Next Audi TT RS comes in 2016, manual transmission doesn't

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This line comes from our review of the 2012 Audi TT RS: "Did we mention that the 2012 TT RS is only available with a manual transmission?" When we review the next-generation TT RS, expected to launch next year, we'll have to rewrite that line as: "Did we mention that the TT RS is not available with a manual transmission?"

That's the word from Car and Driver, which has heard that the superheated little coupe will only come with the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox found in the Euro-market RS3 Sportback. The first generation came with a dual-clutch and a manual transmission in Europe, but the unit for our market required the laying on of hands to get from one cog to another. If we don't get another, the blow will be all the more painful because Audi's manual transmissions are so good. Our assessment summed up the last one thus, "With a short, precise throw and excellent action, the transmission is a mechanical work of art."

Good news? Volkswagen says the installed DQ500 dual-clutch is faster, more refined, and more reliable. As well, power from the reworked 2.5-liter, turbocharged five-cylinder should rise from 360 horsepower to "around 400." You'll just be asked to keep your hands off of it. The first-gen car only came here after a successful Facebook petition gathered more than 11,000 signatures in a month, we wish Audi had given us a chance to weigh in on this, too. Although we will probably get it later next year as a 2017 model, we could see it at the Frankfurt Motor Show in two months.

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