Audi’s flagship performance sedan, the A8, has been revealed in refreshed, 2022 guise. The automaker also announced the revival of the Horch marque (think Maybach) through a special A8…for the Chinese market only. What the rest of the world will get is a refreshed A8, and a new long-wheelbase variant, the A8L, which is the foundation of the China-only super-luxury version.
Updates to the A8’s exterior include substantial changes to the nose: updates headlamps, a huge mesh grille and intakes framed in chrome. It’s a shimmering beast of a car; the new and imposing grille is reminiscent of BMW’s current design philosophy of forceful visual presence, but is ultimately carried off well.
The side creases and back end, on the other hand, carry over from 2021, and to a greater extent so do the A8’s powerplant options. The European-market fossil-fuel burners start with a 3.0L V6, delivering the same 335 horsepower as the 2021, with a 4.0L V8 giving up 453 HP; the sportier S8 gets 563 HP out of its 4.0L V8.
The executive-wheelbase variant, the A8L, will come with the expansive rear seat layout that includes dual 10.1-inch touchscreen-controlled infotainment as an option, hinting at the aristocratic Horch variation that’s only being marketed in the world’s largest communist country. Ah, how the ironies of the human world only accumulate.