Sorry Q7, the Audi Q8 gets the RS treatment. Both are well-suited to receive a 600-horsepower V8, plus the global market loves the power. Audi spokeswoman Susanne Mellinghoff said, “We chose the Q8 to become an RS because, in our core markets, customer demands focus on the very design-oriented SUV-coupe body style.” Mellinghoff pointed out the Q8 is sportier than the Q7, both in design and performance. Audi saw more potential in the Q8 over the Q7.
Markus Eberle, the Audi RS Q8’s product manager, explained the Q7 and the Q8 are more different under the sheet metal than meets the eye. There would be several technical hurdles to clear before making an RS Q7. There is no confirmation on the possibilities for the future of the Q7, but for now the focus is on the Q8.
Looking at the Q3 for comparison, product planners went a different route. Both body styles of the Q3 are available with Audi Sport’s sonorous, 400-horsepower straight-five engine in the European market. The Q3 and the Q3 Sportback are technically much closers than the Q7 and the Q8. The SQ7 sold in Europe will remain the hottest Q7 available, and the RS Q8 will continue to wear the crown for top spot in Audi Sport’s SUV lineup.