If most people were told a new Audi was on the way that would be the most powerful production model in the German automaker’s range when it lands in dealerships, it’s likely a new R8 or similar sports car sharing a V10 with a Lamborghini would be the popular guess. However, it’s actually going to be an SUV in the shape of an RS Q8 with a 504kW hybrid V8 shared with the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, according to a report from Autocar.
Audi Sport’s answer to the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 is now being spotted out and about in its camouflage undergoing road tests, and from what has been seen the new model is clearly heavily inspired by the RS Q8 concept Audi unveiled last year.
But it’s under the hood where things start to get really interesting as the RS Q8 would be getting the twin-turbo petrol engine and electric motor system already employed in the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.
As long as the hybrid system isn’t detuned in any way for the RS Q8, it would make the uber-SUV the most powerful vehicle Audi offers from the factory when it eventually goes on sale, even eclipsing the V10-powered R8 by as much as 50kW and 290Nm.
Of course, even though it could be more powerful than the R8, the RS Q8 will weigh a huge amount more so it won’t be able to offer anything like the performance of the supercar. Even so, this would still be quite an SUV with a wide range of driving characteristics ranging from the most environmentally friendly pure electric mode to the less-green Sport mode.
If the RS Q8 does come with the system’s full power it will certainly outgun its main rivals the GLE 63 and the BMW X6 M. The Mercedes falls well short in the power stakes with 430kW, and the BMW is even further behind with just 423kW on offer. To be fair, both rivals get their considerable weights from 0 to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, but it’s expected the Audi will beat that, if only just. – AFP Relaxnews