Audi Explains Why it Eliminated the Manual Trans and V-8 from the R8
Rumors had been swirling that the Audi R8 would roll into its new generation without a traditional manual transmission or a V-8 engine. Though many felt that would never happen, it just has with the release of the 2016 Audi R8. What’s more, Audi head, Heinz Hollerweger, laid out the exact reasons why the two options are no longer available.
According to Automobile Magazine, Hollerweger stated at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show that “you have to look at lap times.” He also reiterated what Audi has already said in the past about the manual transmission, and that is that too few were ordered to warrant engineering one for the new vehicle. The last time Audi touched upon this subject, the take rate was somewhere around 5 percent.
This drop in interest is because modern dual-clutch automatic transmissions – heck, even traditional automatics – are more efficient and shift more quickly than traditional manual transmissions.
Hollerweger also addressed the elimination of the V-8 engine in the R8. Like the manual transmission, this decision was based on demand, as the V-10 engine far outsold the V-8 powerplant in the first-generation model.
So there you have it. It wasn’t just some arbitrary decision to axe the V-8 engine and manual transmission. It was based purely on the demand versus the cost to build these two features. Welcome to the new world of supercars, folks…
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi R8.
Why it matters
Believe me when I say that I love the manual transmission just as much as the next gearhead. However, I am the furthest from the “they sure don’t build `em like they used to” group as one can be. I embrace technology, I love seeing just how fast cars can get with all these new gadgets and gizmos that automakers are adding to their lineups. If my Focus ST was available with a dual-clutch transmission instead of the manual, you had damn well better believe that I would have snatched up that DCT in a second.
For you traditionalists who think that rowing your own gears gives you some command of the vehicle that a DCT does not, I feel you’re being a bit closed-minded here. All a DCT does is eliminate the need to press a clutch and become an expert heel-toe shifter. Like when fuel injection replaced carburetors, row-your-own people will continue to complain for 10 years, or so, but they will come around soon enough and realize that this is simply a better setup.