Audi's Q8 received a mid-cycle update for 2024, but missing from the lineup was the fire-breathing RS Q8 variant.

It turns out development of the updated RS Q8 is still happening, as a camouflaged prototype has just been spotted testing at the Nürburgring. Given the thin camouflage gear it was wearing, the debut is likely close. An arrival later this year as a 2025 model for the U.S. market is a strong possibility.

The updated Q8 received only minimal tweaks to the exterior design and some new trim options for the cabin. The former E-Tron electric midsize SUV was also rebranded as the Q8 E-Tron for the 2024 model year, after receiving its own update.

In the case of the RS Q8, the prototype also suggests only minimal changes are planned, at least for the exterior design. There's a new grille design, a revised rear fascia, and tweaks to the light signatures at both ends.

2025 Audi RS Q8 facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

2025 Audi RS Q8 facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf

It isn't clear what's planned for the mechanicals, but a yellow warning sticker on an earlier prototype points to some form of electrification being added. There are rumors a plug-in hybrid powertrain may be added, though the photos don't show a charging port.

The 2023 RS Q8 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 rated at 591 hp. The same V-8 is paired with plug-in hybrid systems in vehicles from other Volkswagen Group brands, including the related Porsche Cayenne. In the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid added for 2024, the V-8 plug-in hybrid setup is good for 729 hp.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain was also just dropped into the Lamborghini Urus for the 2025 model year, where it delivers 789 hp. Like the Porsche Cayenne, the Urus is a close relative of the Q8. This means it's possible plug-in hybrid powertrain will also power the updated RS Q8.