Automotive News reports that the Audi A8 Horch will likely bring the W12 powertrain - currently only used in the Bentley range and not yet relaunched in the A8 - back to the brand, but that an Audi insider claims a V8-engined version would also work.
The return of the Horch name - the surname of one of Audi’s original founders - would be Audi’s equivalent of Mercedes’ revival of Maybach. The name was last used in 1940, although the brand became part of Auto Union in 1932.
This means no Horch-badged stand-alone models like the Maybach 57 and 62 would be planned. Audi doesn’t plan to stretch the badge beyond the A8, although Mercedes has a Maybach SUV in the pipeline aimed at China, as well as having demonstrated coupé and cabriolet Maybach concepts.
The A8 Horch will get 585bhp 6.0-litre iteration of the engine - 300cc less than that of the earlier A8 W12 but 85bhp more powerful. In the previous-generation A8 W12, combined fuel economy of 22.8mpg was claimed, with CO2 emissions of 290g/km.
It’s reported that although the W12 A8 is ready for launch, it’s currently being postponed.
An Audi spokesman couldn't offer further comment.