2020 Audi RS Q8 packs speed, svelte looks for 6-figure price

For $113,995, the kids can get to school fast.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2020 Audi RS Q8

Speed comes at a price.


Audi's ready to put a performance SUV in buyers' garages. Between the Audi SQ7, SQ8 and RS Q8, fans of speed and cargo space have quite a few new options. The thing is, the top dog will cost over six figures.

The German brand said on Thursday the 2020 RS Q8 will cost $113,995 to start after a $995 destination charge. That's quite a sum to swallow and it's $24,000 more expensive than the cheapest SQ8 model. The RS Q8 is over $28,000 more expensive than the cheapest SQ7.

Of course, it's more expensive for a reason. Unlike the SQ8 and SQ7, the RS Q8 houses 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, almost 100 hp and lb-ft of torque more than the less expensive SUVs  have. Not to mention, the cost comes with one big bragging right: The RS Q8 is the quickest production SUV around the Nurburgring Nordschleife with a 7:42.2 lap time.

On a nice, long straight road, the super SUV will go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and clip a top speed of 155 mph. Like the S-model SUVs, the RS Q8 will go 190 mph if buyers select optional RS ceramic brakes. An eight-speed automatic does shifting duties and sends power to all four wheels.

2020 Audi RS Q8: Fast, not furious

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The performance SUV also sports active torque distribution, which can send up to 70% of available torque to the front wheels and up to 85% to the rear wheels. Audi said this helps keep the RS Q8 more agile and provides extra traction when needed. RS-specific dampers are part of the standard active air suspension. All-wheel steering, active roll stabilization and seven different driving profiles are ready for drivers to take advantage of.

When it comes to the exterior, it's an angrier-looking thing than the milder SQ8. A specific pattern fills the grille, extra air inlets add to a wider look and trim pieces boast a gloss-black finish. The rear gets a functional roof spoiler and specific diffuser trim, and it wouldn't be an RS model without the big oval exhaust tips, which are present. Kick the tires on an RS Q8 and your foot will meet 22-inch wheels, but 23-inch wheels are available.

The same technology-laced song and dance is present inside with a virtual cockpit ahead of the driver and the MMI Touch system baked into the center stack. Two screens handle infotainment and HVAC controls. The materials match the price tag with real Valcona leather for the upholstery, and an additional package will add more leather accents and an Alcantara headliner.

It's a lot of car for $113,995, but then again, that's also the cost of a starter home in some parts of the country.

Watch this: Checking the excellent tech in the 2019 Audi Q8