New Audi RS Q8 mule snapped wearing Audi Sport livery

Audi Sport’s SUV offensive continues with the RS Q8, which will challenge the Range Rover Sport SVR at the £100,000 price point

Audi Sport, the division responsible for Audi’s hot RS models, will soon expand beyond its familiar range of sports cars, saloons and coupes with this; the RS Q8. It’s due to be unveiled later this year, acting as the flagship for Audi’s SUV range and providing competition for the Range Rover Sport SVR.

These latest images provide our best look yet at the new RS Q8’s styling. Revisions include an aggressive body kit with a broader front bumper, a deeper rear diffuser and a set of flared wheel arches. This mule also rides lower than the standard Q8 on a set of larger alloys, while the Audi’s trademark oval exhaust tips poke out of the rear bumper.

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Last year, Stephan Winkelmann, former Audi Sport boss and current head of Bugatti, told Auto Express: “We have a product line-up which we are working on, which will be expanded in more prestige segments and body styles which are sellable around the world, SUVs.”

He wouldn’t confirm which models are on the way, but suggested that a version of the new Q8 range-topper, seen in our exclusive image (below), is the first model we’ll see. “The Q7 is now in a phase of its lifecycle which, in my opinion, to be profitable is too late to step in,” said Winkelmann. “But a lot of markets are demanding bigger cars.”

The Audi Q8 Sport Concept, first displayed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, hinted that the production SUV will combine high performance with top-of-the-line luxury for Audi’s wealthiest customers. It will use the same platform as the Lamborghini Urus, which means it’s sure to use petrol power. Winkelman added: “Diesel is not compatible with a world car; there are countries where you cannot sell the diesel.”

As such, we expect the new Audi RS Q8 will be powered by the same Volkswagen Group-sourced twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine, currently found in the new Audi RS6 Avant, the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga. Performance will likely be comparable to the RS6, with power and torque standing at 592bhp and 800Nm respectively.

The engine’s power will be fed through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system. To cope with the extra grunt, we expect Audi Sport will also beef up the Q8’s suspension, braking and chassis management systems.

Do you like the look of Audi’s new RS Q8 performance SUV? Let us know in the comments section…

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