SPIED: 2020 Audi RS Q8 Testing In Europe

Audi May Skip SQ8 and Go Straight to Lambo-Beating RS Model

Brett T. EvansWriterSpiedBildePhotographer

The 2019 Audi Q8, the company’s coupelike SUV flagship, will get a high-performance variant called the RS Q8, possibly as soon as the 2020 model year. Abandoning Audi tradition, the Q8 lineup will likely skip an S-branded variant and go right for Lamborghini’s jugular with the RS Q8, which shares a platform with the Raging Bull’s own Urus super-SUV.

Spotted testing in Europe with and without a trailer in tow, the RS Q8 will get much more aggressive bodywork than the already taut Q8. Up front, the spy photos immediately betray a honeycomb design in the grille, a styling feature Audi reserves exclusively for its highest-performance lineup of RS models. A stronger front valence gets larger side air inlets and a wing-shaped lower air intake, the latter possibly generating downforce.

Sizable front and rear brake rotors are drilled for improved cooling and—let’s face it—appearance. Furthermore, our spy photographer reports six-piston calipers clamp the discs up front, teaming up with the wider front and rear tires to provide improved stopping performance. Reshaped side skirts and an adaptive suspension lower the RS Q8, both visually and literally, with optimized aerodynamics and improved handling coming along for the ride.

Under the hood of the RS Q8 will almost certainly be one of parent company Volkswagen Group’s 4.0L turbocharged engines. Our buddies at Motor Trend suggest Porsche’s new turbo V-8 will proliferate across Audi’s lineup, making this engine our best guess as to what powers the RS Q8. In the Panamera Turbo, that mill makes 550 hp and 567 lb-ft, though we think Audi would turn up the wick a bit for its range-topper. Expect close to 600 hp and 600 lb-ft for the 2020 RS Q8.

Along with that excessive power will come a princely price tag. Don’t plan on getting much change from $150,000, putting the RS Q8 in the company of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, the soon-to-be-redesigned BMW X6 M, and the Lamborghini Urus.

The Audi RS Q8 may make an official debut as early as November, at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Source: SpiedBilde Photography

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