Long-dormant name could be used on a super-luxury version of the A8

Audi is reportedly considering exhuming the Horch name for a vehicle to take on Mercedes-Maybach in the ultra-luxury arena.

Sources have told Automotive News the Horch name will be applied to a new variant of the Audi A8 powered by a twin-turbo W12 engine.

Badging on the flanks or C-pillar, as well as extra equipment and styling tweaks, will likely distinguish the Horch from lesser models in the range.

Horch will function as a super-luxury sub-brand, like how Maybach is used on some Mercedes-Benz S-Class models today. It's unlikely the Audi A8 Horch will feature a wheelbase stretched beyond the current long-wheelbase model.

While all previous generations of the A8 have featured a W12 flagship, an iteration of this engine has yet to surface in the fourth-generation model. At the car's launch last year, multiple Audi engineers confirmed to CarAdvice such a car was in the works.

According to the trade publication, engineering is complete, but the car has been put on hold for unknown reasons. Should the W12 fail to materialise, or even if it does, one source claimed "the Horch line would also work with a V8".

Horch is one of four brands merged to form Auto Union in 1932, alongside Audi, DKW, and Wanderer. Production of Horch-branded vehicles stopped in 1940 in favour of war-related efforts.

The name was used briefly when East German officials restarted production at one of its old factories before turning its attention to the Trabant.