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The 2025 Audi RS Q8 Gets a Performance Model and Not Much Else

A nip here, a tuck there, and that's really it ...

2025 Audi RS Q8 Performamce front
  • The RS Q8 gets a face-lift, and there's an even more hardcore Performance model now.
  • Small exterior updates make it look a little meaner too.
  • But by and large, this is a mild update.

Audi's been on a roll lately. The brand recently rolled out three new variants of the E-tron GT and a heavily revised RS 3 is coming. But in the meantime, Audi has seen fit to refresh its flagship performance SUV, the RS Q8 — and for 2025 Audi's thrown yet another Performance trim into the mix.

As a quick refresher, the Q8 lineup received a small refresh for the 2024 model year. The changes were minimal — think a slightly revised front end, small changes to the rear, and an interior with a few more options to pick from. The RS models get similar lifts here. The front and rear ends are both more aggressive thanks to bigger grilles and squintier headlights, while the back of the car gets a much more pronounced rear diffuser with a neat red reflector embedded between the oval tailpipes.

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2025 Audi RS Q8 Performance static rear

Though the two cars will look largely the same to the untrained eye, there are a few ways to tell the standard RS Q8 and its Performance sibling apart. The RS Q8 Performance features matte gray exterior mirrors, front spoiler elements and rear diffuser, while all these trim pieces will be black on the standard RS Q8. The RS Q8 Performance also has the option for new 23-inch wheels that are forged to be both stronger and lighter than the standard 22-inch wheels. They also save 44 pounds of unsprung mass to the betterment of throttle response and handling.

The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 from Audi makes 591 horsepower in the standard RS Q8, which fans of the hi-po SUV will note is exactly the same as last year's model. The new RS Q8 Performance uses the same engine, but it's been breathed on just a touch more. The Performance makes 631 horsepower and 626 lb-ft of torque. In both models, that power is sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels via Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

2025 Audi RS Q8 Performance sterring wheel

Suspension for both cars is carried over from the previous car, meaning you get an air suspension at all four corners in both the RS Q8 and the Performance. An active roll stabilization system is available as an option (the system essentially firms up active anti-roll bars while cornering to help keep the ride as flat as possible). There's also a Dynamic package plus that bundles the active anti-roll bars, ceramic brakes (which are standard on the Performance) and a rear sport differential and ups the top speed to 190 mph.

Audi hasn't done too much to the interior here. The seats, overall design, liberal use of carbon-fiber trim, layout of the screens, and physical controls like the steering wheel all carry straight over from the current RS Q8. There are some new optional trim bits but, by and large, the RS Q8's cockpit is the same. The new RS Q8 and its Performance sibling will go on sale in the U.S. later this year, and though pricing hasn't been set yet, we expect it to cost a touch more than the current car's $128,000 starting price.

2025 Audi RS Q8 rear 3/4

Edmunds says

Is the new Performance model enough to challenge the mighty Cayenne Turbo GT? We'll have to wait until we drive it to find out.