The Audi A4 sedan and A5 coupe will ditch their manual transmissions after the 2018 model year, marking the last three-pedal transmissions offered by the four-ringed brand. Car and Driver originally reported the news, which Audi spokeswoman Amelia Fine-Morrison confirmed to Cars.com today.
The choice to cut the manual from the A4 and A5 was "simply due to take rate," Fine-Morrison wrote in an email to Cars.com. Nineteen out of 20 shoppers chose the automatic, with an even higher proportion picking the two-pedal option outside the U.S., so "customer demand didn't support [the manual transmission's] continuation," she wrote.
No other Audi model offers a manual transmission for 2018. Barring a surprise stick-shift addition for 2019, that means the luxury brand will go automatic-only come next year. Asked if Audi might introduce a manual in future cars, Fine-Morrison didn't immediately respond.
Such is the decline of the manual transmission. We love a good stick shift — hell, we even created a holiday for it — but it seems no amount of fanfare can reverse consumer apathy for three-pedal driving. For Audi, the transmission's demise was a long time coming. The TT and R8 sports cars once offered manuals (the TT as recently as 2013, the R8 as recently as 2015), but both ditched the stick in respective overhauls for their current generations.
The A4 and A5 are the last holdouts, but examples of such are needles (sticks?) in the haystack: Just 1.9 percent of new A4 sedans on Cars.com are listed with a manual. For the A5 coupe, the share is a paltry 1.6 percent. If you want one, you might have to order it from Audi or drive a considerable distance to find it. Good luck on either count.
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