2021 Audi RS Q8 review: Supercar fun for the whole family

Victoria D. Doty


Jon Wong/Roadshow

Significant-performance SUVs with coupe-like rooflines are unquestionably a thoroughly fledged course of their have, with the BMW X6 M Level of competition, Mercedes-AMG GLE63 and Porsche Cayenne Turbo offered now. All boast a sprint of added design and style about historically shaped SUVs, not to mention heaps of ability and punched-up handling capabilities. The newcomer in this course is the Audi RS Q8, a performance CUV so perfectly-honed it now retains the creation SUV lap file of 7 minutes, 42.2 seconds all-around Germany’s Nürburgring. 


  • Huge performance and each day comfort and ease
  • Sleek appears to be within and out
  • Exceptional cabin tech

You should not Like

  • Lacks drama
  • Light-weight steering
  • Can get authentic expensive fast

Decrease-critical performer

What does the Audi’s Nürburgring lap file imply? To car or truck dorks it signifies bragging legal rights. For every person else, not significantly. But this standard tale of the tape is a thing people today of all automotive expertise bases will possible fully grasp. The heart and soul of this achievement is the RS Q8’s motor: a four.-liter twin-turbocharged V8 shoving out 591 horsepower and 590 pound-toes of torque with the latter having your back again from 2,two hundred to four,500 rpm. 

Channeling ability to all of the RS Q8’s wheels is an 8-speed computerized transmission, letting this SUV to access sixty mph in just three.7 seconds, on its way to a top rated speed of a hundred ninety mph. (Note: This top rated speed is only unlocked if you spring for the upgraded carbon ceramic brakes.) All things thought of, all those are bonkers stats. But you know what? The BMW, Mercedes and Porsche all replicate that -to-sixty-mph time.

In the authentic planet, the Audi’s drivetrain surprisingly won’t behave like an angry, hyperactive brute. From a dig, the RS Q8 won’t launch with mad gusto. As an alternative, it easily will get out of the hole, pulls solid to the engine’s 6,750-rpm redline and rattles off seamless, perfectly-timed gear changes. If you aren’t shelling out near notice, it is straightforward to get perfectly previous posted speed restrictions on floor streets, many thanks to the progressive throttle tuning and lower gurgle from the exhaust. You get civilized aggression from the powertrain. The RS Q8 is in no way loud, shouty or harsh when likely about its organization, while I want it ended up a little bit additional uncooked and loud in Dynamic mode.

Continuing the sleek theme, technological bits like a forty eight-volt delicate-hybrid program and cylinder deactivation go unnoticed. You will find no wonkiness in the brake pedal and you would be really hard pressed to convey to when the V8 is functioning on some or all of its cylinders. Those people attempts contribute to EPA-approximated thirteen mpg city and 19 mpg highway ratings, placing the RS Q8 on par with the rest of its competitive established. I noticed thirteen.1 mpg during a 7 days of testing.

Dialed-up dynamics

From a performance standpoint, the RS Q8’s handling chops are its most remarkable attribute. To enable this 5,490-pounder hustler more challenging it is acquired a rear-biased all-wheel-push program, torque-vectoring rear differential, air suspension, all-wheel steering, active anti-roll bars and upgraded 23-inch Y-spoke wheels with 295/35 sequence tires (22-inchers come standard).

A larger handling IQ arrives courtesy in section from some massive 23-inch Continental tires.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Place the Audi Drive Find program into its Dynamic environment and the RS Q8 hunkers down and hangs on tight all-around cloverleaf on-ramps. Credit rating the tires’ big ol’ get in touch with patches and all the performance features’ technological wizardry for all the grip and composure this crossover displays when driven really hard. Receiving the RS Q8 sloppy on the street necessitates caning it way more challenging than you responsibly ought to. 

Instilling even additional assurance at the rear of the wheel are the aforementioned carbon ceramic brakes. The $nine,000 solution signifies there are 10-piston calipers clamping down on monstrous 17.three-inch rotors up front and still-darn-big 14.6-inch rotors with one-piston calipers all-around back again. Like all the things else, pressing down on the still left pedal won’t yield mad preliminary chunk, letting for sleek brake apps. A minimal additional strain unlocks the big stopping muscle when you want to go further into brake zones or conduct panic stops.

In regular Audi fashion, frivolously weighted steering is a sticking issue in Dynamic. I want having a touch additional heft in the wheel, but I have no complaints about the steering’s responses. That’s not to say there aren’t moments when the mild steering is effective — when you put the car or truck in Comfort mode for regular commuting, for example. Speaking of commuting, the RS Q8 does fine below, with the adaptive dampers taking the edge off all but the greatest roadway dangers. In addition to the great grip they give, the big Continental tires are worthy of kudos for their deficiency of sound rolling down the road. 

Weightier steering experience for the RS Q8 is on the want listing.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

RS design and style and tech

This RS Q8 painted Daytona Gray Pearl with its added optional styling goodies is surely a looker. The changes to the RS about standard Q8 designs aren’t tremendous drastic, with additional aggressive bumpers, honeycomb grille inserts, oval exhaust suggestions and slicker wheels. Incorporate in a generous carbon fiber food plan on the front lip, grille surround, mirror caps, tailgate trim and rear bumper valance, and blacked-out particulars sprinkled about give the RS Q8 a lower-critical, but still sinister vibe.

Head within the RS Q8 and the style and design is simplistic with loads of straight strains. The front seats offer you loads of assistance to hold riders in put with RS honeycomb accent stitching on the inserts. These chairs offer you a massage perform with 7 unique kneading styles that I appreciate.

Construct good quality in this Audi is first-rate with loads of high-conclude materials put all over the cabin, like Alcantara on the headliner and door panels, matte carbon fiber sprint trim and leather-based-wrapped and stitched surfaces for most of the big panels. If you happen to be concerned about the more rapidly roofline slicing into 2nd-row headroom, do not be, mainly because there’s still adequate place for regular adults. Cargo room also isn’t far too shabby with a healthful 30.5 cubic toes on offer you that grows to sixty.7 cubic toes with the back again seats folded.

A very simple style and design and amazing create good quality spotlight the RS Q8’s inside.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Having treatment of infotainment in the RS Q8 is Audi’s MMI Touch Reaction program that is basically stellar. The twin-touchscreen setup has an 8.6-inch display screen on the bottom for weather perform controls and a 10.1-inch display screen up top rated for things like the rockin’ 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio setup, navigation with Google Maps imagery, mobile phone features and a Wi-Fi hotspot. It is all intuitive to perform by way of, giving fast responses to inputs and haptic feedback to enable you know a command has been entered. The thoroughly clean heart console structure is void of many really hard controls, but it does retain a common volume knob, which is a pretty good issue.

On the driver-aid engineering front, all RS Q8s get standard ahead-collision warning with computerized emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross visitors alert, a 360-diploma camera and automobile high beams. A $1,750 Driver Help Package deal adds a handful of additional tricks to this Audi’s arsenal like a great adaptive cruise manage program, lane-keep aid, visitors signal recognition and a head-up display screen. 

The MMI Touch Reaction program is a Roadshow favored.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

How I’d spec it

This take a look at car or truck is a perfectly-kitted-out RS Q8. It is acquired the aforementioned $nine,000 carbon ceramic brakes, $four,500 carbon fiber exterior bits, $2,950 black outside trim and greater wheels, $1,750 Driver Help Package deal, $595 paint occupation and $four,800 well worth of inside extras. On top rated of all that, it also has a $750 Towing Package deal enabling it to pull 7,seven-hundred kilos. Incorporate in a $1,095 desired destination cost and you get the not-so-unsubstantial $140,590 as-analyzed selling price of this car or truck.

For my perfect spec, I’d spring for the $595 Daytona Grey paint occupation and the $three,250 Black Optic Package deal. On the within I have to have the massaging seats that are section of the $three,a hundred and fifty Luxury offer that also necessitates you to equip the $2,000 Government Package deal that will get me comfortable-near doorways, the head-up display screen and acoustic glass. This pushes my Audi to a amazing $124,590, which is costly, but surely additional palatable.

The 2021 Audi RS Q8 begins at $115,595, like $1,095 for desired destination.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Radical family wagon

Of the swoopy midsize performance SUVs offered now, the Audi RS Q8 is a standout in several categories. I think exterior styling trumps the BMW X6 M, Mercedes-AMG GLE63 Coupe and the Porsche Cayenne Coupe. The Audi also will get my vote for cabin style and design and engineering about the BMW, Mercedes and Porsche. It isn’t, nonetheless, my winner in the performance column the Cayenne Turbo Coupe is a little bit additional involving from at the rear of the wheel.

In the conclude, while, the RS Q8 my top rated choose. It is a head-turner with a great cabin, ideal-in-course tech and provides all the place and comfort and ease a family ought to fairly have to have. That’s more than enough to outweigh the less emotional push knowledge, taking into consideration this car’s major aim is to be each day-driven. But genuinely, none of these performance SUV-coupes are poor, all giving sub-four-2nd -to-sixty-mph moments and physics-defying handling. Decide the one you like ideal, and if it isn’t the Audi, I’ll be below to remind you that yours won’t hold the Nürburgring file.

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