Worried the world was short of a near-600bhp SUV? Worry not, because Audi is here with its 591bhp RS Q8. All 2315kg and 189mph of it.
The pinnacle of the Q8 line-up, the RS Q8 takes the running gear of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo/Lamborghini Urus/RS6 Avant and sticks it in Audi’s four-door coupe SUV body, which, front and rear PUs aside, is pretty much a Lamborghini Urus. Or is it the Urus that’s a Q8 in drag…
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While Audi Sport claims its hyper-SUV isn’t as extreme as its Italian cousin, the performance numbers suggest otherwise. Some 591bhp and 590lb ft of torque from the same 4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 are substantial enough numbers to hurl this behemoth along the road at frankly obscene speeds for something so large. Zero to 62mph flashes by in 3.8sec (a tenth quicker than a Carrera GT), and 125mph in 13.7sec. And its delimited top speed of 189mph defies the laws of physics. And sanity.
What we do know is that Audi is claiming to have s completed a 7m 42s lap of the Nurburgring Nordschliefe in the RS Q8, some 5s faster than the unofficial 7m 47s that being widely attributed to the Urus.
There are some ‘green’ credentials to the RSQ8’s powertrain, because it also includes a mild-hybrid system based on a 48V electrical system. At its core is a belt alternator-starter connected to the crankshaft. When the driver lifts off or is braking, up to 12kW of power can be stored in the lithium-ion battery. Lift off at any speed between 34 and 99mph and the drive system will do one of two things depending on the driver mode selected: it will either recuperate energy or allow the engine to coast for up to 40 seconds. In stop-start traffic the car will drive on electric power up to 13mph and utilities the front camera system to restart the engine in anticipation of the traffic flowing once again.
Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system is standard along with an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox, with a mechanical centre differential distributing power and torque 40:60 front to rear. As much as 75 per cent can be directed to the front and 85 per cent to the rear if slip is detected. An optional quattro Sport differential is also available. Standard active torque vectoring works with the wheel-selective torque control system to manage traction, stability and the RSQ8’s dynamics.
Five-link suspension is fitted front and rear with adaptive air suspension and active damping as standard, the latter tuned to an RS-specific spec, and it combines to provide a ride hight variation of 90mm depending on the mode selected. Active anti-roll bars are optional, although these are included with the optional Dynamic Package Plus, which also raises the top speed from 155 to 189mph and adds a quattro sport diff and ceramic brakes.
Audi Drive Select provides the driver modes: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Efficiency, All-Road, Off-road and the two configurable RS-specific modes – RS1 and RS2. Both RS modes are accessible via the RS-MODE button on the steering wheel and allow you to play with the engine, gearbox, steering (including the all-wheel steering) and suspension settings, along with the exhaust note.
A set of 22-inch wheels are standard fitment, with 23s optional, which, incidentally, weigh 45kg each with a tyre fitted. That’s 45kg of unsprung mass capable of travelling at 189mph. Madness. The standard composite brakes come with 420mm front discs and ten-piston calipers, with 370mm rotors for the rears. The optional ceramic discs measure 440mm at the front.
While the body in white for the RS Q8 is untouched from that of a regular SQ8, the fixtures and fittings are unique. These include the single-frame RS-specific and honeycomb radiator grilles, a pair of solid state air inlets and vertical air blades.
Additional width is achieved by fitting wheelarch trim strips, adding 10mm and 5mm front and rear. The side sills, rear diffuser and rear roof spoiler are all bespoke, the last providing downforce across the car’s rear axle at high speed to improve stability.
RS Sport seats and Alcantara highlight the interior as an RS model, as do the special RS displays within the Audi virtual cockpit. RS logos adorn the cabin, from the steering wheel to the kick plates in the sills.
And the price? At least £105,000.
Here are our top 10 current performance SUVs, will the RS Q8 make the list?
Volkswagen to make electric car cells, battery packs in U.S.
The company said it plans to break ground for a laboratory in Chattanooga to develop and test cells and battery packs for its upcoming car models assembled in the U.S., with the goal of a fully operational lab by spring 2021.
“A lot of auto companies will farm out the development and testing of batteries to another company, and some will actually do the work of developing and testing in-house. We are doing the latter,” said Wolfgang Maluche, vice president of engineering, Volkswagen of America.
Volkswagen’s plan to produce its own cells and battery packs for electric vehicles in the United States follows an emissions scandal at the company, which admitted to using illegal software to cheat pollution tests in the country.
The scandal has cost Volkswagen 30 billion euros ($35.51 billion) in fines, penalties and vehicle buyback costs worldwide.
Insourcing electric vehicle cells and battery packs reinforces Volkswagen as one of the most ambitious traditional carmakers in the electric vehicle domain, Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy said.
Last year, the carmaker said it would invest $800 million to build a new electric vehicle at its plant in Chattanooga.
The Aston Martin Rapide leads this month’s list of discounts
Aston Martin was an early entrant into the coupe-shaped sedan battlefield with its rakish Rapide. It was first shown in concept form in 2006 at the Detroit Auto Show before finally going into production in 2010. Ten years have passed since then, and this could well be your last chance to drive a new Rapide off your neighborhood Aston Martin dealership’s lot as the four-door is replaced by the DBX crossover.
If you’ve got your eye on a new Rapide — and congratulations if so — you’ll be pleased to know that you can snag a 2019 model for the low price of just $217,484. Sure, that’s still a lot of money, but it’s $24,341 off the car’s average $241,825 sticker price. That’s the largest monetary savings of August, 2020, and it represents a discount of a little over 10%. And even if the Rapide is getting a little long in the tooth, it’s still a strikingly beautiful machine, particularly in its most recent AMR guise.
Looking for something different but still extremely rapid? The 2019 Acura NSX is selling for an average transaction price of $142,141. That’s an 11% savings off its sticker of $159,703. Or you could opt for a Maserati Quattroporte if you’d like the convenience of a luxury sedan but not the price of the Aston Martin – the four-door Trident-badged machine’s average transaction price this month of $107,372 is a 12.4% discount.
And if none of that is up your alley, you could go full baller with a Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV for $320,085. That’s a savings of $12,665 off the car’s average retail price of $332,750. Just think of how much Grey Poupon you could afford with all that leftover cash.
For a look at the best new car deals in America based on the percentage discount off their suggested asking prices, check out our monthly recap here. And when you’re ready to buy, click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.
This Toyota Tercel promises minimalism, ’80s-style
We’re guessing it’s been a while since you’ve seen one of these: Toyota’s humble Tercel, the brand’s longtime entry-level model, an econo-box that resided below the Corolla. This 1983 model is for sale right now on eBay Motors, looking just as you remember. That is, if you remember.
These cars have all but disappeared from American roads despite the fact that the Tercel was quite popular in its day, owing to its combination of an ultra-low sticker price and its high fuel economy. And yet, as those of us who were around in the ’80s and ’90s can attest, the cars were pretty much invisible even back then. Now, though, the tiny Toyota turns heads — it did ours, at least.
This is the second-generation Tercel, which switched to front-wheel drive. This two-door hatchback body style was the most commonly seen, although there was also a four-door hatchback and the better-known all-wheel-driver Tercel wagon. As an SR5, this Tercel is the fanciest available trim level, but it was still pretty parsimonious.
The included original window sticker (!) shows a starting price of $6,618. That includes power front disc brakes but not power steering, which was optioned here for $185. This buyer also ticked the boxes for alloy wheels ($265), a rear window wiper/washer ($90), and carpeted floor mats ($46). The biggest extravagance was a power sunroof for $460. Air conditioning, however, was a bridge too far.
Under the hood, a 1.5-liter engine dishes up 62 horsepower, and since this is an SR5, the driver can track its ministrations with the standard tachometer. It’s fair to say that the new owner will be working the five-speed stick pretty hard to wring the most out of this engine, but just imagine the smile on your face as you motor simply, the way they did back in the Reagan era. After all, not everyone back then was a yuppie or a “Greed-is-good” Wall Street leveraged buyout king. This was a car for the victims of LBOs.
The window sticker shows that this Tercel was originally Light Yellow, and the seller acknowledges that the current golden hue is a respray. The body, though, appears laser-straight — thank that gentle California climate. And the cloth-and-vinyl buckets seats, those carpeted floor mats, and that AM/FM radio all appear well preserved. So far, one bidder has a raised a virtual paddle, offering $3,000. With five days to go, there’s plenty of time for the price to climb. Or not. Whoever ends up with this Tercel will likely have the only one for miles around. Oh, what a feelin’!
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