Audi crowned its SUV offering with the RS Q8, a high-performance passenger transporter that is as fast as it is luxurious. The sprint from 3.7 seconds to 100 km / h is fast enough for most, but the German tuner ABT saw room for improvement. He celebrated his 125th birthday by building an RS Q8 that is almost as fast to 100 km / h as an R8.
ABT retained the 4.0-liter twin turbocharged V8, which produces 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. It raised those numbers to 740 and 679 respectively, largely due to software tweaks; no internal changes have been made to the engine. Injecting 140 horses into the drivetrain reduces the R’s zero-to-100-km / h time to 3.4 seconds, meaning the zero-to-100-mph time can check in in 3, 3 seconds. For context, the R8 sprints to 100 km / h in 3.2 seconds, while the standard RS Q8 takes 3.7 seconds. Motorists planning to storm the limitless sections of the autobahn can cruise at 195 mph after ABT removes the speed limiter.
Making a wolf in sheep’s clothing was not the intention of ABT. It gave the RS Q8-R a body kit with several carbon fiber bits, and a set of 23-inch wheels were installed. Buyers who prefer a more subtle look (or something even louder) can work directly with ABT’s design department to customize almost any add-on. Inside is an extra dose of carbon fiber and sports seats for the front passengers.
125 RS Q8-R will be built, a number chosen because ABT was founded 125 years ago. It wasn’t the tuning of two horsepower steam-powered cars and quadricycles; it was formed as a horseshoe manufacturer.
Pricing information hasn’t been released yet, but we’ll be hearing more about the RS Q8-R in the coming months. The tuner hinted that thanks to the powerhike, it can easily beat Audi’s 2019 Nürburgring record, which stands at seven minutes and 42 seconds. ABT’s R won’t dethrone the RS Q8, the record set is for production SUVs and it’s a limited edition model, but we’re looking forward to finding out how many seconds it can shave from then on.