Is it ridiculous to say that a near-600bhp SUV doesn’t feel ‘that’ fast? So it might weigh the same as Christ the Redeemer (nearly), but like taking off in an aeroplane the sheer mass moving around you seems to dull the senses, making the 3.8sec 0-62mph time feel a little less impressive than the number might suggest. The active air suspension helps keep acceleration squat to a minimum, further numbing that accelerative effect.
Even so, the RSQ8 doesn’t feel like it’s in any need of more grunt, as the twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine dumps its full 590lb ft of torque to the four wheels consistently between 2200 and 4500rpm. As a result the performance feels easy, but catch the powertrain off guard and it can take a while for the engine to properly wake up and produce the punch.
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Helping the V8 along is a mild-hybrid system, although unlike in the lesser SQ8 TDi and other diesel mild-hybrid applications the system doesn’t electrically spool turbochargers or torque-fill, rather acting as an efficiency booster, extending the start-stop capability and facilitating engine-off coasting when cruising.