Ranking Audi’s Six 4.0L V8 Models from Worst to Best!

Audi currently makes six amazing twin-turbo 4.0L V8 models and here are our picks for the best of the best (of the best)!

Six Audi 4.0L V8 Models: Only ONE Can Win!

After working my way through Audi’s incredible catalog of current-generation Audi Sport vehicles, I thought it might be a fun exercise to subjectively rank six of its top-tier models.

  • RS 6 Avant
  • RS 7
  • RS Q8
  • S8
  • SQ7
  • SQ8

Three SUVs, two sedans, and an honest-to-God super wagon. The presumably last of the great V8-powered Audis before the company pivots to an all-electric future. Each one driven by a twin-turbocharged 4.0L 8-cylinder motor that you’ll find not just in six killer Audis, but also in several sister models over in Porsche and Lamborghini.

What makes Audi’s 4.0L family so incredible overall? It’s a combination of performance and practicality. Of sharpened, yet understated aesthetics. None are traditional sports cars like the R8 or RS TT. Yet all are large and (mostly) fantastic driver’s vehicles with luxury underpinnings to boot.

If there’s a single flaw in the 4.0 family, it’s the meager sound. With a full exhaust and turbos and emissions systems, it’s not easy to hear a stock 4.0, even when the exhaust mode is set to Present… Until one mashes the pedal to the floor. But there’s a catch. Most of these Audi models rocket to 60 mph in under four seconds. Which means one’s ability to mash said pedal for any length of time is severely undercut by ever-increasing illegal speeds.

It should also go without saying that there’s no such thing as a Worst Audi when it comes to this family of twin-turbo 4.0L V8 luxury brutes. Still, we’d argue that some are better than others. 

So without further ado, here are Audi’s 4.0L V8 models ranked, from “worst” to best!

Photo Credit: Audi

6. & 5. SQ7 & SQ8 (TIE)


  • Horsepower: 500 
  • Torque: 568 
  • 0-60: 4.3 seconds
  • Curb Weight: 5,291 lbs
  • Starting MSRP: $90,220


  • Horsepower: 500
  • Torque: 568 
  • 0-60: 4.3s
  • Curb Weight: 5,280 lbs
  • Starting MSRP: $95,500

At the beginning of our list, we have a pair of de-tuned 4.0L S models. Compared to the full RS variants, we’re down nearly 100 horsepower and 22 lb-ft of torque, which results in an extra 0.6 seconds added to 0 to 60 runtimes. 

Not the end of the world for most people. But it’s also a move that will save potential buyers upwards of $30,000. So if you don’t need an SUV that also doubles as a rollercoaster, you might opt for the SQ7 or SQ8. (BTW, can you IMAGINE how incredible a 4.0L-powered SQ5 would be!)

As for why they’re tied, the SQ7 and SQ8 are very similar vehicles. Identical performance metrics. Same engine. Same wheelbase. And they’re priced only about $5 grand apart. The SQ8 arguably offers a touch more luxury and seating for five, while the SQ7 is slightly more basic and offers seating for up to seven. As such, it really comes down to what you prefer or need.

Photo Credit: Audi

4. RS 7

  • Horsepower: 591
  • Torque: 590
  • 0-60: 3.5s
  • Curb Weight: 4,938 lbs
  • Starting MSRP: $123,900

Stepping up to Audi’s sportiest sedan, the RS 7 slices through the air visually as a four-door coupe with a hideaway spoiler. Yet it also offers the practicality of a hatchback, which provides not just a good amount of space, but also flexibility for loading all sorts of things into the back with the rear seat down. Luxury and amenities are pretty uniform across this and the rest of the RS lineup. Dual digital touchscreens. Massaging front seats. Custom color lighting. A full surround sound audio system.

All in a relatively comfortable sedan that’s unbelievably fast thanks to its Audi Quattro all-wheel-drive system paired with the twin-turbo 4.0L V8. Amazing sedan, overall. 

Photo Credit: Audi

3. RS Q8

  • Horsepower: 591
  • Torque: 590
  • 0-60: 3.7s
  • Curb Weight: 5,490 lbs
  • Starting MSRP: $125,800

I went back and forth with the RS Q8 and where to put it on the list. As many journalists and YouTubers have noted, it’s essentially a sleeper Lamborghini Urus… for at least $100 grand less. Yes, the Aud is not quite as extreme, but I’d argue that’s a good thing.

As for its placement on this list, why better than the RS 7, but not the two next models? 

On one hand, the RS Q8 is the most adjustable RS model available in 2023. With the flick of a button, it changes not only ride height but suspension damping. Which means you can tool around town in a floaty SUV, or lower it down to almost sports car low for hard cornering. That flexibility and diversity of settings make it arguably the most interesting RS model. The driver’s sight lines are also the best, again thanks to the added height.

That’s why it’s above the RS 7, overall.

However, the added height and weight — it’s the heaviest RS model by about 500 lbs — make the RS Q8 the least dynamic RS vehicle from a driver’s perspective. Again, it’s amazing for an SUV. But stick it next to the other RS options and the RS Q8 can’t quite hang.

Still, there were moments where I thought of giving the RS Q8 the top spot so it’s all very very close.

Photo Credit: Michael S. Palmer

2. RS 6 Avant

  • Horsepower: 591
  • Torque: 590
  • 0-60: 3.5s
  • Curb Weight: 4,960 lbs
  • Starting MSRP: $121,900

My pick for Best Audi RS Model, but not quite the best 4.0L V8 vehicle. Here’s why. The RS 6 Avant is INCREDIBLE for the way it blends muscular styling, classic wagon proportions, power, dynamics, and honest to god practicality. This modern iteration might go down as the coolest collector Audi ever made. It’s so fast and fun and you can still grab groceries and go get kids at school. It can do everything… well, almost.

As you can probably see, the main differentiator between these V8-powered Audis is suspension and driving dynamics. So, while the RS Q8 lost points because it was too tall and heavy, if we’re splitting hairs, the RS 6 Avant can be a little too harsh because it lacks the air suspension you’ll find on the RS Q8 (and even A6 All Road). This results in superior handling, but a touch of missing comfort. 

Also, RS 6 and RS 7 rear legroom can’t match our winner…

Photo Credit: Michael S. Palmer

1. S8

  • Horsepower: 563
  • Torque: 590
  • 0-60: 3.8s
  • Curb Weight: 5,126 lbs
  • Starting MSRP: $120,500

I know, I know, probably not most folks’ choice for Best Audi or Best V8 Audi. But after attending the 2022 Audi S8 facelift first-drive event, I absolutely fell in love with Audi’s flagship sedan. Yes, it’s noticeably heavier than the RS 7 and 6, but it hands down boasts the best overall combination of performance, driving dynamics, luxury, and comfort. The suspension is next-level capable, isolating driver and passengers from all sorts of road imperfections without sacrificing dynamics and lateral stability. The interior design and materials are just a touch nicer. And rear seat passenger legroom is Limo spacious. 

In truth, you can’t go wrong with any of the Audis on this list, especially the trio of RS models. All of them truly are do-everything vehicles. But the S8 is my favorite to drive. Favorite to ride in. And although it’s a veritable sleeper to most folks, it also has a lot of presence, especially in the pictured Ultra Blue Metallic!

Photo Credit: Michael S. Palmer

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Top 5 Most Powerful Audis You Can Buy for $30K!

Eight, ten, and even twelve-cylinder Audis can be yours for less than $30K.

June 7, 2023


The average new car today costs close to $50K. Even the least expensive Audi in the lineup, a FWD A3 will cost you over $40K with a couple of options. It is a fine car, but you get just 201 horsepower from the 4-cylinder engine. What if you desire more power? A lot more power. And what if you have a more modest budget of just $30K? We put together a list of the five most powerful Audis you can buy for that price. Obviously, you are looking at used Audis at that point, but there are some surprisingly powerful options out there. And we are not talking about 30-year-old relics with 300,000 miles on them. The oldest vehicle on our list is from 2007. Refer to our list and see just how much power is available to you for only $30K.

5. Audi RS 4 4.2L V8 (2007 – 2008, 420 HP)

The looks of this car alone should be enough to sell it to you. Those bulging fenders and beefy wheels tell anyone that sets eyes on it, that this car means business. With 420 horsepower under your right foot that business is speed. This car will also make for a fine track day companion thanks to the finely tuned chassis and advanced suspension. And you get to control all of this with a manual 6-speed transmission. For less than 30 grand. Sign us up.

3. Audi S8 5.2L V10 (2007 – 2009, 450 HP)

This Audi S8 is a bit older than the other one on our list and it is down a bit on power. But it is tough to complain about a 5.2L V10 making 450 horsepower. Especially when that engine is derived from the one found in the Lamborghini Gallardo. And a similar vintage Gallardo will cost you at least triple what the S8 can be had for. And the Lambo won’t be as comfortable. Of course, the big Audi is a very different car. This S8 is about effortless power and long, relaxing journeys. And for just $30K it is a heck of a bargain.

4. Audi RS 5 4.2L V8 (2013 – 2015, 450 HP)

The first couple of cars on our list make big power but are not really known for being sporty. The Audi RS 5 with the 4.2L V8 changes all that. This is an ‘RS’ Audi so the sport quotient is dialed up to eleven. The 4.2L V8 revs to 8,500 rpm and sounds glorious doing it. We dare say that it sounds even better here than in the R8. You will reach 60 mph in about 4 seconds flat and race on until nearly 175 mph. This is a peach of a car, and you can buy one today for less than half of the original MSRP.

2. Audi A8 L 6.3L W12 (2012 – 2014, 500 HP)

A 12-cylinder Audi making 500 horsepower for less than $30K. Can you believe it? Sure, any example in this price range will have about 100,000 miles on it. But let us say it again. Twelve cylinders and 500 horsepower. The days of internal combustion are rapidly ending for even little 4-cylinders let alone massive 12-cylinder units. You want a new vehicle with an engine like this then you are shopping at Ferrari, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Maybach. And this A8 L Audi you can buy for less than the sales tax on any of those other models.  

1. Audi S8 4.0T V8 (2013 -2014, 520 HP)

Five hundred and twenty horsepower. That is more power than a brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 RS which will cost you well over ten times our $30K budget. Sure, the big Audi won’t match the lap times of the Porsche, but thanks to a twin turbo V8 it will take you and four friends to 60 mph in about three and a half seconds. And you will all be comfortable along the way, with plenty of space to stretch your legs. This car cost over $110K when it was new and now you can get a decent example for a 70 percent discount.

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Audi Details Plans to Enter Formula One in 2026

With plans to begin testing their new F1 powertrain design by the end of the year, Audi’s glorious return to F1 gets closer.

Audi Works Team

Audi provided an update on their highly anticipated Formula 1 entry during a presentation at the Auto Shanghai exhibition. This announcement comes after their confirmation last year at the Belgian Grand Prix that they will be joining the F1 grid starting from the 2026 season. As part of their strategic plans, Audi will collaborate with legendary long-time F1 team Sauber to transform the existing Alfa Romeo team, currently powered by Ferrari, into Audi’s official works team.

Launch Livery

In an effort to expand their presence in the Asian market, Audi took their project to China, where they showcased their launch livery show car and introduced the captivating slogan ‘F1 Power made in Germany’. This move further solidifies their commitment to the venture and aims to generate excitement among motorsport enthusiasts in the region.

Starting Testing This Year

Audi also revealed that their first full hybrid drivetrain unit, comprising a combustion engine, electric motor, battery, and electronic control unit, is scheduled for rigorous testing on the bench before the end of this year. This crucial step will lay the foundation for the future development of Audi’s F1 vehicle concept, marking a significant milestone in their preparation for the upcoming season.

Expanding The Team

With the formation of the Audi Formula Racing GmbH division, Audi now boasts a dedicated team of over 260 specialists. The core development team consists of experienced professionals from Audi Sport and Audi, bringing a diverse range of expertise in electric motorsport. To further strengthen their workforce, Audi has been actively recruiting external F1 specialists. By the end of the year, they anticipate completing the hiring process, thereby exceeding a staff count of 300 and ensuring a robust team ready for the challenges ahead.

Ready For 2026

To support their F1 project, Audi plans to expand their Competence Center Motorsport. This expansion includes the installation of additional test rigs in a new building encompassing approximately 3,000 square meters. The modular design of the facility allows for early utilization of the test rigs, even before the entire space is fully completed in early 2024. This investment highlights Audi’s commitment to creating state-of-the-art infrastructure to enhance their F1 development capabilities.

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Top 5 Audi Sport Models of All Time!

We looked back through 40 years of Audi Sport creations and picked five of their best road cars.

May 24, 2023


Audi Sport began 40 years ago. And during that time, they have developed some world beating race and road cars. Today we are going to focus on the road going models. Trying to limit to just the top five was not an easy task. And we are sure it is bound to open the door to plenty of debate. But we think we have a pretty solid list. Here are the top five Audi Sport models of all time.

5. RS 2 Avant (1994 – 1996)

The incredible Audi RS 2 Avant was never officially sold in the U.S. However, it is now legal to import from overseas. So, if you want one bad enough you can get one. 2,891 of these were built between 1994 and 1996. It was the first Audi to break the German industry’s voluntary agreement to govern top speeds at 155 mph. Ungoverned it would reach 163 mph. That speed is thanks to a 311 horsepower 2.2L turbocharged 5-cylinder that was designed by Audi and modified by Porsche. In fact, there are quite a few Porsche bits on the RS 2 Avant. You will find the turn signals, fog lights, wheels, and exterior mirrors from the 993-generation Porsche 911 on this wagon. Porsche also tweaked the brakes and suspension. This RS 2 began a tradition of high-performance Audi wagons that continues to this day.

4. S6 V10 (2007 – 2011)

This is not the fastest Audi in the world, but it might be the biggest sleeper Audi ever had. Built from 2007 to 2011, this rather boring looking sedan had a Lamborghini derived V10 engine hiding under the hood. In the Audi it made 435 horsepower, and it would get the car to 60 mph in about 4.8 seconds. The S8 of the same era made a bit more power from its V10. However, it was bigger, heavier and a touch slower. So, we decided to go with the S6 that no one in the world would suspect is packing V10 power.

3. RS 3 (2022 – Current)

This is just a hell of a car. A diminutive sedan with a 401 horsepower raucous 5-cylinder under the hood. The car can rocket to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds. Thanks to quattro all-wheel-drive, and the new RS Torque Splitter it will be a blast to drive on the road or the track. Oh, and it has a drift mode. Drive like a hooligan or take your mother to dinner. The choice is yours and the RS 3 is up for either. That puts it on our short list of the best Audi Sport models of all time.

2. RS 6 Avant (2021 – Current)

For years the Audi RS 6 Avant was forbidden fruit here in America. But that all changed in 2021. We finally got the RS 6 here, and boy was it worth the wait. A 591 horsepower twin turbo V8 powers this wicked wagon to 60 mph in about 3.1 seconds. And it will keep on pushing right up to 190 mph. Too slow? How about the new for 2024 Performance model that ups the power to a staggering 621 horses. This machine is not cheap, but the world is not exactly chock-full of wagons like this.

1. R8 GT (2023)

In 2023 we bid a fond farewell to the beloved Audi R8. And the special edition GT model is a proper sendoff. Only 333 of these cars will be built. The amazing 5.2L V10 gets a power bump from 562 to 602 horsepower. And that is all being fired to the rear wheels. Losing the AWD means this car won’t launch as hard so it will be slower to 60 mph than an AWD model. But 0 to 60 is not what this car is about. It is about involvement and dynamics. It gives more control to the driver. It is the best Audi Sport road car of all time.

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5 Most Fuel Efficient (Non EV) 2023 Audi Models

Outside of their lineup of electric-powered e-tron vehicles, these are Audi’s most fuel-efficient cars of 2023.

Audi S3 – 26 Combined MPG (23/32)

The sporty variant of Audi’s most compact offering is not necessarily an Audi model that one would think of as being fuel efficient. But the low curb weight of around 3,500 lbs allows the 306-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine to launch the nimble package with ease, making it enjoyable on the throttle and relatively wallet-friendly at the pump.

Audi A6 quattro – 27 Combined MPG (24/31)

The base model of the Audi A6 is equipped with a turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder mill similar to the S3. In this package, the power source produces 261 horsepower and yields a combined gas mileage of 27 MPG. The other variants of the A6 and their fuel economy figures are as follows:

A6 quattro 3.0 6-cylinder – 24 Combined MPG (21/30)

A6 Allroad – 24 Combined MPG (21/30)

Photo: Carbuzz

Audi A5 Sportback quattro – 28 Combined MPG (24/33)

The Sportback version of the Audi A5 happens to be the most fuel-efficient version of the model. The base version comes equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo-four, the same as the aforementioned A6. Aside from the slightly upgraded S-Line quattro model, the A5 is also offered as a coupe and a convertible, each with a different fuel economy. 

A5 Sportback S-Line quattro – 27 Combined MPG (24/32)

A5 Coupe quattro – 27 Combined MPG (24/32)

A5 Cabriolet quattro – 26 Combined MPG (24/31)

Audi A4 quattro – 28 Combined MPG (24/33)

Matching the numbers of the A5 Sportback, the A4 base model boasts an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 24 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the freeway. As with the A5, the A4’s more highly-equipped variants have slightly lower fuel efficiency, as found below:

 A4 S-Line quattro – 27 Combined MPG (24/32)

A4 Allroad – 26 Combined MPG (23/30)

Audi A3 – 32 Combined MPG (28/38)

And the title of the most fuel-efficient non-electric Audi offering of the 2023 model year goes to the base version of the ultra-compact A3 sedan. Given the same basic power package as the other 4-cylinder models, the A3 achieves a significantly higher fuel economy thanks in no small part to its lightweight frame. 32 combined MPG is what the EPA estimates for the base A3, while opting for the quattro model will yield slightly higher consumption. 

A3 quattro – 30 Combined MPG (25/35)

>>Join the conversation about the most fuel-efficient non-EV Audi models right here in the Audi World Forum!

For help with the service of your car, check out the how-to section of AudiWorld.com.

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