They clearly haven’t waltzed into a Bentley showroom.
German carmaker Audi clearly doesn’t like what Mercedes-Maybach is doing with the S-Class, because it makes their A8 limousine look like a lame duck. Or maybe not, we actually don’t know. The motivations are unclear, as reports emerge that Audi is investigating the possibility of fielding a super-A8, powered by a mammoth W12 engine, and bearing the variant designation ‘Horch.’
If you’re wondering what ‘Horch’ is, you’re not far off from where we were about an hour prior to publishing this story. As it turns out, August Horch founded Audi back in 1910, though it was then called Audiwerke GmbH. Of course the Audi brand went dormant for a while in the 1930s when it was brought under the Auto Union and then revived in the 1980s when it was purchased by then Volkswagenwerk AG (today Volkswagen Group AG). History lesson over.
An A8 Horch will, in theory, bring back W12 motivation to the Ingolstadt brand, where it first originated before it was transferred for employment in other Volkswagen Group brands. But as we think about a super-luxury W12-powered Audi we can’t help but think, doesn’t that already exist kind-of sort-of as the Bentley Flying Spur?
Possible toe-treading aside, Audi wouldn’t want to design dedicated Horch cars (navigating away from the misadventure Daimler had with the Maybach 57 and Maybach 62), and the Horch brand wouldn’t be used as a suffix on anything other than an A8. Further, Autocar reports that a 436kW 6.0-litre W12 Audi A8 with a is actually ready for launch, but is “currently being postponed.” Audi spokespeople did not offer further comment on the matter.