Audi’s RS Q8 Performance Is Brand’s Most Powerful Model, Fastest Around The Nurburgring Too

The Audi Q8 and SQ8 recently received a minor refresh that tweaked the exterior and interior styling and even bumped up performance. The lone model that felt left out of the proceedings was the range-topping RS Q8 which is the pinnacle of Q8 luxury and speed. The German auto brand has finally addressed the elephant in the room and has unveiled the RS Q8 Performance which not only slays the Nurburgring but will also be the potent exclamation point on Audi performance now that the R8 supercar has been pitched.

RS Q8 Performance beats BMW in style

The updated RS Q8 Performance attempts to be the figurative exclamation point for raw Audi muscle.

The exterior styling of the RS Q8 Performance gets the same core updates as the Q8 and SQ8 but the model gets a different front grille with a honeycomb piece being added. The model competes with the BMW XM but unlike the funky-looking BMW, Audi designers attempted to go for a modern look that focused on handsome restraint with the aggressively designed headlights meshing nicely with the front grille. The Matrix headlights offer five different custom signatures and for those that are even more ambitious, 23-inch matte gold wheels. The rear gets a lighter exhaust system and its fair share of tweaks.

A stylish interior mixes technology and high-quality materials to produce a bespoke luxury experience.

The interior gets honeycomb stitched leather seats with perforated materials while the steering wheel gets wrapped in Alcantara material. The gear selector and other areas of the cabin also use a microfiber material that’s made out of recycled pop bottles. This highlights the sustainability that the company has been trying to achieve in recent years and the RS Q8 Performance is a potent example of this in action.

Performance makes this SUV a monster

V8 performance still defines the RS Q8 Performance but the march towards electrification might see this shift in the future.

Looking the part is one thing, actually having the performance credentials to back it up is another thing entirely. Thankfully, the model has the hardware to back it up with all models being powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that has been heavily modified to produce 631 hp. That’s the most power ever offered in an Audi and the V8 even manages to outmuscle the V10 engine that once powered the R8.

All of this performance is enough to help the SUV make the sprint to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds before topping out at 190 mph. The 0 to 60 time shaves a few seconds off the old model’s time and it also allowed the model to be the fastest SUV to make a lap around the Nurburgring with driver Frank Stippler completing a lap around the circuit in 7:36.69 which bested the Cayenne Turbo’s 7:38.92 time. A lesser RS Q8 model will still be offered but performance and the associated times that come with it dip slightly but a 0 to 62 time of 3.8 seconds is nothing to sneeze at.

How much?

Audi didn’t reveal U.S. pricing for the RS Q8 Performance but the company did confirm that the Performance version will start at €155,700 which is a bump up from the base RS’s €141,900. Ordering for European customers will begin in a few days but U.S. buyers looking for their chance to order will have to wait a bit with the first models potentially arriving here later this year.