The manual transmission is, unfortunately for us car enthusiasts, a dying breed. No longer is it the case that a manual is faster, more fuel efficient, or smarter than an automatic transmission. However, that doesn’t mean that we think they should die altogether. There is a great amount of pleasure to be taken away from a good manual transmissions and oddly enough, it is the Germans who are helping to keep the manual transmission alive and well. Audi has announced that the 2017 Audi A4 will offer a manual transmission paired to its Quattro all wheel drive.
The 2017 Audi A4 has a completely redesigned 6-speed manual that has been constructed with magnesium and a smaller clutch to shave about 35 pounds off the weight of the transmission. Powering the A4 is the trusty 2.0L four cylinder TFSI motor which produces 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. All this, along with a fancy new front differential allow the 2017 Audi A4 to do the 0-60 jaunt in 5.7 seconds, 0.7 seconds faster than the previous car.
Perhaps what is most notable about the 2017 Audi A4 is the fact that this is the only car in its competitive segment (think BMW 3-series and Mercedes C-Class) that offers a manual transmission with all wheel drive. And not just any all wheel drive, but an updated version of Audi’s famous Quattro AWD. The German automaker boasts weight reduction of 8.8 lbs and “ultra technology that is optimized for fully-variable torque distribution and efficiency.” This is a huge deal for someone like myself that prefers to row their own gears. There is not a wide variety of options for cars with all wheel drive and a good old fashioned manual transmission. Especially if you want something a bit more understated than a Focus RS or a Subaru STi.
Pricing on the A4 starts at $39,400 but can easily be optioned up to around $50,000 and the car should hit showrooms sometime late next year.
To see Audi’s much vaunted Quattro system at work, check out our snowy Rocky Mountain review of the A4’s little sibling, the Audi A3: