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Audi’s 440kW/800Nm RS Q8 sprint to 100k/h in 3.8 seconds

21 November 2019

Audi has finally taken the wraps off the all-new RS Q8, which means we know have verified performance figures.

This attractive beast is equipped with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine, which develops 440kW and 800Nm of torque. Audi claims it will sprint to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds and on to an electronically limited top-speed of 250km/h.

It’s bound to sound good as well, as it comes as standard with an RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trims. As is typical for an Audi RS, the dual exhaust system features a large oval tailpipe on each side. The driver can also influence the engine’s sound via the Audi drive select system.

The biturbo V8 in the new RS Q8 draws on a mild hybrid system that uses a 48-volt main electrical system as its basis. The core of the MHEV is a belt alternator-starter connected to the crankshaft. During deceleration and braking, it can recover up to 12 kW of power and store it in the compact lithium-ion battery. The new RS Q8 recuperates or coasts for up to 40 seconds with the engine off. The belt alternator starter starts the engine within fractions of a second.

The power of the V8 TFSI flows to the quattor permanent all-wheel drive system via the standard eight-speed triptronic transmission. Configured as a planetary gear, the purely mechanical centre differential typically distributes the drive power in a 40:60 ratio to the front and rear axles. In the event of slip, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70 percent can be directed to the front wheels and up to 85 percent to the rear wheels.

All-wheel steering and torque vectoring is also standard. The former moves the rear wheels via a high-torque electric spindle drive and two track rods. At low speeds, the rear wheels turn up to 5 degrees opposite the direction of the front wheels for greater agility. At high speeds, they turn up to 1.5 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels to improve stability during fast lane changes.

With variable ground clearance, short overhangs, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and hill descent control, the new Audi RS Q8 can carry on calmly and confidently when paved roads end.

The new RS Q8 comes standard with 22-inch aluminium wheels in a 10-spoke star design with 295/40-series tyres – the largest ever factory-installed on an Audi production model. Optional 23-inch cast aluminium wheels in a 5 Y-spoke rotor design are available exclusively for the RS Q8. Carbon Black editions are fitted with the 23-inch 5-Y spoke wheels in gloss black, while an anthracite black with diamond turned finish is applied to the Vorsprung.

Behind the large wheels is an RS brake system with internally vented composite discs (420 mm) up front, 370 mm at the rear. Their 10-inch piston callipers are painted black as standard, but are available in red as an option.

The RS Q8 will arrive in SA in 2020.