RS Q8 Slams Door on AMG GLE 63 S in SUV Drag Battle


Even with a driver swap, Audi’s heavy-hitting RS Q8 defeats the heavyweight AMG SUV off the line on an autumn day in South Africa.

When the Audi Q8’s performance isn’t enough, the RS Q8 is there to make every errand feel like track day. After all, you can haul the groceries in the back and your family in the leather seats, and haul ass back home with the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 funneling 591 horses and 590 lb-ft of torque through the eight-speed and quattro to the road. It’s a heavy-hitter that floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.

Of course, there are those who’d love to steal the RS Q8’s thunder, like the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S. On a silver autumn day in South Africa,‘s Ciro De Siena and Ernest Page pitted the two against each together on the quarter-mile outside of Cape Town. Let’s see who comes out on top, yes?

Audi RS Q8 vs Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S

“This is my unhappy face,” said De Siena. “Do you know why? Because I’ve been asked to race this new Mercedes GLE 63 AMG, and I don’t like it one bit […] Ernest Page is in the new Audi RS Q8. Today, we’re going to be challenging each other for quarter-mile glory.”

We certainly understand De Siena’s plight here. While the AMG’s got 612 horses, it also weighs 441 pounds more than the RS Q8, and looks doofy. Oh, and it’s around $45,000 more expensive. Already, the Audi’s winning by a car length, and we haven’t dropped the flag yet.

2021 Audi RS Q8

“I’m not sure who’s going to win,” said Page, “but I’m quietly confident in the abilities of the much-lighter and cheaper Audi.”

De Siena adds the RS Q8 would get the jump on the AMG, though he believes the electric motor might help reel in the four rings. Nope. Though there were times when the awkward SUV caught up, the Audi pulled away for the win. Perhaps a driver swap might change things?

Audi RS Q8 vs Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S

“The Audi won the first race by about a car length,” said De Sienna. “I really thought the Merc was gonna come back; it didn’t. Now, my job is to make the Audi win again. Because if Ernest beats me in the Merc, I will be very embarrassed and very confused. No pressure.”

No worries, either. De Sienna takes the RS Q8 to its second win, sweeping the AMG into a bucket, and dumping it in the trash. Even Page would rather have the Audi than drive the AMG anymore. Its four-ringed milkshake really does bring the boys to the yard.

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Cameron Aubernon’s path to automotive journalism began in the early New ’10s. Back then, a friend of hers thought she was an independent fashion blogger.

Aubernon wasn’t, so she became one, covering fashion in her own way for the next few years.

From there, she’s written for: Magazine, Insider Louisville, The Voice-Tribune/The Voice, TOPS Louisville, Jeffersontown Magazine, Dispatches Europe, The Truth About Cars, Automotive News, Yahoo Autos, RideApart, Hagerty, and Street Trucks.

Aubernon also served as the editor-in-chief of a short-lived online society publication in Louisville, Kentucky, interned at the city’s NPR affiliate, WFPL-FM, and was the de facto publicist-in-residence for a communal art space near the University of Louisville.

Aside from her contributions to Audi World, Aubernon can be found all through the IB Auto Group family, including 6 Speed Online, LS1Tech, and Team Speed. She also has her own independent automotive blog, Aubernon Highway.

Aubernon can be reached through her public Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. She is wary of those she doesn’t already know, though; thus, she may not respond to messages sent.

Aubernon is a member of the International Motor Press Association, and the Washington Automotive Press Association.

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