Audi’s renowned Q8 model is approaching its midpoint in the life cycle, and as tradition dictates, the vehicle is due for an update.
For over a year, spy photographers have been capturing glimpses of prototype versions of the regular Q8. However, the latest reveal showcases a prototype of the high-performance RS Q8 developed by Audi Sport. Additionally, prototypes of the mid-range SQ8 have also been spotted on the roads.
Identifiable by its imposing front fascia with large air intakes, enhanced brakes and wheels, and the distinctive pair of oval exhaust tips at the rear, this prototype undoubtedly belongs to the RS Q8 lineup. Despite the camouflage, the exterior changes appear to be minimal, including a new grille design, revised rear fascia, and tweaked lighting signatures at both ends. Interestingly, a yellow warning sticker on the driver’s door window hints at potential heavy electrification in this prototype. It suggests the possibility of a plug-in hybrid or fully electric powertrain, although the engine note captured in the spy video leans toward the former.
Currently, the RS Q8 boasts a potent twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine generating 591 horsepower. However, Volkswagen Group’s other brands, such as Porsche with the Cayenne, have paired the same V-8 engine with plug-in hybrid systems. In the case of the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, the V-8 plug-in hybrid setup delivers a formidable 680 horsepower.
Anticipated for the first half of 2024, the plug-in hybrid powertrain is set to make its way into the Lamborghini Urus, which shares close ties with the Q8. Consequently, there is a possibility that the updated RS Q8 will also adopt this electrified powertrain.
Expected to debut as a 2024 model, the updated Q8 range is set to arrive early next year. Audi has implemented some modifications to align the Q8 with the elements found in the updated E-Tron electric SUV, which has been rebranded as the Q8 E-Tron.
Rumors have circulated that Audi may discontinue all gas-powered Q8 variants in the United States to shift focus towards the electric Q8 E-Tron. However, Audi has remained tight-lipped on this matter. Eventually, Audi plans to transition the entire Q8 range to full electric power, as the company has announced its intention to cease launching vehicles with internal-combustion engines after 2026.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about spy shots Audi RS Q8
What is the latest update on the 2024 Audi RS Q8?
The latest update on the 2024 Audi RS Q8 showcases spy shots and a video revealing its design changes and potential electrification.
How can you identify the Audi RS Q8 prototype?
The Audi RS Q8 prototype can be identified by its large air intakes in the front fascia, upsized brakes and wheels, and the signature pair of oval exhaust tips at the rear.
Will the updated RS Q8 feature significant exterior changes?
Based on the prototype, the updated RS Q8 is expected to have minimal exterior changes, including a new grille design, a revised rear fascia, and tweaked lighting signatures.
Is the RS Q8 prototype hinting at electrification?
Yes, there are indications that the RS Q8 prototype may feature some form of heavy electrification, potentially as a plug-in hybrid or with full electric power.
What is the current powertrain of the RS Q8?
The RS Q8 is currently powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine rated at 591 horsepower.
Will the RS Q8 adopt a plug-in hybrid powertrain?
There is a possibility that the updated RS Q8 will adopt a plug-in hybrid powertrain, similar to the one used in the related Porsche Cayenne and upcoming Lamborghini Urus.
When can we expect the updated Q8 range to arrive?
The updated Q8 range is expected to arrive early next year as a 2024 model.
Is Audi planning to discontinue gas-powered Q8 variants?
There have been rumors that Audi may discontinue all gas-powered Q8 variants in the U.S., but Audi has not officially confirmed this information.
What is Audi’s long-term plan for vehicle launches?
Audi plans to cease launching vehicles with internal-combustion engines after 2026, indicating a shift toward fully electric models.