Audi’s most powerful petrol production vehicle is an SUV

The 2025 Audi RSQ8 has become the most potent petrol-powered production vehicle in the German marque’s history, taking a new Nürburgring record to usurp its Porsche cousin in the process.

The refreshed SUV’s reveal follows that of the updated Q8 and SQ8 lineup in September last year, which included minor equipment upgrades and revised looks.

Audi Australia is yet to confirm if and when we can expect to see the new RSQ8 in local showrooms.

Its twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine is unchanged in ‘base’ RSQ8 trim, producing 441kWof power and 800Nmof torque, which is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, enabling a 0-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds.

The new Performance trim is where the big gains have been made, now turned up to 471kWand850Nm to cut its 0-100km/h sprint to 3.6 seconds, as well as becoming Audi’s most powerful car with petrol power.

It’s not enough to best the Audi e-tron GT though, which was last week updated to produce up to 500kW in base S guise, and 680kW for flagship RS Performance grades.

Despite sharing its twin-turbo V8 engine with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, the RSQ8 is down 14kW on its fellow German cousin.

However, the Audi now holds the title as the fastest production SUV around the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, completing a lap of the 20.8km track in seven minutes and 36.698 seconds – about 2.2 seconds faster than the hot Cayenne.

Performance grades score a lighter exhaust system, claimed to create “a sportier, more evocative sound”, though an optional RS sport exhaust system can be ordered for more noise and the addition of glossy black tailpipes.

RS-specific air suspension continues to underpin the RSQ8, which can vary the SUV’s ride height by up to 90mm. Electromechanical active roll stabilisation (eAWS) – effectively an 48-volt anti-roll bar system – is available as an option across the range.

This can be added either individually or as a part of the RS Dynamic Package Plus, which also includes a quattro sport differential, RS ceramic braking system (standard on the Performance), and an increased top speed of 305km/h.

Carrying across from the wider Q8 lineup updates last year, there’s a new design for the RS’s matrix LED headlights, while HD matrix LED headlights are now available as an optional extra.

There’s also a revised front bumper design, new rear diffuser and three additional metallic paint finishes – Sakhir Gold, Ascari Blue, and Chili Red – complemented by gloss black exterior trim on the standard RSQ8, or matte grey for the Performance grade.

Inside the cabin, the RSQ8 is available in a choice of red, grey or blue ‘RS design’ packages – with the latter being exclusive to the Performance – which bring coloured seat belts, contrast stitching, Dinamica gear shifter upholstery and an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel.

The RSQ8’s 12.3-inch instrument cluster offers a unique shift indicator when it’s in manual mode, while also offering specific graphics when launch control is engaged.

European orders for the new Audi RSQ8 will open from June 27, with the base performance SUV starting from €141,900 ($228,800) and the Performance opening from €155,700 ($251,000).

MORE: Everything Audi RSQ8

  • https://www.msn.com/en-au/motoring/news/audi-s-most-powerful-petrol-production-vehicle-is-an-suv/ar-BB1oPGxk?ocid=00000000

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