Audi’s flagship RS SUV races into Malaysia from RM1.7m

The power of an RS model, with the elegance of a premium coupe and the flexibility of an SUV 

by HAZATUL SYIMA HARON / pics source: PHS Automotive Malaysia

I AM a fan of the SUV. I’ve been a fan since the first SUV that I could afford to buy — the Perodua Kembara. 

Since then, I’ve bought a European model and now, I’m back driving a national-brand SUV. I’ve also driven or sat in many models, from Perodua Alza to Porsche Cayenne. 

So, I was excited when I saw that Audi Malaysia has launched its super SUV Audi RS Q8 in the country. 

The first ever full-size Audi SUV to bear the RS badge, it is the world’s fastest SUV on the famous Nürburgring race track in Germany. 

Basically, Audi said its RS Q8 combines the power of an RS model with the elegance of a premium coupe and the flexibility of an SUV. 

The vehicle’s technical specifications include highlights such as RS-specific adaptive air suspension, all-wheel steering, sport differential and active roll stabilisation. 

Power and Drive 

The SUV’s 4.0-litre biturbo V8 TFSI engine draws on 600PS and 800 Nm of torque between 2,200 and 4,500 rpm. 

The RS Q8 will catapult you from 0 to 100 kph in just 3.8 seconds — on par with sports cars such as the Aston-Martin Vantage Roadster 4.0 V8 Turbo (2020). It can achieve a top speed of 305km/h. 

The engine emits a voluminous sound when the 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 ignition sequence is fired up. What’s interesting is the engine sound can be modified via the Audi drive select system. This is enhanced by the RS sport exhaust system with black oval tailpipes.

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, the standard eight-speed tiptronic and wheel-selective torque control ensure the safe and agile handling of the RS Q8. 

The RS-specific adaptive air suspension sport with controlled damping means the RS Q8 is equally at home on the road, track or an off-road trail. 

Body roll during fast cornering is minimised, thanks to the electromechanical active roll stabilisation (EAWS) system. 

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system boasts eight profiles: Comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, all-road, off-road and the individually configurable RS-specific modes RS1 and RS2, directly accessible via the “RS-MODE” button on the steering wheel. 

Behind its standard 23-inch aluminium wheels in a five Y-spoke rotor design is an RS brake system with internally vented composite discs and ceramic brakes in red as standard. 

The central element in the cockpit is the top MMI touch response display

Exterior and Interior 

The RS Q8 sports a distinct look with its octagonal Singleframe, the RS-specific radiator in carbon and a honeycomb grille in high gloss black. 

RS-specific trim strips in the body colour widen the body by 10 mm upfront and 5 mm in the rear, with an RS roof edge spoiler. 

Other exterior features include Audi rings and nameplates in glossy black, HD Matrix LED headlamps with dynamic light design and dynamic turn signal, and panoramic glass sunroof. 

Meanwhile, Audi has deliberately adopted a clean design for the interior. A slim instrument panel and strongly horizontal line design convey a feeling of spaciousness. 

The central element in the cockpit is the top MMI touch response display, and Bang & Olufsen premium sound system comes standard. 

The SUV’s luggage compartment holds up to 1,755 litres with the seat backrests folded

To soothe your back on long drives, the 12-way electric front sport seats come with electric lumbar support and memory for the driver. The seats are done in perforated Valcona leather with honeycomb stitching. 

Completing the exclusive look are strategically placed RS logos on the steering wheel and illuminated front door sill trim. Fine Nappa leather wraps the selector lever knob and door armrest. 

And if you need space for all your shopping items, the SUV’s luggage compartment holds up to 1,755 litres with the seat backrests folded. 

Connected for Safety 

Helping to ensure safety is a comprehensive range of assist systems in the RS Q8 including adaptive cruise assist, efficiency assist, intersection assist, lane change warning and 360-degree cameras. 

The SUV is available in a choice of nine colours: One solid paint finish and eight metallic or pearl effect shades. It also comes with carbon exterior mirror housing and 11 Audi Exclusive colours. 

The price of the RS Q8 starts from a whopping RM1.7 million with three years free maintenance, five years unlimited mileage warranty and five years roadside assistance. 

Bookings can be made at Audi Centres in Setia Alam, Glenmarie and Juru. It’s definitely a dream car for me. 

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition.