Crossover & Midsize

Is the 2020 Audi RS Q8 a Bargain Lamborghini Urus?

While the Urus is a ridiculously fast car, Lamborghini’s crossover/SUV has been critiqued for its origins. Under the skin, the Lamborghini Urus shares a lot with the Audi Q8 and SQ8. And now, the German marque is bringing its largest crossover/SUV even closer to the Italian bull with the Audi RS Q8. But is it really a discount Urus, or is it just borrowing the tech? YouTube team The Straight Pipes wanted to find out.

2020 Audi RS Q8 vs. Lamborghini Urus: specs and features

A green 2020 Audi RS Q8 front 3/4 in front of a city scene
2020 Audi RS Q8 front 3/4 | Audi

Like the Lamborghini Urus, the Audi RS Q8 has a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, 8-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive.

A white 2019 Lamborghini Urus drives around a track
2019 Lamborghini Urus | Lamborghini

But the V8 in the Audi is a bit detuned compared to the version in the Lamborghini, Car and Driver reports. The Audi RS Q8’s V8 makes 591 hp and 590 lb-ft, while the Urus’ makes 641 hp and 627 lb-ft, Car and Driver reports. Plus, the RS Q8’s transmission has different tuning than the Lamborghini’s transmission. It also rides on different tires, Motor Trend reports. As a result, despite weighing slightly less than the Lamborghini Urus, the RS Q8 has a worse 0-60 time, The Drive reports.

However, the Audi RS Q8 isn’t exactly slow or lacking in performance features. Officially, Audi estimates it can go 0-60 in 3.8 seconds. But MT believes it’s capable of a 3.5-second time. Plus, like the Lambo, the RS Q8 has 4-wheel steering, adjustable air suspension, an active rear differential, and active electromechanical anti-roll bars. Carbon-ceramic brakes, though, are optional.

As a result, the Audi RS Q8 is the fastest SUV to ever lap the Nurburgring, Car and Driver reports. It lapped the 14.7-mile track in 7:42.3, roughly 7 seconds faster than the previous SUV record-holder. Incidentally, that makes it faster than a Honda Civic Type R and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Road & Track reports.

Does the Audi RS Q8 drive like the Lamborghini Urus?

The black-with-red-elements 2020 RS Q8's interior
2020 Audi RS Q8 interior | Audi

The Audi RS Q8 and Lamborghini offer similar luxury features, too. Both offer Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, navigation, WiFi, dual touchscreens, and a digital gauge cluster. The crossovers also come with bolstered sport seats, with the front ones being heated and cooled. If you want heated rear seats or massaging front seats, though, they’re optional. Still, whether you’re driving the RS Q8 or Urus, the material quality is very high.

The Audi RS Q8, though, doesn’t drive quite like the Lamborghini Urus, Motor1 reports. And The Straight Pipes agree. It’s less aggressive overall, with a quieter exhaust and not quite as much acceleration. And Car and Driver found its version of the 8-speed to sometimes be in too-high of a gear during cornering.

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To paraphrase Autoblog, even with the RS treatment, the Audi Q8 isn’t a sports car. In contrast, the Lamborghini Urus “goes around a corner the same way exceptional all-wheel-drive supercars like the Nissan GT-R do,” Motor Trend reports. It is genuinely “a Lamborghini you can drive every day,” Roadshow reports.

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But that doesn’t mean the Audi RS Q8 is a bad crossover by any means. The seats are very comfortable, Motor1 reports, as is the ride. And Gear Patrol reports it handles corners significantly better than any vehicle its size should be able to. That might be why the RS Q8 doesn’t work as a sports car: it’s faster than you think it is. The rear-wheel steering, air suspension, and active anti-roll bars can’t lower the RS Q8’s center-of-gravity, but they’re really trying to.

Which is the better buy?

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Without options, the Audi RS Q8 starts at $114,500. That’s roughly $110,000 cheaper than the Lamborghini Urus, MT reports. You could almost buy 2 RS Q8s for the price of one Urus. And if what you want is Lamborghini-like acceleration, but in a more subdued package, it’s tough to argue with those savings. Then again, the typical Lamborghini buyer likely isn’t terribly concerned with value.

A silver 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S-E Hybrid at sunset
2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S-E Hybrid | Porsche

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However, you want something that offers the RS Q8’s luxury with a touch more sportiness, there’s also the Porsche Cayenne. It rides on the same platform as the Q8, Q7, and the Urus, and also offers a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. And in Turbo S-E Hybrid trim, it makes 670 hp and 633 lb-ft. In Car and Driver’s hands, it a logged a 3.2-second 0-60 time, matching the Lamborghini Urus.

Unfortunately, rear-wheel steering isn’t standard, and several ADAS features are options, too. But it’s priced roughly mid-way between the RS Q8 and the Urus.

Hmm, decisions, decisions.

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