Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins, Photos by Garvin St Villier
There is something special about RS models from the four rings of Audi Sport. So, if you are a connoisseur of Audi’s Q8 line, then you must be thankful for the manifestation of the prestigious RS Q8. It is an extraordinary machine for extraordinary individuals. The RS Q8 is the consummate SUV that allows you to arrive in style to dinner or hit the track on weekends to release euphoric ambitions.
The RS moniker is Audi’s artistic vision to transform their quattro AWD roadrunners into German works of art. Our star-studded 2023 Audi RS Q8 in Dragon Orange Metallic arrived with a boisterous personality, energetic performance, and imaginative design enhancements. Formed by Quattro GmbH, Audi’s high-performance division, RS translates to RennSport, which in turn equates to “racing sport.” The RS Q8 continues to set the bar exceedingly high as Audi seeks the respect and affection of fans of super SUVs. Hitting 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and the aggressive growl from the sports exhaust system are excellent indicators of the SUV’s capabilities! Though, city mpg (miles per gallon) is just 13, so drive with strategy.
Think of the RS Q8 as an outlier SUV with the dynamic design specs of an Audi coupe that accelerates like greyhounds out of the gate. Mechanically, the RS Q8 is blessed with a bi-turbo 4.0 TFSI V8, an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission, and quattro AWD (includes a sport rear differential). Behind the wheel, I was enamored with the vehicle’s acceleration from its 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque distribution. With impressive steering inputs and all-wheel steering, it cuts corners at accelerated rates like Six Flags Great Adventure’s Kingda Ka rollercoaster. However, combined with massive 16.5” front / 14.6” rear brake discs and 10-piston front and single-piston rear calipers, more brake dust was produced than I would have liked to clean. Yet, stopping power is remarkable!
My Dragon Orange Metallic Audi drove around town garnering significant attention from its vibrant paint to its aggressive features such as an RS-specific honeycomb grille, RS model spoiler, 23″ Audi Sport 5-Y-spoke rotor design rims, a specialized front spoiler, RS-specific side blades, RS model oval exhaust outlets, black Audi rings, a prominent rear diffuser, and much more. Also, HD Matrix-LED laser headlights help dominate the front fascia and strong character lines and flared wheel arches offer a grounded stance. Furthermore, our Black Optic package attracted ancillary attention from admirers of German engineering.
Inside, the aeronautical cockpit is similar to the SQ8 with the cerebral dual-screen MMI touch response system (10.1″ upper and 8.6″ lower display) and placement of the handheld gear shifter. Yet, a noticeable difference is the bolstered Valcona leather seats with honeycomb stitching and RS embossing. You will also be appeased by the carbon twill matte inlays and 3-spoke perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel. However, I would like to see magnesium or aluminum shift paddles instead of plastic. Whether driving long distances or through the city, I never felt daunted by the RS Q8’s capabilities. In fact, with Audi Drive Select, you can customize the SUV for aggression or tame it for daily commuting. In addition, RS 1 and RS 2 settings allow you to adjust the performance of your RS Q8. Each can be selected from the multi-function steering wheel’s “RS MODE” button.
MSRP for this quintessential 2023 Audi Sport SUV starts at $125,800, but my model tallied to $140,330 with all available options such as the $4,900 Bang and Olufsen Advanced sound system, $3,250 Black Optic package, $2,800 Executive package, $1,500 Luxury package, and $1,500 Night Vision Assistant. Enjoy as its performance traits are impeccable and technology features are incredible, as Audi fans are fully aware.