Just as BMW aims to put the sport back in sport sedan with its redesigned 3-Series, Audi's A4 is losing the manual transmission for the 2019 model year.
Audi made the manual available as a no-cost option on A4s equipped with all-wheel drive for 2017. It pointed out at the time that it was the only automaker offering a manual-equipped all-wheel-drive sedan in the segment.
Unfortunately, few seemed to notice or care, at least in the United States. Only 5 percent of A4 buyers here chose the manual over the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Audi also confirmed Thursday to Car and Driver that the A5 also loses its manual transmission for 2019.
It means the entire Audi lineup in the U.S. will be without a manual option, a situation that's unlikely to change as the automaker moves more toward electrified cars in the coming years. You can still pick up some 2018 A4s and A5s with manuals if you want to have one of the last manual-equipped Audis, though looking at the take-up rates you could have some trouble at trade-in time.
Besides losing its manual, the 2019 A4 sees a few other changes. The list includes minor tweaks to the front and rear styling as well as the addition of an available Competition package that brings some extra performance goodies on top of what's already offered with the S Line package.