With 600 horsepower, the RS Q8 on paper has actually slightly less power than the Urus, but that didn’t stop Audi from taking away Lamborghini’s crown of fastest SUV around the Nurburgring Nordschleife as it managed to set a lap time of 7 minutes 42 seconds which was 5 seconds quicker than its Italian cousin. The record stood until very recently Porsche went a tiny bit quicker in the Cayenne Turbo GT. Of course, these kinds of lap record aren’t mega relevant in the real world, but it does show the ultimate capability of the car and the massive amount of engineering that went into making such a feat possible. 0 to 100 km/h takes 3.8 seconds on paper, but it seems in the real world you may well find it does it a tenth or two quicker still.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the RS Q8, having taken note of its considerable performance achievements, is just how normal it feels out on the road. Unlike many cars which have set Nurburgring records, this is still a very comfortable car and for all intents and purposes it feels like a regular big SUV so long as you don’t step on its tail. If anything, I think Audi could’ve made its normal driving mode feel a bit less laid back as I ended up driving around in Sport mode most of the time to get better throttle response and to hear that lovely V8 rumble a bit better. No matter how much you dial up the car’s settings though, it never gets anywhere near as brutal and shouty as its Lamborghini cousin. If you want a more dressed up and subtle under-the-radar version of the super SUV, this would be it. At the same time, I appreciate the fact that with Audi, unlike BMW M or Mercedes AMG, the RS moniker does not do double duty as a slightly sportier trim level for its regular cars. There’s the lower spec S designation for those, leaving RS to be exclusive used for the properly quick stuff.