It’s an impressive and slightly terrifying sign of automotive progress that the Audi RS Q8 is capable of hitting 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds. Not so long ago, that was supercar territory.
But if you’re unhinged enough to believe an SUV that can lap the Nurburgring in seven minutes and 42 seconds needs more go, Manhart has an answer.
While primarily known for its work on BMWs (Toyotas with BMW DNA), Manhart will happily give cars from a range of manufacturers massive power increases. In the case of the RS Q8, the company has bumped the car to a ridiculous 887bhp (a nice, round 900hp) and 797lb ft of torque.
Such an increase inevitably involves more than just a software fiddle. The ‘RQ 900’ gets bigger turbochargers, a strengthened gearbox, and some other unspecified “extensive modifications” under the bonnet. It’s been gifted a new set of lungs, too, comprising a stainless steel mid and rear silencers plus a new downpipe.
The RQ 900 has been lowered by 30mm onto 23-inch alloys, matching the diameter of the largest set of optional wheels Audi fits to the RS Q8 from the factory. Also sprucing up the exterior is a carbon fibre bonnet kit including a bonnet, splitter, rear diffuser, side skirts and wheel arch bulges. And yes, the classic Manhart gold decals.
If you’ve gone for the latter, it’s also possible to litter the cabin in matching gold ascents. Gold stitching on the retrimmed leather seats, gold buttons on the dash - you name it.
All of that carbon, gold stuff and the extra power comes at a cost, however - Manhart says that the RQ 900 is ‘around’ €280,000, nearly £250,000. The German company won’t have to find too many people willing to pay that much, however, as production is limited to 10 examples.