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Audi RS Q8 Specs
When reading about the Audi RS Q8, we were admittedly a little wowed. For a small to medium sized SUV, the RS Q8 packs a serious punch with a twin turbo powered 8-cylinder engine and 591 horsepower. Behind the powerful 8-cylinder engine is a hybrid system to help promote better fuel economy, especially while on straightaways and while not actively accelerating.
Overall, this is a serious performance vehicle although in a lot of ways it could also be a small family SUV with seating for 5 and pretty serious comfort. It’s not big enough to really fit two adults and three teens well, but it can still hold 8 suitcases and even more with the seats folded down.
The RS Q8 is truly a serious performance vehicle. It accelerates from 0 to 60 in just 3.2 seconds and is only about a tenth of a second slower than the Lamborghini Urus, which is similarly sized but twice as much money.
Audi RS Q8 Problems
Every vehicle out there has some level of problems. Why? Because engineering can never be perfectly safe, and in some cases, recalls happen even when there is an extremely remote chance of anything happening. Some problems we discuss might also be an opinion of the owner, and reflective of what they feel the Audi RS Q8 should feel like for its $120,000 or more price tag. Anyway, here we go:
Backup Camera Problems
The RS Q8, along with many other Audi models, has the potential for experiencing an issue in which the backup camera does not display while in reverse. The recall isn’t overly specific about why the issue happens, it is likely having to do with either the wiring harness or Audi enabling users to make changes to the infotainment screen that would impact how bright the backup camera is - when federal mandates require the backup screen provide a rear view image that is clearly visible at all times when in reverse.
The issue is easily fixed by taking the Audi RS Q8 to a dealer and having them update the software and take a look at the hardware. Audi refers to this problem as an issue with rear visibility.
False Warning Lights
We guess that a false warning light isn’t the worst thing in the world, right? Way better than having a real warning light. Some drivers have reported issues with having warning lights come off and on, and when bringing the Audi to a dealership, the warning light either disappears or doesn’t actually produce a code.
This is more of an annoyance and potential time waster than anything - considering that no one we know enjoys having the amber or yellow light come in - and no one likes having to arrange service once it does.
So admittedly, this one is mostly opinion: Long story short, the Audi RS Q8 has a built in system that starts and stops the engine while waiting at traffic lights, or generally when you have your foot on the brake, the vehicle in drive, and the engine on.
Some drivers report that the vehicle feels ‘sluggish’ or doesn’t respond quickly once the brake is released. This is a bit subjective - I’ve personally helped people who were experiencing the start and stop feature, and the very tiny delay between the brake release and the engine restarting is barely noticeable. In some cases, it could take a millisecond longer in the cold, but this is difficult to identify as a true problem.
Some drivers feel like the Audi RS Q8 shifts slowly when not in sport mode, though sport mode offers adequate shifting to these drivers. This may also be the result of a rather powerful engine being driven in a mode that doesn’t reflect the driver’s habits. This is mostly an opinion as Audi has not diagnosed a particular issue or fixed here.
Vehicle Speed Control system problems
Drivers feel that the system that controls speed as well as automated cruise control has the ability to suddenly surge at the wrong time, causing the vehicle to jerk and potentially hit pedestrians at other times. There isn’t a recall related to this and might be a complaint in part because drivers aren’t used to the vehicle taking over control at all.
An existing recall on the Audi RS Q8 fixes a potential issue in which the rear axle can become misaligned because of stress corrosion on a set of lock nuts. A misaligned rear axle can cause premature suspension wear as well as odd tire wear during normal driving. The rather heavyweight and overall power don’t help here - as the RS Q8 can squeal those tires.
This one is truly an opinion: Car & Driver magazine thinks that the exhaust sound of the powerful 8-cylinder engine could be more exciting. The vehicle is relatively silent for the amount of power you get, but some people don’t really enjoy the active rumble of even a powerful SUV taking off.
Some drivers reported issues with the interior lights not turning on or turning off randomly. The problem is likely related to a minor electrical issue in the vehicle.
There aren’t many if any complaints about the engine actually wearing out or having regular problems. However, there is a recall in which a crack could develop within the engine cylinder bore, which would cause serious damage in addition to resulting in a major oil leak. Audi can replace or repair the engine if it shows symptoms.
There is an issue with the rear seat belts which are the subject of an Audi recall. The child restraint system in the rear may have a chance of developing a problem that would cause the rear seatbelts and latches to have an issue. Audi is willing to help and replace the hardware causing these issues.
Is The Audi RS Q8 Worth Buying?
Every vehicle made has problems as vehicles are quite difficult to engineer while keeping all potential safety hazards in mind - or even potential mechanical issues. The Audi RS Q8 is completely worth buying.
The issues with the Audi R8 are quite minor and it seems like Audi itself has a good handle on the problems that could happen, as there are open recalls.
What Should I Do When Buying A Pre Owned Audi RS Q8
Given the number of recalls associated with the Audi RS Q8, a dealer will have to fix any open recalls before selling you the vehicle. If you are buying privately, the current owner is not obligated to fix anything - just be sure to bring the vehicle in right away to get any open recalls fixed.
We’ll mention this every time for every vehicle to - get an inspection. A good inspection can uncover problems that you don’t know about yet, including engine damage and electrical issues. Given the number of electronics available in the Audi RS Q8, testing every button and feature thoroughly is essential to avoid having problems later.
About The Author
Matt is a VW Master Technician since 2009 after proceeding through the ranks as a Team Leader and Shop Foreman. He has developed software to increase car dealership efficiency, managed 10+ techs, and instructed students at multiple high-performance driving events since 2011. He is also the lead mechanic, engineer, and driver for Blue Goose Racing.Read More About Matt Meurer