2024 Audi RS Q8 facelift – brand’s most powerful V8 with up to 640 PS; fastest SUV around the Nürburgring

2024 Audi RS Q8 facelift – brand’s most powerful V8 with up to 640 PS; fastest SUV around the Nürburgring

Audi has revealed its most powerful SUV in the form of the new RS Q8, which is making its debut several months after the Q8 and SQ8 got their facelifts last September. Offered in two variants, the refreshed RS Q8 will go on sale in Germany this month and starts from either 141,900 euros (about RM717k) or 155,700 euros (RM787k).

The lower price tag nets you the base RS Q8, which is powered by a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox and quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with a self-locking centre differential that splits engine power front and rear at a ratio of 40:60.

The V8 is rated at 600 PS (591 hp or 441 kW) and 800 Nm of peak torque, the latter available between 2,200 and 4,500 rpm. With these figures, the RS Q8 gets from 0-100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds on its way to an electronically top speed of 250 km/h.

If it all still sounds a little too tame for your liking, there’s the more expensive RS Q8 performance that packs a more substantial 640 PS (632 hp or 471 kW) and 850 Nm to become Audi’s most powerful SUV offering. The flagship offering is also the fastest SUV to lap the Nürburgring, completing the 20.832-km track in just 7:36.698 minutes, two seconds faster than the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT and six seconds faster than the pre-facelift RS Q8.

2024 Audi RS Q8 facelift – brand’s most powerful V8 with up to 640 PS; fastest SUV around the Nürburgring

The added grunt reduces the century sprint time to 3.6 seconds and the top speed is 280 km/h by default, or 305 km/h when optioned with the dynamic package plus (also available for the base variant). The German carmaker goes as far as to say the V8 in the performance variant is “the most powerful series-produced combustion engine in Audi Sport GmbH’s history.”

It adds that the higher outputs are achieved by reducing back pressure via a redesigned exhaust system that is also lighter and produces a more “evocative” sound. Customers can also option the RS sport exhaust system for an even more rowdy soundtrack.

As standard, the RS Q8 models come with adaptive air suspension sport and controlled damping that allows the ride height to vary by up to 90 mm. Both can also be optioned with electromechanical active roll stabilisation (eAWS) where both axles are connected by a compact electric motor between the two halves of the stabiliser.

When driving straight, the two halves are disconnected to reduce body movements on uneven roads. However, when dealing with corners, the electric motors turn the stabilisers in the opposite direction of each other to reduce body roll, with a 48V lithium-ion battery supplying up to 1.5 kW to each of the eAWS electric motors.

2024 Audi RS Q8 facelift – brand’s most powerful V8 with up to 640 PS; fastest SUV around the Nürburgring

The eAWS is bundled into the aforementioned dynamic package plus along with the quattro sport differential and RS ceramic braking system (standard on the RS Q8 performance). All-wheel steering is standard for the SUV, allowing the rear wheels to turn up to 1.5 degrees.

In terms of styling, the new RS Q8 gets many of the changes made to the regular Q8 and SQ8, but it gets some model-specific touches to mark it out as the top model. These include a more striking front apron with large air intakes and honeycomb-style inserts and an off-coloured blade at the base of the bumper (high-gloss black for the RS Q8 and matte grey for the performance). At the rear, you’ll find a diffuser element between two oval tailpipes.

Other revisions are as per the non-RS variants, including matrix LED headlamps with optional laser light and an additional high beam, OLED taillights. The interior remains largely familiar and can be specified with a variety of trims, upholsteries and other options.

On that mention, 23-inch wheels are offered as an upgrade over the 22-inch units, while the RS ceramic brakes can be had in red or blue instead of the standard grey. The latter adds brake discs measuring 440 mm at the front (with 10-piston calipers) and 370 mm at the rear and provide more stopping power than the ventilated composite braking system (420 mm discs front and 370 mm rear).

2024 Audi RS Q8 performance facelift

2024 Audi RS Q8 facelift

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.


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