Audis that are allowed to carry the RS label are certainly promising and make the hearts of performance-hungry petrolheads beat faster! Of course, this is no different in the case of the brawny RS Q8. Even in standard condition, the biturbo V8 in the front of the powerful SUV produces a whopping 600 hp and 800 Nm, enabling the almost 2.4-tonne colossus beast to accelerate to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds; the top speed is 305 km/h if desired. Impressive figures, but for us it’s little more than a good basis for an even more immensely powerful, high-performance monster: clear the stage for the RQ 900!
As usual, the new designation of the vehicle is already a clear indication of the new performance: the four-litre eight-cylinder engine of the RS Q8 now generates no less than 918 hp and piles up a huge mountain of torque, peaking at 1,180 Nm. To achieve this, of course, it took more than “just” an ECU remapping: we also implemented various hardware optimisations. The engine of the RQ 900, for example, features a MANHART intercooler, a MANHART carbon intake by Eventuri as well as a MANHART turbo performance kit, although the latter does not have TÜV approval and is therefore only intended for export. The same applies to the MANHART sports downpipes, with 200-cell catalytic converters. These are connected to a MANHART stainless steel exhaust system with valve control function, which has four tailpipes, each 100 millimetres in diameter, with a choice of ceramic coating or carbon coating.
The RQ 900 also features our suspension optimisation, which includes lowering by 30 to 40 millimetres by modifying the factory air suspension. This is achieved either by means of a software adjustment or by using new coupling rods. While the car presented here has its OEM carbon-ceramic brake system unchanged, we also implemented individual brake upgrades on request.
Visually, the RQ 900 is presented in typical MANHART styling, with black paintwork including a decorative set with gold trim strips and lettering. Another real highlight is the complete carbon fibre widebody kit: in addition to the wheel arch extensions, it includes a front spoiler, front frame including add-ons and a single-frame grille, side skirts, roof spoiler attachments, a rear spoiler and a diffuser. This makes our interpretation of the RS Q8 even more exclusive and aggressive than the standard model. Of course, a new set of wheels is also obligatory: MANHART Classic Line rims with a side-matt finish and a gold trim strip on the side of the rim are fitted under the wings. The generous dimensions are 10.5×24 and 12.5×24 inches, the tyres measure 295/30 ZR24 and 355/25 ZR24.
The interior is enhanced by high-quality MANHART leather upholstery with fine topstitching and decorative stitching, as well as individually selectable accents and MANHART floor mats.