Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
It’s just a pity there’s often a significant gap between you flooring the accelerator and the eight-speed automatic gearbox changing down. In fact, if you want the RS Q8 to leap forward in a hurry, you’re better off being a little gentler with the accelerator so the gearbox doesn’t get involved; the engine produces so much torque that you’ll still surge towards the horizon, just without the initial pause.
Sure enough, most of the time the RS Q8 is remarkably forgiving when you leave it in Comfort mode – particularly given the mammoth 23in alloy wheels fitted to our test car. However, run into a large pothole and the result is a forceful thwack so loud and jarring that you’ll think you might have damaged something.
As for the handling, those active anti-roll bars help the RS Q8 corner more like a well-sorted hot hatch than a 2.4-tonne SUV, while precise steering with sharp responses adds to your confidence. Just bear in mind that the Turbo version of the Porsche Cayenne Coupé is more involving at similar speeds.
When you need to slow things down, the RS Q8’s humongous brakes do a great job and resist fade well. And standard four-wheel steering makes this huge car surprisingly easy to manoeuvre in town and squeeze round tight car parks.