Essentially a sportier version of the Q7, it’s based on the same MLB Evo platform that is shared among the Volkswagen Group’s large SUVs, including the VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus. This makes it compatible with a whole lot of powertrains and, depending on the market, you can have it with different gasoline and diesel engines.
Sitting right at the top, though, is the RS Q8, which can be seen as a more accessible cousin to the Urus and a direct rival to the likes of the X6 M and AMG GLE 63 Coupe. It has 591 HP (599 PS / 441 kW) and 590 lb-ft (799 Nm) of torque produced by the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-biased quattro all-wheel drive system. The 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) is dispatched in 3.7 seconds and, flat out, it will do 190 mph (305 km/h).
However it’s not all about sheer amounts of power, as the RS Q8 is surprisingly comfortable. It has more boot space than the RS6 Avant super estate, and the cockpit is adorned with the finest leather and Alcantara upholstery and carbon fiber trim. Nonetheless, you will find the interior to be a fingerprint magnet, with lots of shiny surfaces and no less than three screens, and you probably won’t be too fond of the storage spaces, as they could have done better given that it will spend more time doing grocery and school runs than lapping the track at full pace.
Given the huge power available via the right pedal, you will find yourself driving like you’re always late. And you will perhaps forget from time to time that you’re sitting in a vehicle that weighs around 5,000 lbs (2,300 kg), as it handles great. The all-wheel steering helps it corner faster, and although it will understeer if pushed really hard in a corner and may even kick the rear out a bit, you can feel its high-tech safety systems and all-wheel drive working to keep you safely on the road.
These were some of Rory Reid’s notes after checking out the RS Q8, and you can find more of them in his video review of the ultra-fast crossover right after the break.