Super SUVs are on the rise and we’re only in the early stages of their story.
Throughout the 2010s, there was a drastic increase in SUV offerings on the market – so much so that almost every company has one, and some even devoted an entire brand to it.
We have now come to the point where a normal SUV isn’t enough anymore, however, and companies have started to release performance versions to keep high-end customers happy.
Two of the best examples come from the same parent company – the Lamborghini Urus and Audi RS Q8.
Both produce over 400kW and accelerate to 100km/h in under 4 seconds; both are longer than 5 metres and stand taller than 1.6 metres; and both weigh over 2 tonnes – making their performance figures mind blowing.
It is no secret that Audi and Lamborghini are both owned by VW, and that their two flagship SUVs share the same underpinnings – most notably of which is the engine.
Both vehicles are fitted with the same 4.0-litre, V8, twin-turbocharged engine that produce 800Nm of torque.
However, this is where the Lamborghini nudges ahead first.
The engineers at the raging bull factory received the Audi engine and decided they did not want their super-SUV producing only 441kW.
This strategy resulted in a significant increase to 478kW of power, and a 0.2 second faster 0-100km/h acceleration time of 3.6 seconds compared to the Audi.
It wasn’t enough, though and they further delimited the Urus to be able to reach a top speed of 305km/h, The RS Q8 can only reach an electronically-limited 250km/h.
One area where the Audi gains ground, however, is electrification.
It features a mild-hybrid system and cylinder on demand technology, which deactivates four cylinders at part load and helps to save fuel.
This results in the Audi achieving a combined fuel consumption of 12.1-litres/100km – compared to that of the Urus coming in at 12.7-litres/100km.
Both SUVs are then fitted with an automatic 8-speed gearbox, a 100-0km/h stopping distance of about 33 metres, and a 0-200km/h acceleration time of 12.8 and 13.7 seconds respectively for the Urus and RS Q8.
In order to keep the RS Q8 firmly planted, Audi employs its Quattro system to send power to all its wheels, and utilizes eight drive modes along with adaptive air suspension to keep it level, steady, and responsive.
The Lamborghini is also fitted with permanent all-wheel drive and air suspension.
However, it receives six driving modes for on and off-road situations, as well as standard carbon-ceramic brakes to stay in line with the higher level of prestige that is associated with the Lamborghini logo.
The Urus can be explained in one word: angles.
Everything about this vehicle is influenced by, or in the shape of, a hexagon.
The exterior features an aggressive forward-hunching stance, wide and tall hips accentuated by sharp lines, an immense front bumper with large air intakes and angular patterns, and hatch-like styling at the rear with high-mounted tail lights and a diffuser covered in fins.
Hexagonal-shaped wheel arches accommodate the 21-inch wheels, and four individual exhaust pipes add detail to the rear.
The Audi is a bit more understated than its sibling, and features more elegant lines, a slightly narrower body, and a large octagonal-patterned mouth that sucks up air to cool the engine and brakes.
In addition, RS components all around the body underline the sporty look and separate the RS version from the standard Q8.
These include 22-inch rims, a gloss black rear diffuser and horizontal carbon fibre bar, the RS oval tailpipes, the RS “sill” that encompasses the body, impressively-sized air inlets, and the singleframe mask in carbon.
The interior is equally impressive.
The SUVs are so advanced that a physical button to change aircon settings would seem out of place, and if a panel is to be made from plastic it is most certainly placed where it is furthest out of sight.
Both vehicles are leather and carbon clad with beautiful seats, trims, screens, steering wheels, and plenty of driver safety systems – which anyone could appreciate no matter their internal bias.
The Audi, however, is fitted with more impressive internal features, such as more than 30 driver assist systems, an LTE module and Wi-Fi hotspot as standard, and a navigation system that steadily learns driver preferences.
At the time of writing the Audi RS Q8 is not available in South Africa, but will start deliveries in Q2 2021, according to the Audi South Africa website.
Local prices have not been divulged, but the German variant of the vehicle sells for €127,000, which equates to roughly R2,300,000 when directly converted.
The Lamborghini Urus, which started deliveries in 2018, is then for sale locally at a starting price of R3,995,000.