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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Audi RSQ8

Overall verdict
Better looking than the Lambo Urus, phenomenal performance and handling, hugely expensive… ideal if you need a supercar and an SUV rolled into one


Violent acceleration when required, docile enough when not


Over £100k before options, we’d rather have an RS6 estate


What is it?

Audi’s crack at the SUV-that-thinks-it’s-a-supercar segment. It already makes the more understated, and talented triple-turbo V8 diesel SQ7 and SQ8, but this is a full-house RS model, so gets the same lunatic 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine as the RS6 estate… producing 592bhp and 590lb ft of torque. That means 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds, 0-124mph in 13.7 seconds, and a limited top speed of 155mph. Insert wide-eye emoji here.

Hands up, the uber-SUV is not a genre we’re particularly fond of here at TG, but we’re prepared to keep an open mind on this one, given how much we like its estate-shaped blood brother. And like all the latest rash of monster trucks – Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe, Mercedes-AMG G63, BMW X6M et al – there is fiercely clever engineering and computing power keeping physics at bay.

If the RSQ8 is your thing and you’re looking for a way to justify it, you could argue that its superior ground clearance, air suspension that’s height-adjustable by 90mm, hill-descent control and commanding view of the road (or field) ahead give it some mild off-road ability and therefore a raison d’être. But you show us someone who’s prepared to leave the tarmac on the standard 22-inch wheels (or optional 23s as tested) and I’ll show you my unconvinced face. Clearly this is a car you either get, or you don’t.