Audi RS Q8 review

Category: Sports SUV

Section: Performance & drive

Audi RS Q8 rear cornering
  • Audi RS Q8 front cornering
  • Audi RS Q8 rear cornering
  • Audi RS Q8 dashboard
  • Audi RS Q8 rear seats
  • Audi RS Q8 lower touchscreen
  • Audi RS Q8 Alcantara gear selector
  • Audi RS Q8 front seats
  • Audi RS Q8 touchscreens
  • Audi RS Q8 boot
  • Audi RS Q8 boot badge
  • Audi RS Q8 front cornering
  • Audi RS Q8 side
  • Audi RS Q8 blurred front cornering
  • Audi RS Q8 front cornering
  • Audi RS Q8 rear cornering
  • Audi RS Q8 dashboard
  • Audi RS Q8 rear seats
  • Audi RS Q8 lower touchscreen
  • Audi RS Q8 Alcantara gear selector
  • Audi RS Q8 front seats
  • Audi RS Q8 touchscreens
  • Audi RS Q8 boot
  • Audi RS Q8 boot badge
  • Audi RS Q8 front cornering
  • Audi RS Q8 side
  • Audi RS Q8 blurred front cornering
What Car?’s RS Q8 deals
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

As you’d expect, the RS Q8 is seriously fast, with 0-62mph covered in just 3.8sec. That means it matches the brawnier BMW X6 M Competition and the far lighter Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.

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.

Audi RS Q8 rear cornering
New car deals
Target Price from £110,665
or from £1,231pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Used car deals
From £99,500
Leasing deals
From £1,377pm