Audi TT RS Shifter

Here's a bit of curiosity. GT Spirit is reporting that Audi has pulled the manual gearbox option for both the S4 and the S5 in Europe. The news comes courtesy of Fourtitude, who spoke with Barry Hoch, the product planning manager for Audi of America. Hoch said that while the sportier Audi models will lose their third pedal in the EU, American buyers will still be able to row their own gears.

Why would Audi abandon the manual transmission? The company's DSG gearbox offers plenty quick shifts with improved fuel economy, constant application of power and a hefty convenience factor, but Europeans have traditionally been more excited about swapping their own gears than their American counterparts.

Of course, if true, this begs the question about the longevity of manual gearboxes on Audi models in the States. While it looks as if they'll hang around on the S4 and S5 for a time longer, we have to imagine that it won't be long before the automaker thins the option sheet for its American wares, as well.