The Extravagant Audi A8 Horch Is Unobtanium, But There’s Good News

The extravagant new Audi A8 L Horch is the most over-the-top luxury car the crew from Ingolstadt has ever made. It’s nearly 5.5-metres of deep-pile carpets, chrome and leather, all bundled into a four-door limousine fit for corporate royalty. In short, it’s the most spectacular vehicle Audi has ever made. Now, we have good news and bad news regarding Audi’s new flagship sedan. First, the good news is that the revised 2022 Audi A8 L will soon land in Canada, with sharpened design and oodles of new technology – more on that in a moment.

The bad news? The ultimate A8 L Horch model is destined only for the Chinese market, at least for now. The reason is simple; that country of 1.4-ish billion people buys an awful lot of luxury cars. In fact, almost 60 per cent of all A8s that Audi builds are sold in China, according to Christian Dietl, a member of Audi’s product marketing team.

Audi’s chauffeured limousine

“We conduct a great deal of research, partly because Chinese customers are very different from those in Europe and the U.S.,” said Yu Zhao, head of the Audi Innovation Research (AIR) team based in Beijing. Their research draws on regular dialog with a select group of 800 customers from the company’s target demographic. “Chinese customers love technical gadgets and sophisticated design solutions even more than customers in other parts of the world,” the AIR team found. Chauffeur-driven luxury cars are an important part of the market as well.

To that end, the Horch is 13 centimetres longer than even the stretched A8 L. It broadcasts its status with a two-tone paint job applied by hand, which is a first for Audi, and a singleframe grille with vertical braces. The Horch emblem on the C-pillar and stunning rims are features you won’t find on any other Audi models either. Make no mistake, this is Audi looking to eat Maybach’s lunch.

An Audi spokesperson confirmed there are no plans to bring the A8 L Horch to North America, but the company is listening to customers. So, never say never.

Best seat in the house

Some of the extravagant details seen on the Horch will make it to Canada. The Relaxation Seat, for example, will be available in the A8 L. It includes a foot rest on the back of the front seat, which will massage and warm the soles of your feet – seriously. An continuous centre console with fold-out tables, a cooler and a bar compartment are on the options menu as well.

New tech abounds, because – come on – this is the A8, a model that’s been flying the flag for Audi since the first one was introduced in 1994. There are roughly 40 different advanced driver assistance systems onboard to make daily driving safer and less stressful. A pair of new 10.1-inch displays in the rear seats keep rear-seat occupants entertained. You can broadcast from your phone, or stream whatever show you’re currently binging on the new screens. The remote, built into the arm rest, even has its own OLED screen.

Let’s be real though; what about the stereo? It’s a B&O system, delivering 3D sound through 23 speakers and 1,920 watts. (Spotify’s new HiFi tier for lossless music streaming can’t come soon enough.)

More where that came from

The current A8 is the car that defined the look of all modern Audi vehicles, said Ashley Gleave of Audi design. Honestly, it still looks spectacular – cleaner and sharper than rivals – but, of course, Audi couldn’t leave it alone.

The 2022 A8 has a bigger and more upright grille, new wheels, new colour and trim options, and of course, some spectacular new Matrix LED headlights. Each light has 1.3 million micromirrors that can be precisely controlled in order to, for example, project a carpet of light in the driver’s own lane to guide the way. If it works as well as advertised, and it’s available in Canada, this could be amazing.

For now, the V6 and V8 engines remain the same as last year – no complaints here – but there will also be a new A8 TFSIe (read: plug-in hybrid) coming soon, so watch this space.

And, if you’re seriously interested in driving around in the ultimate Audi, give your dealer a call and ask about the A8 L Horch.