We kind of assumed it was coming, but it’s nice to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Audi has announced its 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show presence will be chockfull of performance models, including a world premiere with the first-ever RS Q8. After setting a new record for the fastest SUV at the Nürburgring, the big daddy of RS SUVs from Audi Sport will be unveiled in full tomorrow, November 20.
Audi Sport isn’t willing to spill the beans about its flagship SUV just yet, but it does reveal the vehicle will feature a twin-turbo eight-cylinder engine hooked up to a Quattro all-wheel-drive system with a sport differential. The RS Q8 has also been confirmed to feature rear-wheel steering and electromechanical active roll stabilization, but that’s all Audi is willing to share for the time being.
Gallery: 2021 Audi RS Q8 spy photos
Much like the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback also due to be shown in L.A., the RS Q8 will use a 4.0-liter V8 widely expected to offer the same 592 horsepower and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque. The sporty luxobarge will do 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds and max out at 190 mph (306 km/h), according to a recent report.
A big SUV looks good on big wheels, therefore Audi will offer a 23-inch set wrapped in 295/35 ZR23 Pirelli P Zero tires. The engineers have stiffened up the suspension compared to the SQ8 and have likely applied other tweaks to make the performance SUV worthy of its RS badge and the hefty premium it will command.
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Audi Q8
The RS Q8 will be joined on stage by a couple of other debuts, including the production version of the E-Tron Sportback. Another premiere will be the RS5 Panther Edition due to be offered only in 100 examples – 25 coupes and 75 Sportbacks. All will be painted in a fancy Audi Exclusive Panther Black crystal effect paint and will ride on two-tone 20-inch wheels with a five-spoke design borrowed from the RS4 Avant.
Created to "emphasize design elements of the high performance and distinct RS model," the Panther Edition will be visually distinguishable thanks to its RS interior design package featuring black Alcantara elements, representing a first for an RS model sold in the United States. These will be noticeable on the steering wheel and the sides of the center console and will be contrasted by red stitching and a red edge for the black seatbelts.
Audi will have the RS5 Panther Edition on sale in the U.S. from next month from $88,000.
All of these RS models will share the spotlight in L.A. starting tomorrow, November 20, with a trio of S-badged cars: S6, S7, and the S8.
Audi introduces 2020 e-tron Sportback, all-new RS models, and S models at Los Angeles Auto Show
- Global debut of Audi e-tron Sportback, second fully electric production model from Audi of America
- First-ever RS Q8 makes world debut at Los Angeles Auto Show, November 20
- New suite of RS models includes all-new Audi RS 6 Avant and RS 7
LOS ANGELES, November 18, 2019 – Bringing the latest in electrification, the all-new e-tron Sportback will make its global debut on the stand in Los Angeles. The first electric Sportback from Audi merges thrilling design with the excitement of electric driving in a five-passenger SUV package. Consumers will also be able to see the all-new 2020 RS models including the Audi RS 6 Avant, RS 7 and highlighted by the global debut of the high performance SUV, the Audi RS Q8. 2020 Audi S6, S7 and S8 models will further showcase Audi’s performance lineup.
The Audi e-tron Sportback, the next model in the Audi electric portfolio, combines the brand’s innovations in electric driving with thrilling design cues that are distinctly Audi. The second fully electric model to bear “e-tron” badging emphasizes emotional design that conveys a stylish presence on the road. The five-passenger SUV coupe is capable of impressive driving dynamics and is equipped with standard electric quattro® all-wheel drive to help provide exceptional control and confidence in a variety of situations.
From the inside out, in keeping with the brand’s e-mobility philosophy, the e-tron Sportback continues the approach of a design oriented toward repeatable performance, longevity and peak charging power. The second fully electric model from the brand provides the fit and finish that luxury buyers expect in the segment. Inside, the e-tron Sportback showcases features first introduced in the e-tron SUV, including smartphone-like MMI touch response1 infotainment systems paired with built-in Amazon Alexa integration2 and distinct e-tron family characteristics.
2020 RS models
The highly-anticipated Audi RS 6 Avant will take the stand in Los Angeles for its auto show debut in North America. The high-performance wagon offers visceral design, exhilarating driving dynamics and everyday functionality for the driving enthusiast. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine in the RS 6 Avant delivers 441 kW (600 PS) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque, capable of sending the Avant from 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds3. The iconic enthusiast’s car is expected to arrive in the U.S. in 2020 and will be available for customer orders, subject to a later announcement. U.S. power and performance specifications will be available closer to market introduction.
The second generation of the RS 7 Sportback returns to the U.S. with stunning performance and the striking design of the all-new RS design language. The most powerful expression of the Audi Sportback body style will be offered exclusively in a wide-body configuration, a first for the model. More pronounced wheel arches on the five-passenger, five-door coupe emphasize a lowered stance and captivating design. The RS 7 Sportback will be equipped with a V8 bi-turbo engine and standard performance hardware to ensure maximum performance and precise driving agility.
Audi RS Q8: performance SUV
Invigorating the performance model line, the Audi RS Q8, the first RS SUV in the U.S. will make its global debut at the LA Auto Show. Powered by an eight-cylinder twin-turbo engine, equipped with quattro® sport differential, all-wheel steering, and electromechanical active roll stabilization, the Audi RS Q8 recently became the fastest production SUV to lap the renowned Nürburgring racetrack with an official time of 7 minutes and 42.2 seconds.
Future premium, future performance
The 2020 Audi S6, S7 and S8 further showcase the brand’s performance credentials on the stand in Los Angeles for their U.S. debut. Available on the S6 and S7, and standard on the S8, a combination of innovative systems that includes dynamic all-wheel steering, a sport differential and quattro® all-wheel drive ensure outstanding vehicle dynamics on all three S models.
2019 RS 5 Panther edition
The RS 5 Panther edition makes its public debut at the auto show, limited to just 100 available units, of which 75 are sportbacks and 25 are coupes. The RS 5 Panther edition has been configured to further emphasize design elements of the high performance and distinct RS model. The special edition is treated with Audi exclusive Panther Black crystal effect paint and 20-inch 5-twin-spoke edge design bi-color wheels, recognizable from the RS 4 Avant offered in Europe. For the first time in the U.S., an RS interior design package adds black Alcantara elements including the steering wheel and sides of the center console, fine Nappa leather interior in black with crescendo red stitching, and black seatbelts with a red edge.
The RS 5 Panther edition will begin arriving in dealerships in December with an MSRP of $88,000*.
*Starting MSRP of $88,000 for a 2019 RS 5 Panther Edition. Price excludes destination charge ($995), taxes, title, other options and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.
Daniel Weissland, president, Audi of America, will make his U.S. auto show debut in Los Angeles. Weissland, 46, most recently lead VW Group and Audi in Canada, where he achieved record growth for the business. Weissland, a competitive and driven leader, is known for operationalizing plans, mobilizing organizations and engaging people to consistently deliver results.
Los Angeles Auto Show attendees will have the opportunity to test drive the fully electric Audi e-tron SUV on the road through the duration of the show. Audi will host customer ride and drives from Nov. 22 to Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 28. The drive experience will take place on West Pico Boulevard adjacent to the venue.