2021 Audi RS Q8 is a badass, surprisingly quick SUV

If you’re looking for the ultimate Audi SUV, the 2021 Audi RS Q8 is an excellent choice for its spacious, high-end interior, a burly engine generating 441kW, balanced ride, and intuitive tech features. In fact, its power performance is almost on par with the Lamborghini Urus. For real.

With the power that is just 50 hp less than the Urus and the price about half, the RS Q8 is equally incredible. The hyper-performance SUV arrived in the South African market in April with a hefty price tag of R2,401,500.

The latest Audi RS Q8 hasn’t change much for the 2021 model year. Audi improved the safety credentials of the performance SUV with some latest standard driver-assistance facilities like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. The Executive package now encompasses traffic sign recognition and an Intersection Assist system. Those opting for the RS-Design package would find carpeted floor mats with the RS logo, lined seatbelts, and faux-suede Alcantara upholstery on the centre console, steering wheel, and shift knob.

Audi says it is the most powerful SUV coupe from Audi Sport, and we can see why. The 4.0-litre V-8 engine pumps out 441kW and 800Nm of torque. The engine mates to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Quattro all-wheel-drive system. A 48-volt mild hybrid system is there to boost the fuel economy figures.

The company says the 2021 Audi RS Q8 can zoom to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds (only two-tenths sluggish than the related 478 kW Lamborghini Urus starting at R3 995 000). Depending on your selection, the top speed is limited to 250 km/h or 280 km/h.

Audi claims the new RS Q8 is the speediest production utility vehicle to complete the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in 7 minutes and 42.2 seconds.

The 2021 RS Q8 is not just a quick SUV; it is fun to drive as well, thanks to the adaptive air suspension with controlled damping with RS-specific damper tuning along with electromechanical active roll stabilisation system and all-wheel steering.

Audi’s drive select system comes with seven unique profiles (encompassing “allroad” and “offroad”), and you can arrange RS-specific modes (RS1 and RS2) through a reserved button on the steering wheel, as well.

You can accommodate five passengers easily in the RS Q8, similar to the regular model. However, Audi did a fine job distinguishing the cabin from the standard Q8 by adding a few unique trim bits and sportier, more assertively strengthened front seats to hold the occupants in place during cornering.

Of course, you can see the RS logos at multiple places. It is a big SUV, so there is no shortage of space when it comes to legroom and headroom for adults. You can store eight carry-on suitcases with seats intact and 23 in total with the seats folded.

The Audi Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster and dual-touchscreen MMI interface come with some RS-exclusive details like torque and power output, lap times, and g-forces. Apart from that, The 2021 RS Q8 offers the same tech as we find in the Q8 comprising Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, navigation, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

The 2021 RS Q8 is a perfect go-fast recipe with an upscale and roomy interior and lots of techs, making it a righteously fun SUV drive.

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