HEADED for Australia in the second half of 2020, the new Audi RS Q8 sits atop the Q product line, and combines the power of an RS model with the elegance of a premium coupe, and the flexibility of an SUV.
Under the hood is a nostril flaring 441kW, 800Nm 4.0-litre V8, delivering impressive performance, with the turbocharged direct injection power plant capable of 0-100km/h in just 3.8 seconds, and zero to 200km/h in 13.7 seconds.
A 250km/h top speed is electronically governed, but add the optional dynamic package and you can push that out to 305km/h. It’s also mated to a mild hybrid system (MHEV) to ensure maximum performance and high efficiency.
During deceleration and braking, the 48-volt MHEV system can recover up to 12kW of power and store it in the compact lithium-ion battery for use when coasting. The technology allows for start/stop operation at a speed of up to 22km/h.
The system is also connected to the camera sensors for even greater efficiency. When stopped, the engine starts up while the brake pedal is still depressed as soon as the front camera detects that the vehicle in front of the new RS Q8 begins to move.
The interplay of the MHEV components improves ride comfort and also has the potential to reduce fuel consumption in everyday driving by as much as 0.8-litre/100km. The 2020 RS Q8 is also fitted with a cylinder on demand (COD) system.
The power of the 4.0-litre TFSI flows to the quattro permanent all wheel drive system via the standard eight-speed tiptronic. Configured as a planetary gear, the purely mechanical centre differential typically distributes the drive power in a 40:60 ratio, front to rear.
In the event of slip, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with better traction, and up to 70 per cent can be directed to the front wheels and up to 85 per cent to the rear wheels.
During dynamic cornering, the optional quattro sport differential distributes drive torque between the rear wheels as required. This active torque vectoring improves traction, stability and dynamics.
The standard adaptive air suspension sport with controlled damping means the new RS Q8 is equally at home on the racetrack or an off road trail too. Electro-mechanical active roll stabilisation, a quattro sport differential and RS ceramic brakes can be added.
Behind the wheel, there’s plenty of opportunity for the driver to precisely influence the character of the RS Q8 too. There are some eight drive select dynamic profiles to choose from, should the need arise.
These include comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, all-road, off-road, and the individually configurable RS-specific modes – RS1 and RS2, which can be activated directly via the RS-MODE button on the steering wheel.
Audi drive select affects such things as engine and transmission management, steering boost, air suspension, all-wheel steering, engine sound and the characteristic of the automatic air conditioning.
The new RS Q8 comes standard with 22-inch aluminium wheels in a 10 spoke star design with 295/40-series tyres, the largest ever factory installed on an Audi production model.
Optional 23-inch cast aluminium wheels in a five Y-spoke rotor design and a variety of colours are available exclusively for the RS Q8. The continuous RS sills come standard in Manhattan Grey, which makes the body appear even more athletic.
The 2020 Audi RS Q8 is available in a choice of nine colours, with exterior mirror housings coming standard in black, with body colour, aluminium or carbon options available.
In combination with the optional black and carbon styling packages, the Audi rings and RS logos at the front and rear are optionally available in black. The Audi exclusive program offers numerous additional customisation options.
Inside, the RS Q8 features a deliberately clean design. All elements beneath the black cloth headlining have a logical connection and harmonise with one another. The headlining is optionally available in lunar silver cloth, Alcantara lunar silver or Alcantara black.
Special RS displays in the Audi virtual cockpit and MMI display provide information on such things as tyre pressure, torque, output, temperature, lap times and G-forces. A shift light display is also on hand. An optional head-up display can also be added.
The RS embossed sport seats in black pearl Nappa leather/Alcantara fit perfectly into the athletic ambiance of the large SUV, with ultra-luxurious massaging RS sport seats in Valcona leather, with a honeycomb pattern and perforation, also available.
The 2020 Audi RS Q8 is expected to arrive in Australia in the third quarter of 2020. Pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch.
At the same time as it was launching its high performance SUV, German car maker Audi also entered the next phase of its electrification program, with the introduction of the e-tron Sportback – a dynamic SUV coupé offering up to 300kW of power.
Capable of a range of up to 446km from a single battery charge, the e-tron Sportback features digital matrix LED headlights, and an elegant, efficient, and expressive exterior design.
Its roof extends flat over the muscular body, dropping down steeply to the rear in typical coupé style and flowing into the steeply raked D-pillars. The lower edge of the third side window rises towards the rear, like a typical Sportback feature.
With powerful contours above the wheels, and the sculptural rear end, the Audi e-tron Sportback is perfectly aligned with the brand’s design idiom. But it’s the details that signal to the outside world that the SUV coupé is fully electric.
Black inlays draw the eye to where the battery of the Audi e-tron Sportback can be found. The designers also varied the signature at the broad diffuser, drawing attention to the absence of exhaust tailpipes. A light strip connects the LED lights to one another.
A total of thirteen paint finishes are available for the all electric drive SUV coupé, including new colour Plasma Blue, a metallic, which is exclusive to the e-tron Sportback. The logo on the electric charging flap features eye catching high-voltage orange too.
You can colour the brake calipers orange too. The wheel arch trims and sills are finished in matte anthracite as standard to underscore the off-road look, and the same applies to the under body protection, diffuser and the door sills; all of which are black.
The Advanced exterior package scores contrasting grey or body colour finishes, and under body protection and sills in matte silver. The S Line model is equipped as standard with 20-inch wheels and sport air suspension.
The arrival of digital matrix LED headlights to a selection of 2020 Audi models adds high resolution illumination through millions of micro mirrors contained within chips in the light unit. Each individual mirror can be tilted up to 5,000 times per second.
Depending on the setting, the LED light is either directed via the lenses onto the road or is absorbed in order to mask out areas of the light beam.
In the Audi e-tron Sportback, it will be used to generate dynamic leaving and coming home animations that appear as projections on a wall or on the ground. This presentation transforms the area in front of the car into a carefully illuminated stage.
Not only does the digital light system deliver cornering, city, and highway lighting as versions of the low beam light with exceptional precision, it also supplements the high-beam light by masking out other road users with even greater accuracy.
Above all, however, it offers innovative functions such as lane light and orientation light. On freeways, the lane light creates a carpet of light that illuminates the driver’s own lane brightly and adjusts dynamically when he or she changes lane.
In this way, it improves the driver’s awareness of the relevant lane and contributes to improved road safety.
The Audi e-tron Sportback offers electric all-wheel drive and suspension, with each axle fitted with an asynchronous electric motor that is fed with three phase current by the power electronics.
This enables the SUV coupé to sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds. Two stage planetary gearboxes with one gear range transfer the torque from the electric motors to the axles.
A switch, which the driver can operate with the thumb and forefinger, is used to select the gears. It is embedded in an elegant lever that is set low above the centre tunnel and serves as a hand rest.
Electric all wheel drive ensures outstanding traction and dynamism on any terrain. With it, Audi is writing a new chapter in the history of quattro drive. It continuously regulates the ideal drive torque distribution between both axles within fractions of a second.
In most driving situations, the Audi e-tron Sportback relies exclusively on its rear electric motor—for exceptional efficiency. If the driver requests more output than it can provide, the front unit is instantly activated.
This also happens predictively before slip occurs in icy conditions or when cornering fast, or if the car under-steers or over-steers. The Sportback also features a centre of gravity lower than that of a conventional SUV. This results in a perfect 50:50 balance ratio.
With components such as the five link suspension, the progressive steering and the electro-hydraulic brake system, the electrified Audi offers agile vehicle handling and a high degree of comfort.
The standard 255/55 R19 tyres stand out with their ultra low rolling resistance. On request, tyres of up to 22-inches will also be available. The 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback is expected to arrive in Australia in the second half of 2020.
Pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch.