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Audi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 Debut

The American version of the Audi Q7 has been successful due to a combination of German seriousness and practicality. But with the recently launched Q8, Audi is betting that people are willing to sacrifice a bit more money and some of that space for style. While the looks of this BMW X6 rival are subjective, the range isn't complete with just V6 engines, not when the letters M and AMG are trending. And that's where the RS Q8 comes in.
Audi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 Debut 11 photos
Audi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 DebutAudi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 DebutAudi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 DebutAudi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 DebutAudi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 DebutAudi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 DebutAudi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 DebutAudi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 DebutAudi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 DebutAudi RS Q8 Spied With 600 HP 4-Liter V8 Doing Winter Tests Ahead of 2019 Debut
You could say that Audi has never built a model like this before, that it should have done so decades ago. But just like you couldn't make Avatar without good CGI, the RS Q8 arrives at a perfect time to take advantage of new tech and be awesome in the process. The downside is that it won't have the heritage of its rivals, but also none of the emotional baggage of the ugly GLE 63 Coupe.

The RS Q8 is as near to a clean slate as it gets, the base 335-horsepower model is only now entering the North American market, bringing with it the kind of screen technology Audi owners haven't seen before. And while the RS7 has been offering awesome V8 performance in a somewhat family-friendly package, it doesn't compare to how good the packaging for the Q8 is.

At its core, you've got a platform and V8 engine developed with Porsche, ready to take 48-volt mild-hybrid tech, rear-wheel steering, clever anti-roll bars and the best auto gearboxes around. According to our leaked info, this RS flagship is going to debut towards the end of the year. Of course, it won't be available in America at that time, but it's still pretty soon for Audi, which used to take as many as four years or more to show an RS version of a car.

Performance-wise, we expect the RS Q8 to sit somewhere between the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the Lamborghini Urus. Rumors put it anywhere between 550 and 650 horsepower (those are the outputs of the SUVs mentioned above), and we believe it's going to match the output of the outgoing RS7 Performance at around 600 HP. That's basically in line with the upcoming BMW X5/X6 M and GLE 63 S, which are going to be the main rivals.

 
 
 
 
 

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