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2020 Audi RS Q8

Starting at $113,995

2020 audi rs q8 front
Michael Simari|Car and Driver

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  • Highs Brutally quick, deft handling, aggressive-yet-restrained exterior styling.
  • Lows Too-soft brake pedal feel, some rivals offer more handling confidence, the RS6 Avant is less expensive and quicker.
  • Verdict It's not the quickest, the most powerful, or the flashiest performance SUV, but the RS Q8 offers an excellent balance of sport and luxury.
By Joey Capparella


Audi is going after the AMGs and BMW Ms of the world with the new RS version of its Q8 mid-size SUV. The 2020 Audi RS Q8 comes standard with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine making 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, with standard Quattro all-wheel drive to put all that power to the ground and an upgraded suspension and brakes to ensure it handles and stops as well as it goes. It looks a lot more aggressive than the standard Q8, too, thanks to 22-inch wheels, a wider body, and a rear spoiler.

What's New for 2020?

The RS Q8 is a new addition to the Q8 lineup for 2020.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

The RS Q8 comes with a six-figure price tag, but its performance, styling, and feature content is likely to be worth the investment. All RS Q8 models come with a standard adaptive air suspension system, 22-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, and a 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo system.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The RS Q8 has a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine that produces 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. It pairs with a Quattro all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic, and there's also a 48-volt hybrid system to improve fuel efficiency. Audi claims a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph. We're looking forward to testing this claim at our test track when an RS Q8 visits our office for testing. In November 2019, Audi set a record at the Nürburgring race course with a camouflaged prototype of the RS Q8.

2020 audi rs q8 rearView Photos
Michael Simari|Car and Driver

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the RS Q8 are a dismal 13 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. That's the price you pay for the RS Q8's performance potential. We haven't had a chance to test the RS Q8 on our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route, but when we do we will update this story with its test results.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The RS Q8's five-seat cabin is mostly the same as the Q8's, although it has some special trim pieces and sportier, more aggressively bolstered front seats to hold you in place while cornering. There are also RS logos sprinkled throughout. Passenger and cargo space carries over unchanged from the regular Q8 model, which means plenty of legroom and headroom for adults in both rows of seats. In our testing, the Q8 held eight carry-on suitcases behind its rear seat and 23 in total with the rear seat folded.

2020 audi rs q8 interiorView Photos
Michael Simari|Car and Driver

Infotainment and Connectivity

The Audi Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster and dual-touchscreen MMI interface have certain RS-specific displays that can show information such as torque and power output, lap times, and g-forces. Other than that, we expect the same technology offered in the Q8, including standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, navigation, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have performed crash tests on the RS Q8, but the regular Q8 fared well in both agency's testing. Audi offers several driver-assistance systems on the RS Q8 but some of the most sought after ones require adding an optional package. Key safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
  • Available adaptive cruise control

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Audi offers an average standard warranty that, when compared with other premium brands, looks pretty basic. Jaguar offers more value here, with longer warranties and five years of complimentary scheduled maintenance.

  • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance



2020 Audi RS Q8
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

Base/As Tested: $113,995/$138,340
Options: carbon-ceramic brake system, $9000; Carbon Optic package (carbon grille, mirror housings, bumper inlays), $4500; Black Optic package (23-inch wheels with summer tires, sport exhaust), $2950; Luxury package (front massaging seats, rear sunshades, microsuede headliner), $2800; Executive package (dual-pane glass, head-up display, heated rear seats, soft-close doors), $2000; Driver Assistance package (adaptive cruise control, traffic-jam assist, lane-departure warning), $1750; Towing package, $750; Daytona Gray paint, $595; rear side airbag delete, -$350

twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 244 in3, 3996 cm3
Power: 591 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

8-speed automatic

Suspension, F/R: multilink/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 17.3-in vented, cross-drilled, carbon-ceramic disc/14.6-in vented, cross-drilled, carbon-ceramic disc
Tires: Continental SportContact 6
295/35R-23 (108Y) Extra Load A0

Wheelbase: 117.9 in
Length: 197.3 in
Width: 78.7 in
Height: 66.7 in
Passenger Volume: 105 ft3
Cargo Volume: 31 ft3
Curb Weight: 5503 lb

60 mph: 3.2 sec
100 mph: 8.1 sec
1/4-Mile: 11.6 sec @ 119 mph
130 mph: 14.4 sec
150 mph: 21.3 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 4.8 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.8 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.2 sec
Top Speed (mfr's claim): 190 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 158 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 315 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.98 g

Observed: 18 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 23 mpg
Highway Range: 510 mi

Combined/City/Highway: 15/13/19 mpg


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