thirteenth Feb 2020 six:00 am
We head to the volcanic island of Tenerife to take a look at the similarly explosive RS Q8 – Audi’s newest, fastest and wildest SUV.
The sporty and design and style-concentrated Q8 was sure to have sportier versions, and it did – the S Q8 and the faster even now RS Q8. But the latter, which we have below, isn’t just Audi’s fastest SUV, it is also the world’s fastest SUV!
Clocking a time of 7min forty two.253sec about the Nürburgring, the de facto general performance yardstick, the RS Q8 bettered the Mercedes-AMG GLC sixty three S document by about 8sec. Audi suggests it didn’t set out to make a document holder, but as soon as they realised just how speedy it was, they decided to give it a shot. And so, even right before its official unveil, Audi take a look at driver Frank Stippler went and broke the document on a damp working day had the ailments been excellent, Stippler reckons an additional 5sec were there to be had. In any circumstance, RS Q8 bagged the document and so the bragging legal rights to remaining the world’s fastest SUV. And the excellent news is, it is headed to India.
Audi could not have selected a far better location for the push. We were on the volcanic island of Tenerife, which features of Spain’s highest level – Mount Teide – at an elevation of three,718m. The approach was to push from the beachfront all the way up to the base of the volcanic cone: from solar and sand to snow and by a mix of speedy open highways and very well laid-out twisty mountain roads. It was the excellent environment to spotlight the car’s observe-document-breaking strengths of electrical power and poise.
For electrical power, Audi utilizes the 4.-litre TFSI V8 which is also the motive pressure for the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the Lamborghini Urus. Less than the hood of the Audi, it places out 600hp and a substantial 800Nm of torque loads of bang, additional than the Porsche’s 550hp and 770Nm. It, even so, is decrease than the Urus’ output of 650hp and 850Nm.
Fireplace the RS Q8 up and it growls to existence. Decibel-sensible, the rumble is fairly reduced though, and at gradual speeds, with the push mode set to ‘Comfort’, you’d be tricky-pressed to notify this version has some significant firepower beneath its hood. Transfer into a sportier mode and the mighty V8 will make its arrival recognised obviously there’s also an optional RS activity exhaust method that pipes matters a notch larger. Signaling the breadth of its talents, the RS Q8 has quite a number of push modes – there’s Car, Comfort, Dynamic, Efficiency, All-highway, and even an off-highway mode in which experience peak can be improved by 90mm. There are two additional independently configurable ‘RS’ modes, referred to as RS1 and RS2. RS 1 lets you set up the engine, gearbox, suspension, even though RS 2 influences the Digital Steadiness System. The two modes permit you keep your favourite set up for a quick get in touch with to responsibility via the steering wheel-mounted ‘RS’ hot critical. It’s in essence the programmable asterisk button from other Audis, but calling it the ‘RS mode’ is additional pleasurable.
In advance of we can relish the mountains, there’s the city to tackle, and with the car or truck in ‘Comfort’, it is surprising how conveniently you can potter about town. The RS Q8 is big, of training course, but it receives four-wheel-steering, which presents it some excellent manoeuvrability in targeted visitors and restricted parking spots. Provided the SUV’s dimension, I predicted to make recurrent two-level turns, but I truly didn’t have to.
The eight-velocity torque converter is easy and quick, but, at periods, when you need to overtake in targeted visitors, it takes a even though to downshift. Moreover, in Comfort mode, upshifts are quite early as it operates at a extremely financial environment heck, there’s even a gentle-hybrid method with cylinder deactivation. What’s additional, Audi suggests in between speeds of 55-160kph, if the driver lifts off the throttle, the engine can deactivate for up to 40sec, if selected powertrain ailments are met. I experimented with this out but it didn’t shut down. I didn’t attempt for lengthy though with this remaining an RS-spec Q8, I was not intrigued in driving economically.
Out on the highway, the RS Q8 in ‘Dynamic’ is massively easy in the way it gathers velocity. The wave of torque flowing from the V8 is enormous and is accompanied by a good baritone growl from the exhausts.
Comfortable and sensible, rear-seat travellers will have minimal to complain about.
Once we’re in the mountains, my breath is basically taken away – the RS Q8 has electrical power, certainly, but the authentic showstopper below is the handling. Street grip is superb, and there is negligible overall body roll – in fact, considering the car’s dimension, I’d say it is as excellent as practically nothing. The steering too is very well weighted and quick. I’m quickly attacking corner just after corner, and the RS Q8 needs to go faster even now.
The handling is merely sublime, you’ll want to thrust on and on. This isn’t a little something I delight in performing in an SUV, even some of the sporty kinds, as hustling about all that mass inevitably receives to you. But below it is just so phenomenally car or truck-like of training course, there’s excellent explanation for this. Bestowing the RS Q8 with its observe-document-busting handling is some significant components. For starters, the front and rear observe are wider, there’s four-wheel steering, and it utilizes the similar air suspension set up as the S Q8 but with the spring and damper premiums firmed up for RS responsibility. In addition to the Quattro method, there is an possibility of what Audi phone calls the ‘Quattro Sport Differential’ for energetic torque vectoring at the rear axle.
Far more magic will come from the 48V energetic anti-roll bar method that decouples two halves of the roll bar for far better experience convenience, but then in corners, an electric powered motor twists them in the opposite course to counter overall body roll. What’s attention-grabbing is that the motor also acts as a generator, charging the method when the wheels are deflected, like by bumps on the highway suffice to say, we’ll always have a absolutely billed method in Mumbai.
RS button: a general performance shortcut critical.
Rounding off the handling bits are the substantial 22-inch 295/forty tyres offered as regular – the most significant manufacturing unit-installed units on an Audi. There’s also an possibility of 23-inchers. Audi suggests the big rims were also a requirement due to the big disc brakes made use of. The brakes work continually, but arresting two tonnes of speeding steel will tax any method, and on some speedy downhill driving, the optional carbon-ceramic brakes heated up and began squealing. Backing off for a even though delivers matters again to regular though.
Like the city streets, thehighway and mountain roads are so fantastically very well surfaced (even far better than people in the Spanish mainland) that they make it tricky to decide all round experience high-quality. There is an indication of a marginally organization experience – understandable, specified the firmer spring and damper premiums – but we’ll have to see how it fares on our roads.
Against the Grain
The Q8 is intended to join the SUV-coupé bandwagon but its roofline does not dip as sharply as its competitors. So, if you like the mash-up of a sharply sloping coupé roof and a higher-sided SUV overall body, then the RS Q8’s competitors would be additional to your flavor. To me, even so, the mildly sloping roofline can make it seem sporty and purposeful.
Adding to the sporty seem are the enlarged front air intakes, the shiny black honeycomb grille, and RS-certain roof spoiler, rear skirt and oval tailpipes. Audi has also made use of a good deal of black rather of chrome, as observed on the normal Q8, and, of training course, there’s RS badging, both of those on the exterior and within.
1 of the quite a few RS-certain shows.
As with the exterior, the interiors are shared too. So, you get the touchscreen and touch-surface area-intensive dashboard but with RS goodies, this kind of as a good deal of Alcantara and carbon-fibre finish, specific RS shows in the Virtual Cockpit, and multimedia screen for electrical power, torque, lap periods and G-forces. The optional head-up screen receives RS-certain screens as very well. The entire sprint spot looks extremely point out of the art, and it is only the spot forward of the front passenger that looks too slab-sided.
Our car or truck had the RS activity seats, which were comfortable plenty of and didn’t go away us with any complaints. Just to far better the knowledge, Audi has even thrown in a therapeutic massage operate, as very well as heating and cooling. As for other equipment, the RS Q8 will come loaded with all the goodies you’d be expecting from a higher-conclusion Audi – the Virtual Cockpit screen, a killer 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound method, and loads of driver assists like collision avoidance support and intersection support.
Badge of Honour
Though the Audi RS Q8 will remain a specialized niche product, it could be between the far better-faring solutions. Its reduced roof lends it a sporty plenty of seem, and by avoiding the sharp coupé-like dip at the rear, there’s additional headroom, and so it could charm to a wider viewers. Furthermore, in ascending to the altar of velocity, Audi has not designed any sacrifices – the RS Q8 is comfortable, sensible and very well loaded. You could push it to your golf club, consider your loved ones out on a quick sprint across the country, or even consider it to the racetrack for a bit of pleasurable.
The RS Q8 isn’t going to be affordable though, as it will be a full import and is possible to price near to
Rs 2 crore. As a competitor to the BMW X6 M and Mercedes-AMG GLE sixty three Coupe, it would sit very well in opposition to them and the Cayenne Turbo Coupe as very well. Apparently, though, seem at it in opposition to the Lamborghini Urus and it would be a relative bargain. No doubt the Urus is an particularly capable SUV, with a fancier nameplate to boot, but then all over again, the Audi has the title of the world’s fastest SUV.
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