Audi's U.S. Lineup Will Be Free of Manual Gearboxes In 2019

audis 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.

[Image: Audi]

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  • Threeer 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!

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Aug 20, 2018

    Great, this makes it super easy to pick who NOT to buy my next car from.

  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
  • Inside Looking Out Why not buy Bronco and call it Defender? Who will notice?