It's a change from what we've heard in the past. Previously, it was a thought a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 would reside under the hood minus electrification. With Porsche's hybrid system, which benefits the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, we should expect higher power figures. Autocar reported those figures could be around 680 horsepower. It's the same power output the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid boasts. Porsche may also add the powertrain to the Cayenne SUV in time, too.
The irony in such a power figure? It would make the RS Q8 Audi's most powerful production car, even eclipsing the R8 V-10 Plus, which makes 610 horsepower. In fact, it would also likely outdo the Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo, at least until their own hybrid variants debut. However, the RS Q8 won't be nearly as spritely as the R8, thanks to added mass.
As for the design, we should expect something very close to the Q8 Sport concept. A large trapezoidal grille is a given with larger front air intakes. Along the body, expect more aggressive creases and side sill extensions to visually lower the vehicle. Also look for Audi Sport's trademark cue at the rear: massive oval-shaped exhaust tips. We've seen previews of what the RS Q8 looks like in spy shots.
2020 Audi RS Q8 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
While the normal Q8 will do battle with other mid-size "coupe" SUVs like the BMW X6, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, and Mercedes-Benz GLE, the RS Q8 will target the X6 M, Range Rover Sport SVR, and Mercedes-AMG GLE63. We expect the RS Q8 to debut sometime in mid-2019 for the 2020 model year.