Responsive around tight curves, composed on the highway and robust off-road: The suspension of the new RS Q8 also combines the best characteristics from various worlds. The five-link construction at the front and rear axles handle longitudinal and lateral forces separately. The linkages and the subframes are made largely of aluminum. The large SUV coupé has a track width of 1,692 millimeters (5.55 ft) up front and 1,696 millimeters (5.56 ft) at the rear.
With variable ground clearance, short overhangs, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and the hill descent control, the new Audi RS Q8 can carry on calmly and confidently when paved roads end. The standard adaptive air suspension sport with controlled damping means it is equally at home on the racetrack or an off-road trail. Its RS-specific damper tuning allows for a particularly broad spread between a setup biased toward comfort and a particularly sporty setup.
The air suspension can be adjusted to various modes with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, varying the ride height of the body by up to 90 mm (3.5 in) depending on the driving situation and the driver’s wishes. Up to a speed of 30 km/h (18.6 mph), the driver can increase the ground clearance by up to 50 mm (2.0 in). As the speed increases, the suspension automatically lowers the body gradually. This reduces the drag and serves the purpose of increasing the dynamic handling.
Above 160 km/h (99.4 mph) or if the driver selects the dynamic mode in Audi drive select, the vehicle is lowered by 40 mm (1.6 in) compared to its normal position. When the car is parked, the system can also lower the loading level by 65 mm (2.6 in) relative to the normal level.
If the driver chooses off-road mode in Audi drive select, the electronic stabilization control automatically switches to stability, traction and braking control modes that are optimized for off-road driving. The standard hill descent control system is also activated. It provides support by means of automatic brake interventions when driving down a steep gradient that exceeds six percent. The electronic chassis platform captures the tilt angle of the car and displays this information for the driver on the MMI. At off-road level, the angles of approach/departure of the new RS Q8** are 21.6 degrees at the front and 26.2 degrees at the rear.
Like driving on rails: the electromechanical active roll stabilization
The optional electromechanical roll stabilization minimizes lateral movements of the body during quick cornering. A compact electric motor and transmission are located between the two halves of the stabilizer on each of the two axles. For straight-line travel, the two halves are decoupled from each other; as a result, the wheels of an axle can move independently of each other. This reduces the sprung mass vibrations on uneven roads and, in addition, increases the ride comfort. During cornering, however, the focus is on optimum roll compensation. For this purpose, the two stabilizer halves are twisted against each other. The stabilizer thus works against the spring compression force and thus significantly reduces the lean of the vehicle when cornering. The electromechanical active roll stabilization is integrated in the 48-volt main electrical system and also works as a recuperating system. Because it can even recover power via the electric motors. This is fed back into the lithium-ion battery in the form of electrical energy.
With the optional dynamic package plus with a regulated top speed of 305 km/h (189.5 mph), the customer receives a suspension designed for maximum sportiness. It contains the electromechanical active roll stabilization, the quattro sport differential and the RS ceramic brake system.
High manageability at maximum stability: standard all-wheel steering
The standard all-wheel steering moves the rear wheels of the new RS Q8 via a high-torque electric spindle drive and two track rods. At low speeds, the rear wheels turn up to 5 degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels for greater agility and reduce the turning circle. At high speeds, they turn up to 1.5 degrees at the same steering angle as the front wheels to improve stability during fast lane changes. As a result, the rear is brought into the chosen direction
The tuning of the steering is geared to the vehicle’s use on the race track. At the front axle, the rubber/metal mounts are designed to be stiffer than those of the Audi Q8 basic model. The elasto kinematics, which are optimized for sportiness, lead to a perceptibly more direct steering response in the SUV coupé of Audi Sport. Even in the central position, the steering has a sporty and direct ratio of 13.3:1.
“RS MODE”: a button for dynamic handling
Using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, the driver can influence the character of the RS Q8** in a targeted manner. There are eight profiles available: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, all-road, off-road and the customizable, RS-specific RS1 and RS2 modes. These can be activated directly via the “RS MODE” steering wheel button. Consequently, the driver can easily switch between the RS1, RS2 and last selected drive mode without having to operate the MMI touch response again. Audi drive select affects such things as engine and transmission management, steering assistance, the air suspension, all-wheel steering, engine sound and the mode of the automatic air conditioning. In “RS2” mode, customers can also switch the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) to sport mode at the touch of a button and save this setting permanently. If the driver presses the ESP button for more than three seconds, the Electronic Stabilization Control is deactivated completely for driving on race tracks, for example.
Tightly networked: Electronic chassis platform
Management of all adjustable suspension systems is integrated into the control unit for the electronic chassis platform (ECP). The systems are tightly networked and work in a highly coordinated manner with maximum precision. The dampers are actuated in millisecond cycles, for example. As the central suspension controller, the ECP collects all key data about the movement of the car and about the systems involved. The integral dynamic handling controller then uses this data to compute the optimal setting of these components.
Larger wheels than ever before in a production Audi: 22 inches, with 23 inches as an option
The new Audi RS Q8** comes as standard with 22-inch aluminum wheels in a 10-spoke star design with 295/40-series tires – the largest ever to be factory-installed on an Audi model. Optional 23-inch cast aluminum wheels in a 5 Y-spoke rotor design and a variety of colors are available exclusively for the RS Q8 (with 295/35 tires).
At the front axle of the SUV coupé, a ten-piston fixed-caliper brake system delivers outstanding performance and high stability. The calipers of the standard RS brake system with internally ventilated and perforated discs (measuring 420 millimeters (16.5 in) at the front and 370 millimeters (14.6 in) at the rear) are painted black, with red available upon request.
Extremely stable and long-lasting: the RS-ceramic brake system
For the completely newly-developed, optional RS ceramic brake system, calipers are designed in gray, red or blue. The discs measure 440 millimeters (17.3 in) at the front and 370 millimeters (14.6 in) at the rear. The anthracite gray ceramic discs are particularly stable, powerful and long-lasting. Air deflector elements rapidly dissipate heat and improve stability against fading. Compared to is steel counterpart, the RS ceramic brake system is 34 kg (75.0 lb) lighter and thus reduces the unsprung masses for even better ride quality.
Nürburgring lap record demonstrates the quality of development work
As part of the development work, the Audi RS Q8** was tested continuously over 18,000 km (11,184.7 mi) on the Nordschleife (North Loop) of the Nürburgring. Race driver and test driver Frank Stippler achieved a new lap record for the Nordschleife for production SUVs in fall 2019. The time of 7 minutes and 42 seconds over 20.832 km (12.9 mi) proves the unique performance of the performance SUV, its enormous controllability, even at its limits, and the optimum tuning of its suspension systems.
** The collective fuel consumption values of all models named and available on the German market can be found in the list provided at the end of this press information.
All terms marked in the text are explained in detail in the technology lexicon at www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/technology-lexicon.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.