So, you’d like a sports car but really need an SUV for its utility, cargo capacity and AWD for some mild off-roading plus snowy roads.
Audi has just what you want. Their 2023 RS Q8 Quattro crossover combines the best of all worlds. This ultra-high-performance midsize luxury SUV is based in Audi’s top Q8 AWD SUV. The differences though are many as the RS Q8 is a hot performer with sports car attributes.
For starters, and compared to the Q8, the RS Q8 has aggressive styling with a blackened front grille, air inlets and Brembo-like red brake calipers. Its back end has a visual effect of a full width horizontal taillight assembly and Ovid-shaped tailpipe tips. The RS Q8’s sporty styling makes it look like it’s going 60 mph standing still.
And inside, oh the inside, it too is sporty and a standout with dual display virtual cockpit that features a 10-inch infotainment system display and a 9-inch screen for HVAC controls. It includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto connectivity, Bang & Olufsen audio, dual cameras, navigation, phone charger and much more.
The huge gauge digital gauge cluster is a system all itself with a long list of features, functions and alerts that’s aside from speed, tachometer, gearing and fuel gauge readouts.
Then there’s the ventilated heated/cooled front seats. They have a unique quilted design that’s complimented with extended under thigh support and lumbar support that snugs the torso ever so nicely. And with the Luxury package, the front seats are massaging seats
Sharing the console is a stubby gear selector for the 8-speed automatic transmission is supplemented with paddle shifters and mode selector for Allroad, Auto, Dynamic, RS, Comfort modes with “S” sub modes. All differ for a specific driving experience.
The rear seat, with a low 19.5-inch step-in at the air suspension system’s highest setting, offers gobs of leg and headroom. The handsome seats are sofa soft and comfy for long hauls.
With the optional Executive package, Audi adds dual-pane noise reducing windows, power soft-closing doors and heated rear seats.
Our test car also came with Night Vision Assistant that displays thermal imaging for improved night driving vision.
Audi thought of everything and to say the RS Q8 is loaded, is an understatement.
But the real highpoint is the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that generates 591-hp and 590-lb/ft of torque that’s coupled to a 48-volt hybrid system for added fuel economy. Transferring this potent power to the wheels is the 8-speed automatic transmission that is lighting quick with up and down shifts. The combination has been timed at 3.2 seconds for 0-60 mph. And the sound emanating from the exhaust pipes is sweet music to the ears. There’s certainly no want for power especially when the twin-turbo’s kick in. And get this. With the tow package, RS Q8 can tow up to an impressive 7,700 pounds. That’s a sizable trailer be it for a bass boat, camper or large utility trailer. It gets EPA mileage estimates of 13 city, 20-highway mpg and probably less because it’s difficult to not punch the throttle on occasion to experience the exhilarating push-you-back-in-the-seat acceleration. It offers devastating performance.
As mentioned, the RS Q8 came with an air suspension that can raise the frame three inches. This is helpful in deep snow or when going off the beaten path.
With all these attributes. RS Q8 rides heavenly and can be tossed in the turns with virtually no lean and it remains planted for a 5,490-pound SUV. It’s nimble and easy to park. And if this isn’t enough to impress, the Executive package also offers remote park assist plus that will park itself.
The sticker price reflected is one of the longest features laden I’ve seen in quite a while. Safety features include front collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, intersection alert w/auto braking, rear passenger safe-exit system to prevent rear passengers from opening a door in traffic, tire pressure monitoring and a host more.
As said, the options list is exhaustive as well. It includes Dragon Orange paint ($495), Bang & Olufsen audio ($4,900 ouch), Black Optic package ($2,800), Executive package ($2,800), Night Vision Assist ($2,250), Luxury package ($1,500), Towing package ($750), Audi Guard Protector Kit ($385), First Aid Kit ($50 – Lexus vehicles include this in the base price) and delivery $1,195 took the base price of $122,800 to $140,330.
RS Q8 comes with a 4 years/50K mile limited warranty, 12 years/limited corrosion protection and 4 years/roadside assistance. It was only government tested for rollover that earned it four out of five stars.