Audi’s apex SUV is called the Q8. The model is a relative newcomer to the fray, but it seems Audi is keen to stake its claim to the performance end of this segment with the Audi RS Q8. When we drove the 55 TFSI Q8 earlier this year (review here) we didn’t feel shortchanged in the power department, but there are those who will always want more, and that is what the RS Q8 is all about.

Shared platforms and power

It’s little secret that the VW Group brands share underpinnings. This is also true of the Audi RS Q8 that shares its platform with the likes of the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and the Porsche Cayenne.

Audi RS Q8 drivetrain

Audi RS Q8 drivetrain

Powering the Audi RS Q8 is a 4,0-litre twin-turbocharged engine that cranks out a massive 442 kW. Peak torque is rated at 800 N.m developed at a lowly 2 200 r/min. Audi says the RS Q8 will sprint to 100 km/h in just 3,8 seconds and on to a top speed of 305 km/h. The Q8’s quattro system can send up to 70 per cent of torque to the front axle, and a max of 85 per cent to the rear.

To rein in the large SUV it is fitted with an RS braking system. Internally vented discs measure 420 mm up front and 370 mm at the rear. The discs are clamped by 10 piston calipers.

Click here to read about our time in the Audi Q3.

Macho appearance

The RS Q8 comes standard with 22-inch aluminium wheels shod with 295/40 tyres. Optional 23-inch cast aluminium wheels are available exclusively for the RS Q8. The single-frame grille has a carbon-fibre surround and the mode has fender extensions on the front items. The tinted RS HD Matrix LED headlights have a three-dimensional daytime running lights signature.

The powerful RS Q8 will arrive in SA in 2020.