Intel appears to be working on removing 32-bit and 16-bit operation modes from x86. The only mode remaining is 32-bit compatibility mode in ring 3, so 32-bit user space applications will still run.

While my nostalgic self is shocked and sad, I suppose the plan is sensible. After all, you can still run MS-DOS or your custom BIOS-based boot loader or whatever, just not on the bare metal.

I could imagine a bare-metal PC emulator that boots via UEFI and acts as a drop-in replacement for a BIOS-based PC running on a 386- or even x86-64-compatible processor. Assuming that performance is not a concern on modern hardware, it could presumably rely mostly on generic UEFI interfaces such as GOP or MNP. I imagine using such a thing mostly for fun, but perhaps there is a real use case out there somewhere?