Audi RSQ8 Buyers Guide

The introduction of the Audi RSQ8 in 2020 marked a significant milestone for the brand as it wasn’t just another entrant in the luxury SUV market but as the prestigious sibling to the Lamborghini Urus.

The RSQ8 is the RS version of its Q8 mid-size SUV, which goes after the AMGs and BMW Ms of the world.

The Audi RSQ8 is a bold statement of power and prestige, equipped as standard with a formidable twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine. This powerhouse delivers 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, ensuring that the RSQ8 isn't just about looks.

The standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system is more than capable of pushing the V8's power to the ground, providing exceptional traction and control in various driving conditions. Furthermore, the RS Q8 features an upgraded suspension and braking system.

These enhancements improve its performance where it would be able to keep up with sports cars.

Visually, the RS Q8 distinguishes itself from the standard Q8 model with a more aggressive design. It comes with 22-inch wheels, supplemented by a wider body that hints at its enhanced capabilities. Additionally, a rear spoiler adds to the vehicle's dynamic appearance, signaling that it’s not a regular Q8.

The interior of the RS Q8, while accommodating five passengers just like the standard Q8, introduces several enhancements that set it apart. The cabin features unique trim elements and sports seats in the front that are more aggressively shaped to ensure occupants remain securely seated during spirited driving.

Additionally, RS insignias are thoughtfully placed throughout the interior, adding an exclusive touch to make sure you know you’re in something special.

In terms of space for passengers and luggage, the RS Q8 mirrors the spaciousness found in the regular Q8 model. This means it offers ample legroom and headroom to comfortably accommodate adults in both the front and back seats.

The RSQ8 comes with advanced digital interfaces, featuring the Audi Virtual Cockpit and a dual-touchscreen MMI system. These displays are tailored with RS-exclusive visuals that provide insights into torque, power output, lap times, and g-force readings. Beyond these specialized additions, the technology suite mirrors that of the standard Q8. 

This includes seamless integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for constant connectivity, intuitive navigation systems, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

The Audi RSQ8 is essentially a Lamborghini Urus in sheep's clothing that you would be able to get for a fraction of the price. 

Model Changes (Breakdown by Year)

2020 Audi RSQ8

The 2020 model is the first full year of production for the RSQ8, which was the performance variant of the Q8.

Featuring a 4.0-liter V-8 engine that can push out 591 hp.It is worth noting that all RSQ8 models come with a standard adaptive air suspension system, 22-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, and a 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo system.

It has a strong and aggressive road presence that you won’t mistake it for an RSQ8. The starting price was $113,000.

2021 Audi RSQ8

There were no notable updates on the 2021 Audi RSQ8.

2022 Audi RSQ8

For the 2022 RSQ8, Audi made a few updates to the vehicle which included additional standard driver-assistance technologies designed to elevate the driving experience. Notably, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist have now become standard offerings, providing greater comfort and safety on the road. 

The optional Executive package has been enhanced with advanced features such as traffic sign recognition and Intersection Assist, further bolstering its appeal.

Also, a new RS-Design package has been introduced. This package mainly focuses on interior aesthetics with carpeted floor mats adorned with the RS logo, adding an exclusive touch. Seatbelts featuring a distinctive stripe design and the application of luxurious faux-suede Alcantara material on the center console, steering wheel, and shift knob enhance the cabin's sporty and sophisticated ambiance. 

The starting price for the 2022 Audi RSQ8 was $121,000 ($8,000 more than the previous year).

2023 Audi RSQ8

For the 2023 model year, Audi has introduced a series of subtle yet meaningful updates aimed at enhancing comfort and convenience. Among these new features are electrically powered sunshades for the rear windows, now a standard feature, offering passengers privacy and protection from the sun's glare with the touch of a button. 

Additionally, the interior of the vehicle sees an increase in the use of Nappa leather, enveloping occupants in even more luxury and elevating the overall aesthetic and experience of the cabin.

Complementing these enhancements, the optional Executive package has been augmented to include a park-assist system. This advanced feature aids drivers in effortlessly navigating into tight parking spots, further asserting the vehicle's status as a pinnacle of technological innovation and driver support. 

The starting price for the 2023 Audi RSQ8 was $126,000 ($5,000 more than the previous year).

2024 Audi RSQ8

While the Q8 and SQ8 variants underwent a styling update for the 2024 model year, the RSQ8 maintains its distinctive design, introducing only selective updates to its features. 

A significant addition is the capability for remote start via the Audi Connect app, enhancing convenience for drivers by allowing them to start their vehicle from a distance. The adaptive cruise control system has been refined to include visual alerts when the vehicle is too close to others on the road, enhancing safety in traffic conditions. 

This system has also been expanded to offer notifications from the intersection assist feature and updates on the status of traffic lights, providing drivers with comprehensive assistance during their journey.

One change in the RSQ8's offerings is the removal of carbon ceramic brakes from the list of available options, which were previously offered last year. 

The RSQ8 is expected to receive its exclusive styling refresh in the 2025 model year. 

The starting price for the 2024 Audi RSQ8 remained the same as the previous year.

Audi RSQ8 Common Problems

The Audi RSQ8 shares its platform with the Lamborghini Urus. This unique partnership allows it to inherit Audi's renowned reliability and dependability. However, like any vehicle, the RSQ8 is not immune to experiencing some issues over its lifetime.

Keep in mind, that it is crucial to perform a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) from an authorized dealer or experienced independent mechanic to reveal all issues.

Infotainment and Connectivity Glitches: The Audi RSQ8, equipped with state-of-the-art infotainment systems, might face occasional software bugs. These can manifest as unresponsive touchscreens, issues with mobile device integration (e.g., Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), or navigation inaccuracies. Regular software updates from Audi are crucial for mitigating these issues.

Electrical System Anomalies: Luxury vehicles, with their myriad of sensors and electronic accessories, can sometimes experience malfunctions in areas such as the electrically powered sunshades, adjustable seating, or even in more critical systems like the vehicle's lighting. Electrical issues can also extend to battery life problems, especially in hybrid or models with auto start-stop technology.

Transmission and Drivetrain Issues: Given the RSQ8's performance-oriented setup, some owners might notice transmission tuning quirks, such as delayed gear shifts, jerky acceleration, or a reluctance to downshift during overtaking maneuvers. These issues are often more noticeable during cold starts or when switching between the vehicle's various driving modes.

Brake System Concerns: The high-performance nature of the RSQ8 demands a lot from its braking system. Owners may report noise, increased brake dust, or faster wear and tear, especially on models with specialized brake materials like carbon ceramic discs. While these materials are designed for performance and durability, they can exhibit characteristics such as squealing at low speeds or under light braking conditions.

Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) Calibration: The RSQ8's comprehensive suite of ADAS, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and intersection assist, relies heavily on precise calibration of sensors and cameras. Misalignments or sensor malfunctions can lead to false alerts, non-responsive system behavior, or, conversely, a lack of alerts when action is required. These systems may also be sensitive to adverse weather conditions, further complicating their operation.

Recalls

2023-2024 Audi RSQ8 vehicles

Air bags: Side/window (Recall no. 23V868000)

An improperly mounted air bag may not restrain an occupant as intended, increasing the risk of injury during a crash. The driver's seat side air bag may have been improperly mounted to the seatback frame. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 214, "Side Impact Protection."

2021-2022 Audi RSQ8 vehicles

Back over prevention: Display function (Recall no. 22V806000)

An inoperative rearview camera display reduces the driver's rear visibility, increasing the risk of a crash. The infotainment main unit may become damaged internally when the vehicle is shut off, resulting in an inoperative rearview camera display the next time the vehicle is started. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 111, "Rear Visibility."

2021-2022 RSQ8 vehicles

Back over prevention: Display function (Recall no. 22V742000)

A blank rearview camera display can reduce the driver's rear visibility, increasing the risk of a crash. Due to a software issue, a blank or black screen may be displayed instead of the rearview camera image when the vehicle is placed in reverse gear. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 111, "Rear Visibility."

2020-2021 Audi RSQ8 vehicles

Suspension: Rear: Axle: Non-powered axle assembly (Recall no. 22V034000)

Rear axle misalignment may cause premature or uneven tire wear, increasing the risk of a crash. The rear axle alignment may not have been inspected after the repairs for Recall 21V-295 (42L1) were performed.

2021 Audi RSQ8 vehicles

Back over prevention: sensing system: camera (Recall no. 21V825000)

A rear-view camera that does not display an image reduces the driver's rear view, increasing the risk of a crash. A software error may prevent the rear-view image from initially displaying when the vehicle begins to reverse. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 111, "Rear Visibility."

2021 Audi RSQ8 vehicles

Seat belts (Recall no. 21V606000)

An unsecured child restraint system can increase the risk of injury during a crash. The rear seat belt automatic locking retractors may deactivate early, which can prevent the child restraint system from securing properly. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 208, "Occupant Crash Protection."

2021 Audi RSQ8 vehicles

Engine (Recall no. 21V339000)

Cracks may cause engine damage and a stall or an oil leak, increasing the risk of a crash or fire. Cracks may develop on the surface of the engine cylinder bore.

2021 Audi RSQ8 vehicles

Suspension: Rear: Axle: Non-powered axle assembly (Recall no. 21V295000)

A broken lock nut may misalign the rear axle, causing a loss of control and increasing the risk of a crash. The lock nut on the trailing arm of the rear axle may break due to stress corrosion.

The Audi RSQ8 is a reliable SUV that you can rely on and has relatively low maintenance requirements.

However, it is important to remember that regular maintenance and repairs will still be necessary, and the costs can vary depending on whether you take your car to a dealer or an independent mechanic.

Here are the suggested service schedules and intervals per Audi: 

Every 5,000 MILES

  • Rotate tires.
  • Change oil and filter.

Every 15,000 MILES

  • Perform comprehensive checks and replacements.
  • Battery service.
  • Fuel filter replacement.
  • Door lubrication.
  • Cabin air filter replacement.

Every 25,000 MILES

  • Continue with regular oil and filter changes to ensure engine health.

Every 35,000 MILES

  • Conduct more in-depth maintenance.
  • Lubricating the hood hinge.
  • Servicing battery/cables.
  • Transmission fluid service.
  • Replacing the cabin air filter.

Here is a rough estimate of typical service costs associated with the Audi RSQ8:

  • Oil Change - As low as $300 for independent mechanics and $800 for dealers.
  • Minor Service - Typically includes oil change, cabin filters, and engine filters. The cost from a dealer is around $1,500.
  • Major Service - Typically includes all the above plus spark plugs, brake flush, and trans flush, expect about $2,500 from a dealer.
  • Tires - A set of high-performance tires like Pirelli P Zero will cost about $2,000.
  • Brakes - Some pre 2024 RSQ8s had the optional carbon ceramic brakes which should last forever. Aftermarket brake pads that are OE equivalent will cost about $800 for a full set.

Options List

The Audi RSQ8 has a list of options and packages that customers can choose from.

Several of the primary features included the Executive package, which boasted essential elements like a park-assist system. This advanced tool helps drivers smoothly maneuver into tight parking space and is well worth having. 

In addition, another desirable option was the RS-Design package that improved the interior aesthetics with carpeted floor mats adorned with the RS logo, adding an exclusive touch. Seatbelts featuring a distinctive stripe design and the application faux-suede Alcantara material on the center console, steering wheel, and shift knob.

Many customers also opted for the 23” option wheel that was an upgrade from the standard 22” wheels.

Some of the other worthwhile options to mention that came in the 2024 models included black optic package, which had black exterior trim, sport exhaust and 23" Audi Sport 5-Y-spoke wheels. 

Carbon package which came with carbon mask and front bumper inlays, carbon rear bumper inlay, carbon mirror housings and carbon rear lighting strip. 

Drivers that drove at night often would benefit from having the night vision assistant which helps when driving at night as it displays thermal imagery and provides visual and audible warnings. 

Key options

  • Executive package

  • RS-Design package

  • Upgraded 23” wheels

  • Carbon or black optic package

2020 Audi RSQ8 Window Sticker

Audi RSQ8 Price and Values

The Best Audi RSQ8 to Buy

When it comes to buying an RSQ8, there are a few key factors to consider that can affect the car's long-term value.

Some of the criteria are broken down into a few categories.

For RSQ8s that would be great to buy are the ones that have updates such as the 2022+ model years because they came standard with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, electrically powered sunshades for the rear windows, and the interior saw more high quality updates such as Nappa leather. 

In terms of market stability, your best bet would be a 2020 to 2021 Audi RSQ8.

The RSQ8 will remain a strong purchase simply because of its reputation for being an extremely well-built and reliable vehicle. These cars have a proven track record for being mechanically sound with few major issues.

As hybrid technology becomes more widespread among cars, naturally aspirated V8s are becoming highly sought after by enthusiasts who are looking for a fun SUV in the current market.

Keep in mind, the condition and mileage of the car are also important factors to consider when buying a RSQ8. There are many that have been driven hard and have been neglected. But the ones that are more likely to retain their value in the long run and will fetch the most money will be a well-maintained car with low mileage.

Therefore, it's important to do your research, compare prices, and look for well-maintained cars if you are considering purchasing an Urus with the goal of not losing any money.

Conclusion

In conclusion, for around ($100,000+) the Audi RSQ8 is an amazing choice for the first high-performance luxury SUV that you can rely on, especially if the Lamborghini Urus is too expensive or flashy for you. 

While Audi's version of the shared twin-turbo V8 produces 50 fewer hp, its acceleration is nearly as quick. Even with its six-figure price tag, the Audi should be viewed as a performance bargain since it costs about half as much as the Lamborghini. 

Inside, the RS Q8 features the tech-forward interior expected from contemporary Audis, including a dual touchscreen infotainment system, a fully digital gauge cluster, and numerous other high-tech features. 

Although it might not be called the ultimate Audi, a distinction that might go to the R8 or the RS6 Avant station wagon, it is certainly the ultimate Audi SUV.

Also keep in mind the condition and mileage of the vehicle are also important factors to consider when buying a RSQ8. There are many that have been driven hard and have been neglected. But the ones that are more likely to retain their value in the long run and will fetch the most money will be a well-maintained car with low mileage.

Car Hacking Shortcuts

  • 2020 to 2021 are great hacks.

  • Look for fully loaded RSQ8s (Executive package, upgraded wheels, black optics package/carbon package).

  • Look for well-maintained, low miles RSQ8.


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