Audi chops the manual transmission from its U.S. lineup

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Audi chops the manual transmission from its U.S. lineup

Start waving goodbye to the last manual transmissions available at your local Audi dealership. With the imminent arrival of the 2019 A4 sedan and A5 coupe, the option to shift for yourself will no longer be possible in any Audi vehicle sold in the United States. From the most miserly version of the A3 sedan, to the mighty mid-engine R8 sports car, every Audi sold here will now automatically be fitted with, well, an automatic gearbox.

Audi offered a six-speed manual in the 2018 A4 and A5 with Quattro as a no-cost option, but both are going auto-only with updates planned for 2019. This sad news has been reported by a number of outlets, including Car & Driver, which stated only 5 percent of all A4 buyers chose the manual versus the automatic.

For fans of manual transmissions, there is still hope. As we recently pointed out in this list of every new car available with a manual gearbox, there’s still plenty of options out there (though the field is definitely shrinking).

Luxury brands like BMW, Cadillac, Genesis and Porsche still offer manual transmissions in the United States — though Porsche limits them to its sports cars. Most recently, the new Genesis G70 offers a six-speed manual coupled to a 255-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine that sends all its power to the rear wheels.

It wasn’t long ago — two years, in fact — when we were wistfully discussing the benefits of opting for the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or traditional six-speed manual in the 2018 A5 coupe. For the record, the automatic was slightly quicker in the run from 0 to 60 mph, with a time of 5.6 seconds, versus 5.7 seconds with the manual.

Sometimes numbers don’t tell the whole story, though. R.I.P. Audi manual gearboxes.

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