The RS Q8 is the first Audi to be launched with 23in alloys - and they’re as vast as you’d expect them to be. Previously seen on the Lamborghini Urus, the RS Q8’s platform twin, the 23in alloys’s rise will surely be seen across other cars and car makers before long.
Which begs the question: just when will it all end for alloys getting ever bigger?
With 23s, it seems, according to Audi’s exterior design chief Andreas Mindt. He recalls working on a project with Bentley with 20in alloys, “which seemed as big as you’d ever get then”. How things change.
Yet now, physics will intervene to prevent wheels getting even larger. The RS Q8’s wheels are so big primarily to fit the large brakes, and they were able to fit by extending the track outside the wheel.
“It’s a tight squeeze in there and there is not a huge gap,” he said. “You can’t fit smaller wheels as the brakes are so big.” After that, you start running into the suspension and steering systems, and wheels any larger in size simply wouldn’t fit.
“The suspension eats up room inside,” says Mindt, “so the more you do [with the wheel size] the more problems you have. The steering and suspension gives you the borders.”
With its 23s, Audi insists ride quality doesn’t suffer - we’ll have to wait to discover that... - and nor does the turning circle, yet Mindt adds that he’s well aware what may seem like it fits in size wise in the US where the RS Q8 unveiled may well look quite different when it comes to Europe.
If the 23s aren’t for you, Audi will still sell you smaller brakes to allow you to fit 22s, which aren’t exactly shrinking violets themselves. But 24s? Not yet, maybe not ever. But you can bet if they don’t come, it won’t be for the want of trying from car makers determined to offer ever-larger wheel sizes…