And it could revive a historic nameplate.
The A8 is firmly established as Audi’s flagship sedan, but the automaker is planning to introduce an even more high-end variant. The news was announced this week during the company’s Annual General Meeting, as Audi confirmed the A8 model family will be expanded "to include a new, especially luxurious and prestigious derivative”. No other details were revealed about the opulent A8, but the use of the word "prestigious” may give us some clues.
This could be hinting at links to the company’s past, as previous reports have claimed Audi is planning to revive the Horch nameplate. If that doesn't sound familiar, 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, so you'd be forgiven for forgetting all about the company.
According to reports, the new range-topping A8 will be based on the A8 L as a rival to the lavish Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Unlike its competitor, however, it isn’t expected to have an even longer wheelbase.
Equipment "beyond the regular A8” is also rumored, along with bespoke alloy wheels and the "Horch” badge adorning the front fenders or the C-pillars. Under the hood, the new range-topping A8 will be powered by the VW Group’s twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 that will drive the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. We can expect it to produce at least 585 horsepower like the regular A8, or more power could be extracted since the Continental GT and Bentayga Speed use the same engine tuned to deliver 626 hp.
Audi didn’t specify when the more luxurious A8 will arrive, but it’s expected to launch during the sedan’s mid-cycle facelift. Since the current model was launched in 2017 in Europe, we’ll probably have to wait until around 2021 for the facelift to debut.