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Audi to revive Horch name on Maybach rival?

The model is two or three years away.

Audi will revive the historic Horch name on an ultra-luxurious variant of its A8 flagship aimed right at the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, according to a recent report.

Speaking to Automotive News, company insiders revealed the Horch-badged A8 will receive model-specific equipment inside and out. The treatment will allegedly include a more luxurious interior and a more upmarket look with special wheels and Horch emblems on the c-pillars. The A8 will keep the Audi logo on its grille, however.

The Horch A8 could receive a twin-turbocharged W12 engine. The insider Automotive News talked to said the upmarket move would also work with a smaller V8 engine. In other words: technical specifications are still up in the air. Quattro will come standard regardless of how many cylinders are under the hood.

Audi hasn't commented on the report. If it's accurate, we'll have to wait about two or three years to see the Horch-badged A8 in the metal. Automotive News adds that Audi hasn't ruled out applying the Horch treatment to other models -- like the Q8 -- but officials will wait to gauge buyer response before approving additional variants.

What's in a name?

Horch was one of Germany's best-known luxury car brands before World War II. It merged with Audi, DKW, and Wanderer in 1932 to create a group called Auto Union. This is where Audi's four-ring emblem comes from. The last Horch-badged car was made in 1958; the East German government mothballed the brand and somewhat ironically built the original Trabant in its Zwickau, Germany, factory.

Officials have considered resurrecting Horch several times but they've never pulled the trigger. As of writing, Audi has no plans to re-launch Horch as a standalone brand. Assuming the rumor is true, the nameplate will denote a range-topping trim level on the A8, not a separate entity.

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