consisting of the adaptive air suspension sport with controlled damping and RS-specific tuning, the electromechanical active roll stabilization (eAWS), the all-wheel steering and the quattro sport differential – were largely responsible for the lap time. “The RS Q8performance1 owes its new lap record on the Nordschleife not only to the perfect interplay between the V8 engine and suspension components, but also to the passion of the Audi Sport GmbH team for absolute performance. It also offers first-class suitability for everyday use,” says Rolf Michl, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH.

Available to order from 6/27/2024, base price starting at 141,900 euros

The upgraded RS Q82 prices start at 141,900 euros. The new RS Q8 performance1, the most powerful SUV from Audi Sport GmbH, starts at 155,700 euros. Both models will be available to order from June 27 of this year.

* Weight-reduced 23-inch alloy wheels are only available for the Audi RS Q8 performance1.