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- Highs Whup-ass twin-turbo V-8, surprisingly agile for an SUV, toned-down styling makes it something of a sleeper.
- Lows Not as exciting or as seductive as the RS6 Avant station wagon, soft brake pedal feel, Porsche Cayenne Turbo feels more playful.
- Verdict The RS Q8 sports almost every go-fast bauble Audi has, which makes for a wickedly fast, riotously fun SUV.
If the amazing Lamborghini Urus is too expensive or too flashy for you, the 2022 Audi RS Q8 offers a similar package and nearly identical performance. The reason for the similarities is the close mechanical ties between these two top-tier hyper-performance SUVs. Although the Audi's version of their shared twin-turbo V-8 makes 50 fewer horsepower, its acceleration virtually as breathtaking. Despite commanding a six-digit transaction price the Audi could and should be considered a performance bargain considering that it costs about half as much as the Lambo. Inside, the RS Q8 offers the same tech-forward cabin we've come to expect from modern Audis, with a dual touchscreen infotainment setup, an all-digital gauge cluster, and plenty of other gadgets. While we'll stop short of calling it the ultimate Audi—that title belongs to either the R8 sports car or the RS6 Avant station wagon—it's most definitely the ultimate Audi SUV.
What's New for 2022?
Audi's most badass SUV is mostly unchanged for 2022 except for a few new standard driver-assistance features, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. The optional Executive package now includes traffic sign recognition and an Intersection Assist feature, while a new RS-Design package is available and includes carpeted floormats with the RS logo, striped seatbelts, and faux-suede Alcantara upholstery on the center console, steering wheel, and shift knob.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The RS Q8 comes with a six-figure price tag, but its performance, styling, and featured content are 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 the Quattro all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic, and there's also a 48-volt hybrid system to improve fuel efficiency. In November 2019, Audi set a record at the Nürburgring race course with a camouflaged prototype of the RS Q8. When we tested the RS Q8, it blasted to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, only 0.1 second behind the far more expensive Urus.
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. For more information about the RS Q8's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
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.
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
Audi offers several driver-assistance systems on the RS Q8 as standard, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. For more information about the RS Q8's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard 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 four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four 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
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
C/D TEST RESULTS
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
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 18 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 23 mpg
Highway Range: 510 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 15/13/19 mpg