Perception versus reality. It's the schism that defines so many struggles in life – sports cars among them. While we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the latest automated dual-clutch transmissions can shift faster and smoother than any human possibly could, purists still want that manually operated clutch pedal and a proper stick to row through the gears. Sure, many will tell you, though the robotic transmission might do a better job of it, they (and by they, we include many of us here at Autoblog among them) still take pleasure in doing it the old-fashion way.

Those purists are finding themselves increasingly disappointed by many automakers who are fazing out the old three-pedal setups. And the latest performance icon to join those ranks could very well be the next-generation Audi R8, if the latest reports are to be believed. Although the current R8 is encumbered by a lackluster automatic transmission option, later in 2012 Audi is expected to offer a seven-speed DSG that will, according to the ruminations, be the only gearbox offered once its complete replacement rolls along in 2014.

The manual won't be the only element missing from the next-gen R8, though. Britain's Car magazine also claims it on good authority that the iconic side-blade that distinguishes the current R8 will be gone from the next model, and while a V10 may be offered at the beginning, it may be fazed out for a turbo eight with more power. Here's to progress, then, and enjoying working that clutch pedal in the meantime.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      My gut reaction was to yell, "No!" until I remembered I only have a 2 year degree and will probably never make more than 50k
      Kevin W
      • 3 Years Ago
      Iron Man is not amused.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kevin W
        Correct. That is why Iron Man switched to an Acura NSX prototype.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Depressing headline and story for any petrol head to read.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Really? "Fazed" out? Even for AB, that's embarassing. This is why I prefer to type manually rather than use an automated speech-to-text transmission. But seriously, this debate isn't very complicated. The manufacturers are going auto-only because it's cheaper than engineering a car to take either transmission, and no manufacturer is willing to forego sales to auto-only drivers. Personally, I find a manual much more fun for ordinary driving because it necessitates more concentration and involvement. But I can see the value of a paddle-shifted transmission for track work. So, it just depends on what's more fun to the individual driver under the circumstances.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Phase" out.
      jefe loco
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe someone has already asked, but how would a car company disturb out three pedal manual transmissions? Fazing and "Phasing" sound the same but mean entirely different things. On topic, I thoroughly enjoy a clutch with my brain, just not with my bum left knee that got torn up pretty bad when someone decided to take the idea of knocking me off of my motorcycle with their pickup into reality.
      Jonathan Arena
      • 3 Years Ago
      This sideblade gone??? That's the defining charictaristic of the whole car! If you don't like it, just get it painted body-color!
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      While I would be disappointed if Audi discontinued the manual in the R8, fact is I probably will never be able to drive one, manual or auto, and that's the bigger travesty!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have no doubt that automatic's/ DSGs are the way of the future, but what I think it comes down to is job security for dealerships and profit for manufacturers. For many weekend warriors, repairing/replacing components of a manual transmission is not as difficult as an automatic transmission. With each new breed of advanced automatic transmission (anything without a third pedal) brings the abilities of shade-tree mechanics further and further away from their capabilities of repair where it comes down to bringing the car to the dealership for a costly repair, or trading the vehicle in for something newer. (Case and point is the cost of a current Nissan GT-Rs transmission compared to the cost of a time-tested, almost bulletproof, 6-Speed GETRAG from a mid-90s Toyota Supra)... Just my .02
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here are my thoughts: I'm a motor head, only owned MT cars, I ride motorcycles, etc. I love MT's, they're all I will buy. BUT, if I were ever in the position to purchase a supercar (Ferrari, Lambo, R8, etc), I'd check for the DSG/paddle-shift option no hesitation. Because a stick is a stick. Yes, quality depends on the car: the stick on an MX-5 is bliss compared to most anything else. But concerning the essence of driving stick: it's the same on a Mazda as it is on a supercar. Plus I've got nothing to prove. I'd purchase a supercar less for the performance and more for the overall experience. Honestly, if I want supercar performance, I hop on my motorcycle. But it's about the sound of a Ferrari V8 or Lambo V10, the smell of the leather stitched everything, the attention to minute details, and yes...the bang bang accuracy of a DSG/paddle gearbox. And those dual-clutch and quick shifting transmissions are something else! An incredible amount of engineering went into them and it shows. Of course, I will never be that rich so this whole post is moot. So it looks like manuals until I die. Yay!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Kind of saddening even though I think the car is ugly with that stupid sideblade and it's not like I'm ever going to be able to afford one unless they depreciate like the A8, which isnt happening. But this isnt a suprise considering they use the lambo gearbox and Lambo has already said that all new cars starting with the A Vent A Door will have flappy paddles. I would be much more saddened if the car in question were the Miata or Corvette.
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