By Otsile Kadiege
The fastest production SUV around the Nürburgring is now available in Mzansi.
RS-specific exterior design
The RS Q8 features RS-specific looks like the high-gloss black finished octagonal single-frame grille, which is flanked by tinted HD Matrix LED headlights and a lower bumper with large air inlets.
As standard the RS Q8 is fitted with 23-inch wheels (largest wheels ever fitted to an Audi) and red painted calipers as standard or available in blue when opting for RS ceramic brakes. The exterior mirror caps come standard with an aluminium look and include black or carbon available as options.
To further emphasize its wider stance (10mm front and 5mm rear), an HD Matrix LED light strip with sequential turn signals connects the rear lights which are backed by a high-gloss black surface. The RS Q8 features signature RennSport oval exhaust tips for the RS Q8’s quad tailpipes.
Spacious RS-specific interior design and technology
Inside, the RS Q8 features a clean and logically laid out design. A slim instrument panel and the strongly horizontal lines convey a feeling of spaciousness. The driver is greeted by standard black (Cognac is optional) perforated Valcona leather sport seats with honeycomb pattern and a massage feature.
The RS-specific flat-bottom steering wheel has an RS-Mode button allowing the driver to select the new Audi drive select modes, RS1 and RS2. Audi drive select affects such things as engine and transmission management, steering boost, the air suspension, all-wheel steering, engine sound and the characteristic of the automatic air conditioning.
These modes will bring up RS-specific displays automatically in the Audi virtual cockpit. The latter along with the MMI display provide information on such things as tyre pressure, torque, output, temperature, lap times and g-forces.
The RS Q8 is equipped with the top infotainment system MMI navigation plus as standard, which exploits the full potential of Audi connect. The navigation system offers satellite images and takes predictions on the development of the traffic situation, weather, parking availability and point of interest search information into account.
The RS Q8 demonstrates its uncompromised everyday usability in the rear thanks to its standard sliding three-seat rear bench. With the seat backrests folded down, the luggage compartment under the power rear hatch holds up to 1,755-litres.
The Audi RS Q8 is powered by a bi-turbo direct injection 4.0-litre petrol V8 engine producing a whooping 441 kW and 800 Nm paired to an 8-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox. Power is sent to all wheels via the automaker’s Quattro AWD system which helps propel the RS Q8 from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. The top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h and can be optionally extended to 280 km/h. Thanks to its 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 firing sequence and standard sports exhaust system, the RS Q8 has a sportily voluminous sound.
As standard the RS Q8 is fitted with internally vented composite disks measuring 420 mm up front, 370 mm at the rear and 10-inch piston calipers. The optional RS ceramic brakes measure 440 mm up front and 370 mm at the rear.
The fire breathing bi-turbo V8 has a 48-volt main electrical system and a cylinder on demand system to help improve efficiency.
In order for it to handle longitudinal and lateral forces separately, the RS Q8 has a five-link construction at the front and rear axles. The linkages and the subframes are made largely of aluminium. As standard the RS Q8 is fitted with adaptive air suspension and all-wheel steering.
The optional electromechanical active roll stabilization (EAWS) minimize body roll during fast cornering.
Pricing, warranty and availability
The Audi RS Q8 TFSI Quattro is priced from R 2,354,500 and comes standard with a five year Audi Freeway Plan. It will officially go on sale in South Africa from 1 April 2021.
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