Audi no longer offering 6-speed manual transmission for S4/S5 models in Europe, U.S. still gets them

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 10, 2011

Audi seems to be dropping manual transmissions for the facelifted S4 and S5 that will come out next year. Some interested buyers have said that they couldn’t get a manual transmission for the 3.0 TDI A5 Sportback. The lack of manual gearboxes for S4 and S5 on the latest configurator at is also noticeable.

While S-tronic (DSG) transmissions offer quicker shifting, better fuel economy and faster straight line performance, it doesn’t mean that the manual transmission doesn’t have a place in the industry.

That’s because enthusiasts choose the manual because it offers an engaging feel during driving. Many consider it a proper right of passage for a beginner to learn to row the gears while matching the revs.

The public continues to patronize the manuals regardless of how great the DSGs are. Barry Hoch, Audi's product planning manager in charge of S4 and S5, confirmed that Audi will drop the manual transmission in the S4 and S5 sport models in Europe but that the six-speed manual transmission will be kept just in the United States. Nonetheless, European models will get the seven-speed S-tronic (DSG) gearbox.

As top athletes in the premium auto world, the Audi S4 and Audi S4 Avant are not only powerful but are also very efficient. In fact, the engine that powers these models – a 3.0 TFSI mechanically supercharged V6 engine – develops up to 245 kW (333 hp) of output and up to 440 Nm of torque (324.53 lb-ft) available between 2,900 rpm and 5,300 rpm while consuming just 9.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (24.25 United States mpg).

This great blend of power and efficiency is furthered by the use of quattro permanent four-wheel drive and sports suspension, as well as a high-performance brake system. These elements of the new Audi S models could be taken to a whole new level by availing of optional performance technologies like the seven-speed S tronic, the Audi drive select dynamic driving system and the new sport differential.

To illustrate the dynamics of the new Audi S4 and S4 Avant powered by the V6 engine, these new models could launch from standstill to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 5.1 seconds, and from 80 km/h to 120 km/h (49.71 mp to 74.56 mph) in fourth gear in just 4.4 seconds.

In addition, this 3.0 TFSI engine emits a wonderful soundtrack, a free-revving character and spontaneous response to the throttle. Audi’s new range-topping V6 engine features gasoline direct injection and mechanical supercharging technologies that allowed the premium carmaker to pursue its downsizing philosophy while achieving greater efficiency.

Audi’s use of supercharged engines could be traced back to the 1930s when the iconic Grand Prix racing cars by Auto Union back were already running in mechanical superchargers that could enable 16-cylinder and 12-cylinder engines to develop up to 440 kW (around 600 hp) of output.

Starting in the late 1970s, Audi concentrated on developing exhaust turbochargers, which did not only allow the carmaker to achieve wins in the motorsport world but also served to attract customers from around the globe.

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