• 2021 Audi A8 L Horch

A China-only luxury sedan that is born to rival the Maybach.

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Audi resurrected its luxury brand name, Horch, with the introduction of the ultra-lux A8 L and the A8 L Horch will be a China-exclusive model, as the market has more cravings for long-wheelbase luxury sedans. It will go head-to-head with the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class which has been the German-marque of ultra-luxury. Does the A8 L Horch have what it takes?


2021 Audi A8 L Horch Exterior
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A twin-turbo V-6 engine lies under the hood which is coupled with a 48-volt electric motor and will probably put out about 340 horsepower.

Many of you folks might be unfamiliar with the name Horch. It was a German luxury carmaker and was introduced by August Horch, the very same person that founded Audi. In fact, they were one of the firsts to have introduced eight-cylinder engines into production cars. Horch was independently operating until the early 1930s and fast-forward to today, it is a luxury subsidiary of Audi. In the ultra-luxury sedan market, there are not many German options if you count, but the Maybach S-Class has a monopoly. This time, with the A8 L Horch, Audi gives life to the luxury brand and it seems that the name has done a lot to keep up the hype.

The 2022 A8 L Horch defines a new way of luxury from the house of Audi

2021 Audi A8 L Horch Exterior
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The A8 got a facelift for the 2022 model year and with that came a much wider intake grille, and a new set of LED matrix headlights. The front bumper with lower vents see changes to a more upright position and the rear has new OLED taillights. All these styling cues have been taken to the Horch variant of the A8 L. Now, the A8 L is a long-wheelbase variant of the A8 but the A8 L Horch increases the wheelbase up to 5.1 inches from the already longer A8. This has been done by the brand to simply provide an executive-style rear row with an extraordinary amount of rear legroom. But, if you want a comparison the Maybach S-Class is about an inch larger than the A8 L Horch.

Apart from that, the Horch treatment on the exterior includes a new 20-inch wheel design with the Horch logo in the center. A gray-green color combination wraps the body of this luxury sedan and has a lot of Horch logos on the sides and the rear.

2021 Audi A8 L Horch Interior
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The interior of the A8 L Horch makes all the difference from the standard A8. Don’t get me wrong, the A8 has a lot going on inside if you consider its price tag. But the A8 L Horch is something Audi has never done before. The cabin is essentially the best you can get in a luxury limo. All panels have leather treatment, including the dashboard, steering wheel, seats, and door panels. Aluminum and wood trim made their way in there too. Apart from these changes, the fully digital instrument panel and the infotainment displays stay similar to the standard A8.

2021 Audi A8 L Horch Interior
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But, the front row is not where you would prefer to be. It is the rear row that steals the show and it has to be since it is an executive sedan. The finest quality materials are used which includes perforated leather upholstery, leather and wood trims on the door panels, also the center console. There is a touch-sensitive display on the rear center console to access the overall infotainment and other necessary controls. Other standard fitments include a fridge and two holders for a bottle and a glass. The two “thrones”, as we say, come with multi-level power adjustability, multi-level heating options, and up to eight-level massage functions which are also available for the front seats. So, you see, comfort will not be something you should worry about.

There’s a hybrid powerplant under the hood

2021 Audi A8 L Horch Exterior
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At the launch, the new A8 L Horch will be getting a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine and it will be coupled with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system for increased efficiency and even a quick boost in times of need. The two combined are set to put out about 340 horsepower while the torque figures remain unknown. There is a Maybach S-Class variant with a six-cylinder engine, so it will compete directly with it. China seems to have a great taste in luxury sedans but powerful engines are not as popular as it is in the U.S. But several engine options such as the in-house V-8s and V-12s are expected to come forth with the A8 L Horch and even a plug-in hybrid variant.

Final Thoughts

2021 Audi A8 L Horch Exterior
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The unveiling of the 2022 Audi A8 L Horch will take place in Guangzhou Auto Show and it is expected that this chauffeur-driven luxury sedan will be available in Europe but the U.S. A spokesperson from Audi told TopSpeed that it will unlikely be coming to North America. And that is acceptable since the culture is different from that of China, but the Horch version of the A8 L looks notoriously stunning.

Amreetam Basu
Amreetam Basu
Automotive Journalist
After working predominantly as a freelancer at CarHP/CarIndigo, Amreetam joined the TopSpeed team as a journalist in September 2021. In a world where SUVs are booming, he favors sedans and adores BMWs and Mercedes, with a special spot for Lexus and Genesis. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts in History and is 23 years old.  Read full bio
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