Could it bring back the Horch name?

Much like the ill-fated Volkswagen Phaeton stepped on the Audi A8’s toes back in the 2000s, the Ingolstadt-based marque will level up its luxury game with a new car that might clash with the Bentley Flying Spur. It won’t be a standalone model like VW’s fullsize luxury sedan was, but a posh derivative of the company’s flagship vehicle. The decision to put the A8 in a more expensive tuxedo was officially announced this week during the firm’s Annual General Meeting.

Details are scarce at the moment as Audi is only saying the A8 in question will serve as an “especially luxurious and prestigious derivative.” The use of the word “prestigious” hints it might have something to do with the company’s past, possibly with the beginnings of the brand when August Horch joined forces with Salli Herz to create Horch & Cie. Motorwagenwerke AG in 1904. Five years later, Horch established a new company - August Horch Automobilwerke GmbH – and eventually renamed it Audi Automobilwerke in 1910.

Ok, so what does have to do with the new luxed-up A8? Well, a report published by Automotive News in September 2018 said something about a possible revival of the “Horch” name (Audi is the Latin translation of “horch”) for a fancier version of Audi’s range topper. The car in question is expected to be based on the A8 L but without an additional stretch of the wheelbase like it’s the case with the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class compared to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

“Equipment beyond the regular A8” is rumored, as well as bespoke alloy wheels and the “Horch” badge adorning the front fenders or the C-pillars. Underneath the hood, the VW Group’s twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 will drive the Quattro all-wheel-drive system and should have at least the 585 horsepower of the regular A8 or even the full-fat 626 hp available in recent Bentley models like the Continental GT or the Bentayga Speed.

While Audi only announced the model without providing a timetable regarding its release, the fancier A8 is rumored to debut with the vehicle’s mid-cycle refresh. Taking into account the current-gen car was launched towards the end of 2017 in Europe, it likely means the facelift will be unveiled around 2021.

Source: Audi

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“Consistently Audi”: Board of Management presents corporate realignment to shareholders

  • CEO Bram Schot: “We want to lead the change in the premium segment with the most attractive form of sustainable mobility”
  • CFO Alexander Seitz “The basis is further efficiency progress from the successfully started Transformation Plan”
  • Accelerated e-roadmap: sales target of 40% volume share for electrified models by 2025
  • Planned upscaling of “Audi on demand” premium mobility service with strong partner; further cooperations targeted in strategic areas
  • Customer advisory committee for a consistently customer-focused approach
  • Challenging transitional year 2019 with more than 20 market launches, repercussions of WLTP changeover and macroeconomic slowdown 

Audi will become a provider of holistic CO2-neutral premium mobility, with the aim of assuming a leading role among its competitors. The manufacturer is therefore accelerating its electrification roadmap and company-wide decarbonization. By 2025, the vehicle fleet’s CO2 footprint is to be reduced as a first step by 30 percent over its entire lifecycle compared with 2015. In the future, return on investment as a key financial steering parameter will also reflect the CO2 performance of the Four Rings and is to rise to more than 21 percent through sustainable management. The Board of Management is presenting the realignment at the 130th Annual General Meeting in Neckarsulm and providing information on current business developments. While Audi is mastering a challenging year 2019 with substantial operationally adverse factors, the premium manufacturer is pressing ahead with its transformation and aims for a significant increase in corporate value in the long term. The Four Rings will focus strictly on customer-relevant innovations, will further develop its business model profitably and will realize synergies within the Volkswagen Group and in external partnerships. The guiding principle of the far-reaching transformation is “Consistently Audi.”