Current Audi A8 shown.

As we've mentioned in previous articles, the VW Group plans to save some money by building virtually all of its future vehicles on one of just three major platforms. MQB will be for front- and all-wheel drive cars with transversely-mounted engines, MLB will be for more luxurious FWD and AWD cars with longitudinally-mounted motors and MSB will be for rear-wheel drive and AWD products.

The latter is of interest here because this highly modular platform is expected to underpin everything from Porsche and Lamborghini sports cars right through to the Porsche Panamera and Bentley sedans.

Most interesting, however, is that Car and Driver magazine is now speculating that the next Audi A8 could also move onto MSB underpinnings, meaning that it could also be offered with rear-wheel drive. Naturally, the platform is also equipped for more powerful engines and better driving dynamics.

If the next A8, which won't hit the market before 2016, does shift to this platform it'll certainly provide a more satisfying drive - and we can only hope it has the styling to match.

Car and Driver also reports that Audi sources have told them the A8's fully aluminium body will be replaced by a shell that's a mixture of composite materials and high-strength steel.