Horch & Cie. Motorwagenwerke AG was founded in 1904 in Zwickau, the town where Volkswagen will produce the ID.3 compact hatchback on the MEB vehicle architecture. Back when the joint-stock company wasn’t even a thing, Horch produced 5- and 10-horsepower automobiles in Cologne.
Because he didn’t hold the rights to the name, August Horch renamed the enterprise to Audiwerke in 1910 after the board of directors forced the founder out of the company in 1909. Care for a play of words? Audi is Latin for the Old German word “horch,” and both translate to “listen.”
Horch didn’t disappear after the founding of Auto Union, and the P240 from the 1950s is a testament to that. But in 1958, the P240 was renamed to Sachsenring. Trabant took over the plant in Zwickau, and following the reunification of Germany in 1990, Volkswagen acquired the factory.
Now that the history lesson is over, what can we expect from the Horch A8 or whatever the ultra-luxury model will be called? In a nutshell, not much. Different branding, different appointments for the cabin, no center seat in the rear, and snazzier wheels are the most obvious changes.
Based on the A8 L, the Horch should start with the 50 TDI quattro in Europe coupled to the eight-speed tiptronic transmission. That’s 210 PS and 600 Nm of torque from 3.0 liters of displacement. Over in the United States, the A8 L starts off with the 55 TFSI quattro that packs 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.
As with the non-Horch models, the ultra-luxury Audi A8 will be produced at the Neckarsulm plant in Germany. The full-size sedan is also available in 60 TDI, 60 TFSI, 60 TFSI e-tron, and 70 TFSI flavors. If you’re not up to date with the four-ringed automaker’s nomenclature, 70 means the output exceeds 400 kW (544 PS or 536 horsepower).