Audi drops manual transmissions from 2019 lineup

August 20, 2018

Fans of three pedals should shift their attention away from Audi showrooms for the 2019 model year. The automaker said Friday that in response to weak demand it will no longer offer a manual transmission model in its U.S.-market lineup beginning next year.

Audi confirmed to Car and Driver that it will pull the no-cost 6-speed manual option from its A4 compact sedan and A5 coupe due to low interest from buyers. An Audi representative told the magazine that about 5 percent of A4s sold in the U.S. were ordered with the 6-speed.

MORE: Read our 2018 Audi A4 and A5 reviews

Demand for manual transmission cars has been on a precipitous decline in the U.S., fueled in part by advanced automatic transmissions that earn better fuel economy in EPA testing. Additionally, some automakers restrict active safety tech to their automatic transmissions.

The A4 manual transmission earned 1 mpg less on the highway according to the EPA.

After redesigning the A4 for the 2017 model year, Audi eventually added a 6-speed manual transmission to the lineup. At the time, Audi touted that it was the only luxury brand to pair a manual transmission with all-wheel drive. The manual A5 coupe arrived a year later.

Audi will hardly be unusual among luxury automakers with an automatic-only showroom. Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus have all cut manual transmissions from their lineups.

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