Audi's U.S. Lineup Will Be Free of Manual Gearboxes In 2019
The manual transmission continues to die a slow, lingering death. Audi is now eliminating the manual option from its entire U.S. lineup, not that the majority if its customers will actually miss it. While the 2018 Audi A4 can still be had with a six-speed manual, the refreshed 2019 model will not. The same will be true for the less-popular A5 coupe.
It’s a bum deal for enthusiasts but it’s difficult to come down too hard on Audi. The A4’s seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic isn’t exactly a terrible transmission and, considering it outsells the manual by a huge margin, it doesn’t make financial sense for Audi to ship anything else across the ocean.
Applying that logic hasn’t make us feel better about the situation, though.
According to Car and Driver, only about 5 percent of A4 customers in the United States picked the six-speed manual over the DTC. That’s actually more than expected, if we’re truly being honest with ourselves. However, the outlet did note the A4 was one of the few present-day vehicles where rowing your own gears could be faster if you’re exceptionally handy (er, footy?) with a clutch. It recorded the manual model’s zero-to-60 time at 5.1 seconds, a tenth of a second quicker than the dual-clutch A4.
If you’re quick enough, you can definitely still score a leftover 2018 A4 with a manual. Thankfully, Audi saw fit to deploy it on every trim level with Quattro all-wheel drive so you won’t have to settle for a front-drive base-trimmed turd. The A4’s 2019 refresh is also so incredibly subtle that nobody but you and a handful of Audi aficionados will have any awareness of your purchasing last year’s model.
Threeer on Aug 20, 2018
One less manufacturer to consider in the future...and I rather liked Audi. But the American public has largely spoken (and continues to do so). While the enthusiast laments the dwindling number of choices, the larger (paying) majority has voted with their dollars and has chosen automatics. Cherish the sticks you have, folks!
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