Oval exhaust tips on an Audi are always a reason for excitement, but Audi Sport’s latest project appears to be the Q8, a version of which our spy photographers caught testing in the Alps with the subbrand’s signature pipes.
The Q8 is meant to be Audi’s halo SUV, combining the scale of the Q7 with design elements that harken back to Audi’s rallying glory days, it was always going to get peformance versions. Oddly, though, this is rumored to be the only performance version based on the Q8.
That is to say that Audi will go the Q3 route and forego the S Q8, focusing all its efforts instead on the RS Q8.
Fortunately, Audi Sport has a deep parts bin to pick from when it comes to speed. Based on the same platform as the Cayenne and Urus, the RS Q8 is sure to pack a mean punch.
Although nothing has been confirmed yet, it seems likely that the RS Q8 will be powered by the same 4-liter twin-turbo V8 as the Urus. It makes up to 650 hp and will likely be paired to Audi’s S tronic gearbox.
Much of this Q8’s lower half is covered in camouflage, which suggests that the bumpers and side skirts will be reconsidered to make them look the part. The wheel houses also look bigger, which should allow them to contain bigger wheels, which in turn should allow the RS Q8 to have bigger brakes.
All of this, we imagine, will be toned down, as compared to the Urus, adding a little luxury to attract a different buyer. Just where the RS Q8 will fit in alongside the Cayenne is a bit of an open question, though. Already a speedy, luxurious SUV, it’s hard to imagine how the RS Q8 and Cayenne won’t step on each others’ toes, though apparently Audi has no problem taking a bite out of Porsche when it wants to.