Production version will go after the BMW X6 M and Mercedes GLE 63 Coupe.
It was only a little over a month ago when Audi unveiled at NAIAS the Q8 concept pictured here and already it seems a high-performance RS version is getting ready for its world premiere. Believed to debut in about three weeks in Geneva alongside the facelifted RS3 Sportback, the RS Q8 will eschew the regular Q8’s plug-in hybrid powertrain to make room for a meaty biturbo 4.0-liter V8 linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Reports are indicating the concept will have roughly the same power as the S8 Plus, which generates 605 hp (445 kW) and 700 Nm (517 lb-ft) of torque from the very same eight-cylinder engine used by an assortment of other RS models. As with all RS-badged concepts and production models, the go-faster Q8 will have a Quattro all-wheel-drive system and according to company insiders will do 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in less than five seconds before hitting in excess of 186 mph (300 kph).
As you would imagine, the RS Q8 is going to look substantially more aggressive than the regular concept unveiled in the Motor City and is said to feature a wider grille, prominent front splitter, and trapezoidal-shaped headlights equipped with matrix LED tech. Some sporty cues inside the cabin are also on the agenda to further differentiate the RS-flavored concept from the regular Q8.
This spicy rumor about an RS Q8 doesn't actually come as a big surprise taking into account Audi Sport GmbH (formerly known as Quattro GmbH) has set its sights on expanding the RS portfolio in the years to come. New arrivals are likely to include an RS Q5 and even an RS Q2, while a hypercar is also being considered to slot above the R8 V10 Plus.
Taking into account the standard Q8 is pinned for a 2018 launch, expect Audi to launch the RS derivative at some point in 2019 or early 2020.