The upcoming Maybach rival is expected to pack the legendary W12 engine.
The new Audi A8 only recently went on sale in the US, but details about the freshened-up facelift model due within the next two or three few years are already emerging. According to Automotive News, Audi is plotting an even fancier version of the flagship sedan to rival the Maybach S-Class. Sources say the new range-topping A8 will have equipment “beyond the regular A8,” including bespoke alloy wheels and a “Horch” logo on the flanks or C-pillar.
Horch was a German luxury brand that formed part of the Auto Union group in the 1930s, which also included Audi. Production of Horch luxury cars largely ceased after World War II in favor of military vehicles, though the brand was briefly resurrected in East Germany after the war.
While the ultra-luxurious A8 Horch Line will compete with Maybach, the car is unlikely to be stretched. Audi also isn’t planning to launch Horch versions of other models but hasn’t ruled out the possibility. The possibility of Horch being launched as a standalone marque has also been ruled out after sales of the Maybach 57 and 62 models fell below expectations.
The Horch trim level is expected to be powered by a V8 engine or VW’s twin-turbo W12, which still hasn't been shown off in the current generation A8 or A8 L. The W12 version of Audi’s flagship sedan is on hold, despite being market ready. Audi has also confirmed the current A8 will be the last model to be fitted with the fabled W12 engine.