Audi Sport is set to preview its plans for a luxurious new 600bhp-plus BMW X6 M and Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Coupe-rivalling SUV at the Geneva motor show in early March with the unveiling of a lightly-veiled concept version of its upcoming Audi RS Q8.
Formerly known under the name quattro GmbH, the Audi performance car division is set to build on the original Q8 concept revealed at the Detroit motor show in January with its own interpretation of the big five-door SUV featuring a powered-up drivetrain and lowered suspension, as well unique exterior and interior styling cues.
While the original Q8 concept shown in Detroit received a newly developed petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain, its Audi Sport performance sibling appears set to go a more conventional route with a direct injection petrol engine. Details remain scarce just over a month prior to its planned unveiling, though sources at Audi Sport’s headquarters in Neckarsulm in Germany hint the RS Q8 will receive a heavily-fettled version of the German car maker’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8.
Already used in a number of performance orientated Audi models, the 90-degree unit destined for the RS Q8 is claimed to boast a similar output to that already used by the Audi S8 Plus, which packs 605bhp and 516lb ft of torque. By comparison, the twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 used by the BMW X6 M produces 567bhp and a similar 553lb ft, while twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 that propels the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 delivers 549bhp and 516lb ft.
As in the S8, the new performance SUV channels its reserves through an eight-speed torque converter equipped automatic gearbox and Audi’s traditional Torsen torque sensing quattro four-wheel drive system, with a torque vectoring function integrated into a so-called Sport Differential to provide individual apportioning of drive to each of the rear wheels.