We are living in a time when sport utility vehicles and supercars aren't all that far removed from one another. Case in point, the 2020 Audi RS Q8, which officially made its debut Wednesday at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Those familiar with the Volkswagen Group's product strategy will remember that the Audi Q8 coupe-SUV-thing shares its platform with the Lamborghini Urus, among other products. The RS Q8, with its twin-turbocharged V8 engine, is basically Audi's version of the outrageous Lambo SUV, albeit a bit more toned down -- kind of.
For starters, the RS Q8 isn't half as homely as the Urus, though if I'm honest, I still can't look at this thing and think "pretty." The RS Q8 is slightly wider and lower than the standard Q8, riding on wheels as large as 23 inches in diameter. Aluminum and carbon fiber styling packs can enhance(?) the exterior appearance, offering a two-tone effect.
Move inside and you'll find the RS Q8's interior to be, well, like any other Audi. That is to say, nicely appointed, supercomfortable and chock-full of the latest and greatest infotainment tech. Unique sport seats and a new, flat-bottom steering wheel are some of the RS-specific changes seen here, while the standard Audi Virtual Cockpit and MMI Touch Response tech remain Roadshow favorites.
Under the hood, you'll find a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8, producing 592 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. That's 58 fewer horsepower and 37 fewer pound-feet than the Urus, but hey, Lamborghini buyers have to get their money's worth, right? Still, the RS Q8 won't be a slouch; Audi estimates it'll sprint to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 189 mph.
Interestingly, the RS Q8's engine uses 48-volt mild-hybrid technology, which increases the use of the stop-start system and smooths that whole process out. It also powers the optional electromechanical active roll stabilization (EAWS) system, which reduces the amount of body roll while cornering. This is the same kind of tech Mercedes-Benz uses in the and SUVs. It's also found in vehicles like the Bentley Bentayga and Continental GT.
Audi hasn't yet confirmed a starting price for the US-spec RS Q8, though it'll no doubt come in well below the $200,000 asking price of an Urus. We'll know all that and more closer to the RS Q8's on-sale date sometime in 2020.