After the Q8 Sport concept, we now have a new sign Audi is prepping a high-performance version of its big SUV.
Audi’s SUV portfolio keeps on growing as after introducing the Q2 at the bottom of the food chain, the Ingolstadt-based marque is now working on the new Q8 range topper. It will be out in production guise next year and the company has already dropped a hint it might do an RS version by showcasing the Q8 Sport concept pictured below. Now, we have yet another clue Audi Sport will work its magic on the big SUV as a trademark filling for “RS Q8” was registered just yesterday with the European Union Intellectual Property Office and is currently being examined.
If you’re still not convinced the RS portfolio will be expanded with some high-riding offerings, Audi Sport’s chief Stephan Winkelmann has already admitted more SUVs will get the RS badge in the years to come. He went on to specify there’s a growing demand for fast SUVs and naturally the company with the four-ring logo wants to take advantage of the trend. Market studies conducted by Audi have shown that between an RS SUV and a beefier R8 supercar, more people are interested in the former.
Unlike the Q7 lineup that currently maxes out with a torquetastic SQ7 diesel, the Q8 will benefit from the whole RS shebang and is going to be blessed with a gasoline engine. A biturbo 4.0-liter V8 seems like a safe guess, and it should have somewhere in the region of 600 horsepower channeled to the Quattro AWD system through an automatic gearbox.
As to when we will actually get to see it in production metal, chances are the large-and-in-charge SUV will be out sometime in 2019. Aside from an adding the Q8 in standard and RS flavors, Audi is also preparing the Q4 slated to come out before the end of the decade. A pair of E-Tron electric crossovers is also due until 2020.
Source: EUIPO via VW Vortex