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Print 60 comment(s) - last by EricMartello.. on Nov 14 at 9:25 PM

The U.S. still gets manual 6-speed option

Much of the sports car world today is moving away from the manual transmissions that driving purists and many drivers prefer to semi-automatic transmissions. The reasons for moving to a semi-automatic transmission are compelling and include faster gear changes, better fuel economy, and the ability to go full auto when you’re feeling lazy or plodding around in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
 
The downside is that part of the thrill of driving fast for many enthusiasts is working the shifter and clutch to perfection. But in the end, there’s no real right or wrong way to shift gears when it comes to modern automobiles. However, the ire of drivers comes in when their choice in gearbox is taken away.
 
Audi S5 

Fourtitude is reporting that Audi has killed the manual transmission option in its revamped S4 and S5 range of sporty cars in Europe. While Europe has to give up those 6-speed manual cars, the U.S. (land of the automatic transmission) is getting to keep its manual transmission. Audi is going to the S-tronic transmissions exclusively in Europe likely due to the faster shifting and better fuel economy.
 
The confirmation of the death of 6-speed S4 and S5 Audi's came by way of Audi's own Barry Hoch, the product planning manager of the S4 and S5 lines. Hoch emailed Fourtitude and wrote:
 
They (Europe) lose the manual. We keep the manual! 100% confirmed, although I don't know what other markets also get to keep it. I don't want to fear for my life when I leave the office. The manual transmission enthusiasts are... umm... passionate individuals. Save the Manuals!
 
This is the first time that the U.S. has had a transmission option that Europe didn’t get according to Fourtitude
 

Source: Fourtitude



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RE: Manual is so common in EU we don't care
By Booster on 11/10/2011 2:08:44 PM , Rating: -1
Try driving manual in a traffic jam in Europe like 30 mins out there and back and your left foot will fall off. They're cancelling manual for a good reason - who in their right mind would want it? People who live in rural areas and drive to work in a straight line on a freeway with no traffic lights? In Europe there can be streets with traffic lights on every corner, enjoy working the clutch, he he...


By tdawg on 11/10/2011 2:14:33 PM , Rating: 2
I do that here in Seattle and I would be hard-pressed to buy any automatic transmission vehicle. Nothing more fun that a windy road that requires a lot of shifting.

I think I could enjoy a paddle-shift sequential gearbox, but the idea of going to an auto transmission is just boring.


RE: Manual is so common in EU we don't care
By Keeir on 11/10/2011 2:25:34 PM , Rating: 3
In some ways it is about automotive image.

The Manual Transmission repersents many things to many people. But it is still considered part of the classic sports car approach.

If they were canceling the manual on the base models, this might make sense. Or if they were canceling manuals on the super exotic models, again this makes sense. But on the bread/butter sports car line (S4/S5) it seems a stupid move. The cars move further away from sport and more towards sedan... but the whole point of thier existence is to be close to sport!

(BTW, if your really stuck in traffic jams and driving simply light to light all the time, why even get an S4/S5? Oh, because you want the image of a "sports" driver?)


By Reclaimer77 on 11/10/2011 8:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you but the S4 and S5 are pretty much land boats today. Calling them "sport" sedans is a stretch. I guess Audi decided to make them official lazy road pigs and do away with manual trans.

I drive a real sports sedan, the Subbie Impreza, and I hope I never see the day where they pull a move like this and totally neuter the feel of the vehicle.


By Spuke on 11/10/2011 9:28:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
if your really stuck in traffic jams and driving simply light to light all the time,
I agree here. There's no way I'd drive my Solstice if my commute was just stop and go. I'd drive something that I didn't care much about (cause it's going to get dented sooner or later).


RE: Manual is so common in EU we don't care
By Motoman on 11/10/11, Rating: 0
RE: Manual is so common in EU we don't care
By 225commander on 11/10/2011 4:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly right!
I searched high and low for my VW Passat, my requirements were - leather, V6, sunroof, manual tranny
took me 3 long months to find such a vehicle, apparently Vdub 'Assumes' that anyone wanting a V6 and top level trim package is NOT going to want to shift, that combo is very rare here in US. Also my second vehicle is Honda's S2000, of course it ONLY comes with 6 speed, so no prob there. I do not understand why the manuals are disappearing, I love them , even in traffic. A manual puts you distinctly in control of the engine and the transfer of power to the wheels with a precision that NO auto, semi auto, DCT, etc can muster. and NO you do not have to have a 'sports car' to want to drive manual either.


RE: Manual is so common in EU we don't care
By Dr of crap on 11/11/2011 8:57:13 AM , Rating: 2
Hey good luck with that leather.
I've never understood why you'd want leather.
Is it a status thing? Must be. Makes you look rich!

Because in the summer,
the leather gets to hot to sit in when the sun beats down on the seats, and you burn your legs. That is if you wear shorts, maybe you don't!

In the winter the leather seat is like a rock to sit on, it hard, and cold. And if you do have heated seats, it takes a while to warm them up, by then my a$$ is froze.

My guess is you never had vinyl seats. Those were classic crap!
And even better when they'd crack and it would bite you!!


RE: Manual is so common in EU we don't care
By Motoman on 11/11/2011 9:09:39 AM , Rating: 1
While there's no need to berate the guy about wanting leather, I do agree with the main point. I get cloth seats in all my vehicles for those exact reasons. Leather just seems very inappropriate to me for that use.


By erple2 on 11/11/2011 2:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason I can think of to get leather interior I learned by watching my niece vomit apple chunks all over the back seat of my brother's car (OK, SUV - it's a Mazda CX9) as we wound through Coal Creek Canyon Road in Colorado. I was amazed that it all came up with a wetnap, leaving nary a stain or spot. I guess it's easier to elements treat Leather than Cloth...

Which means that if I have kids, my family hauler will have to be a leather equipped car.


By Omega215D on 11/10/2011 7:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
People who feel that connection with their car also tend to take better care of the vehicle, know about problems when they occur, and of course, tend to pay better attention to the damn road.


By One43637 on 11/10/2011 4:17:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
NEW! RE: Manual is so common in EU we don't care By Booster on 11/10/11, Rating: 2 By Booster on 11/10/2011 2:08:44 PM , Rating: 2 Try driving manual in a traffic jam in Europe like 30 mins out there and back and your left foot will fall off. They're cancelling manual for a good reason - who in their right mind would want it? People who live in rural areas and drive to work in a straight line on a freeway with no traffic lights? In Europe there can be streets with traffic lights on every corner, enjoy working the clutch, he he...


You swear like EU is the only place with a constant traffic jam. Yes I've driven commute in a stick. Yes it was painful, but that's the price I'm willing to pay.


By Murloc on 11/11/2011 5:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
many people in europe spend 2 hours in traffic jams every morning with old ass cars and they get by.

I drove for hours in traffic with manuals and you don't get tired.
It's just annoying if you've tried a robotic transmission.

The other kind of automatic transmission doesn't even exist anymore I think.


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