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 Omega215D on 11/10/2011 4:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
Manual transmissions is what I was brought up on despite everyone in my family driving cars with AT. I ride a standard sport motorcycle since age 16 and went to two auto racing schools and one motorcycle. After attending the rally racing school I could never toy with the idea of using an automatic or even a semi-auto for such a thing nor for plain transport.

The reason is that it keeps me engaged with the vehicle and, even though I would never operate a phone while driving, it would prevent the thought from even crossing my mind. It's like being one with the machine and the ultimate in driving experience.... and no I don't drive BMWs, though I did race one in NEFR regional.

By Motoman on 11/10/2011 4:19:00 PM , Rating: 1
Similar here. I grew up riding/racing motorcycles, and by the time I got to be 15 and had to go through driver's ed, the very concept of *not* having a clutch was bizarre.

Took my first drivers license test at 16 in a car with a manual transmission. You should have seen the look on the tester's face when he saw that stick...

RE: Manual is so common in EU we don't care
By Spuke on 11/10/2011 6:46:19 PM , Rating: 2
Manuals are not precise, that's the whole point of DCT's and a side benefit with autos (at least the better one's). ALL of my primary cars (the one's I drive) are manuals. My next car just may be another manual but DCT's will outperform any human on our best day. Precise, super fast shifts all day everyday. Notice the Ferrari 458's tranny is DCT only? And that's considered the best car out of Maranello. I would not like to see traditional manuals go either and I hope they don't completely but better is better. I will acknowledge that.

RE: Manual is so common in EU we don't care
By Omega215D on 11/10/2011 7:04:40 PM , Rating: 2
I only mentioned about being more involved with the act of driving and sort of being one with the machine.

As for the racing, it's much more fun to constantly hammer on the controls while still maintaining the course which is why I prefer Rally to open wheel racing. I also take issue with the introduction of traction control and ABS in motorcycle racing with ABS having some issues in regular riding as well but that's another story.

Then there's also the problem of not being able to work on new cars yourself, or at least as easily...

RE: Manual is so common in EU we don't care
By Spuke on 11/10/2011 8:28:53 PM , Rating: 2
Then there's also the problem of not being able to work on new cars yourself, or at least as easily...
I hear this a lot and wonder if you (and others) even have worked on a newer car. I've worked on all of my cars from clutch installs and an engine rebuild (my 92 Sentra SE-R) to just oil changes. Fuel, air, spark. What's not happening? Exactly how that happens is mostly really irrelevant (you don't need to know how DI works in order to know that your fuel injector took a crap causing your car to miss) to figuring out problems and with cars built in the last 5 years or so, a CEL is thrown anyways. You go get the code read and it tells you the problem is. I, personally, think that's awesome. Saves me some valuable time. To give you an example, your car is overheating, there's only a few things that can possibly be wrong whether it's a 2011 or a 1969. Thermostat, water pump, radiator. Pick one. It's usually the thermostat because that's the cheapest part of the three.

By Omega215D on 11/10/2011 9:07:47 PM , Rating: 3
You're making quite a bit of assumptions there then. I've had to work on newer vehicles and find that you have to remove quite a bit to reach certain things in order to perform maintenance or repair on the vehicle. The more crap you add to a vehicle the more you have to deal with.

It gets worse when it comes to a newer sport motorcycle, especially one with ABS and traction control, as it's much more compact and before you know it you're ripping out the whole damn bike to reach a bad sensor, oil plug, etc.

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