According to Khabar Khodro, as standard, the Audi RSQ8
gets a not-insignificant 592bhp and 590lb ft of torque from its 4.0-litre
twin-turbo V8, meaning 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and a limited top speed of around
Ask any sane human and they’ll probably tell you that’s
plenty fast enough for a luxury SUV that weighs more than the factory it was
built in. Ask ABT, though, and they’ll offer you a performance upgrade to reach
a total of 690bhp and 649lb ft.
And then there’s Manhart.
The Wuppertal-based tuner has just announced its take on
the bonkers-quick Urus-sibling – the RQ 900. Thanks to gearbox upgrades, bigger
turbochargers, a new exhaust and ‘extensive modifications to the engine’, the
RQ 900 puts out a whopping 887bhp and 797lb ft of torque.
As you might have noticed from the pictures above,
Manhart has also fitted a rather extensive body kit. Apparently the bonnet,
front spoiler, diffuser, rear spoiler, side skirts and wheel arch extensions
are all made from carbon fibre. Gloriously mad isn’t it? Thankfully the gold
interior accents and exterior decals are optional, though.
Elsewhere there’s a 30mm drop in ride height thanks to
Manhart’s suspension upgrade, and those wheels are Concave One aluminium jobs.
The brakes remain standard, though. Luckily Audi already fits ceramic discs.
Just 10 RQ 900s will be built, with each one costing
(wait for it) €280,000.
The Tesla Model 3 and Jag I-Pace were best sellers in
It’s hardly a shock that the COVID-19 crisis and global
lockdown has meant fewer cars are being sold. What’s surprising is that any
have been shifted at all, really.
The numbers are in, and in the UK during April 2020,
4,321 new cars were registered. In the same month last year, Brits bought
161,064 new cars. That’s a drop of 97.3 per cent. Yowch.
Terrifying numbers, but also so unsurprising it’s barely
a story. Sales of everything except hand sanitiser and Disney Plus
subscriptions have nosedived. The more interesting nugget is who’s managed to
The answer is… Tesla. Because Tesla doesn’t really have
dealerships and concentrates on selling cars online and having them delivered
to your door, it’s been able to shift more units than the conventional
big-hitters of Ford, Vauxhall and VW.
So much so, the Tesla Model 3 was actually the UK’s most
popular car in April, topping the charts with 658 sold. The next-most popular
was Jaguar’s electric I-Pace, with 367 sold. Even the humble Nissan Leaf
climbed to ninth in the table, having sold, erm, 72 examples.
For context, back in 2019, Ford could bank on shifting
around 6,000 Fiestas every month in order to stay atop the sales totals. That’s
just one model, remember.
Of course, manufacturers will be hoping that easing
restrictions will allow customers back out to order cars and get the sales
rising again, though supply chain problems and the damage to the economy and
household earnings could dent that optimism. Industry body the SMMT has already
warned UK car sales in 2020 will be at their lowest since 1992, making the
financial crisis aftermath of 2008 look like small potatoes.
What’s interesting is how demand for plug-in hybrid and
electric cars may continue to surge as new incentives for running EVs as
company cars take effect in the UK this spring, and whether an indirect result
of this crisis may well be more car marques moving to online ordering rather
than bricks-and-mortar dealerships.
In the meantime, Tesla has claimed the top sales spot in
the UK, and the likes of the Ford Fiesta and VW Golf aren’t even in the top 10.
Add that to the list of sentences we didn’t bet on writing this year…