Could Audi revive Horch as luxury sub-brand to rival Mercedes-Maybach?

2019 Audi A8

Get ready for the potential revival of another historic German luxury brand.

Audi is reportedly planning to resurrect Horch as an ultra-luxury sub-brand to challenge Mercedes-Maybach.

Citing company insiders, (subscription required) reported Monday that a range-topping A8 sporting a Horch badge will be introduced when the Audi flagship sedan receives a mid-cycle update in the next two or three years.

2019 Audi A8

Just like the Maybach S-Class, the Horch A8 would be set apart by individual touches like unique wheels and a Horch badge on each of the C-pillars. It would also feature the most powerful powertrains offered in the A8, the prime option being a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 sourced from fellow Volkswagen Group brand Bentley.

However, Audi isn’t expected to introduce a separate stretched body style for the Horch A8 like Mercedes does for its Maybach S-Class. Audi isn’t averse to the practice, though. Recall the automaker in 2016 unveiled the 21-foot A8 L Extended model. The one-off sedan was a special commission for the King of Norway.

The Horch name comes from Audi founder August Horch. He started the Horch brand in 1904 but quickly ran into financial troubles and left to start the original iteration of Audi in 1910. The Horch company lived on and within the next couple of decades rose to prominence due to its powerful six- and eight-cylinder engines. It was eventually merged with Audi, DKW and Wanderer in 1932 to form the Auto Union, which today operates as Audi.

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