And there are plenty of good ones to choose from.
Audi recently released the facelifted 2019 A4 sedan and A5 coupe, neither of which is noticeably different from their 2018 counterparts. However, Audi did make a major change in the transmissions offerings, with the optional six-speed manual disappearing for 2019. Now that the A4 and A5 no longer have a manual option, there are officially no more manual Audi models on sale in the US.
This is a sad time for Audi enthusiasts who love to row their own gears. But don't dispair! As there are still plenty of used Audi models on the market with manual transmissions, and we've picked a few that we believe are very smart buys.
The first generation Audi R8 was originally introduced in the US as a 2008 model, powered by a 4.2-liter V8 producing 420 horsepower. Later, a Lamborghini-derived 5.2-liter V10 with 520 hp was introduced and brought the performance up to supercar levels. To be honest, we wouldn't care which R8 you bought - V8, V10, coupe, or convertible, so long as you purchased it with a manual transmission.
The R8 is arguably the most special car on this list because its six-speed manual was gated, something that you don't see anymore in supercars. Audi did offer a six-speed R Tronic and a Seven-Speed dual-clutch S Tronic transmission, but they pale in comparison to the glory of the gated manual. Used V8 R8 examples start for as low as $60,000, and climb to well over $100,000 for newer examples and V10 models.
It may not have the glorious V10 of the R8, but the first generation TT RS easily has one of the most unique engines on this list - a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder producing 360 hp. Unlike the current TT RS, which is dual-clutch only, this unique little pocket rocket was only sold in the US with a manual, making it easy to shop for. The TT RS has held its value very well, so expect to pay between $30,000 to $40,000 for a used one.
The B8 generation Audi S5 went on sale in 2008, powered by a 4.2-liter V8 producing 349 hp. Interestingly, the four-door S4 B8 generation S4 debuted the next year using a supercharged V6, but Audi decided to leave the older V8 in the S5 until 2012. The supercharged V6 was a great engine - and will appear later on this list - but it's hard to beat the sound of Audi's 4.2-liter V8. The V8 S5 may not be the easiest car in the world to maintain, but prices are rather affordable and manual examples can be found for between $12,000 and $30,000 depending on mileage and condition.
As we mentioned, the 2009 Audi S4 debuted with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 producing 333 hp. It wasn't quite as powerful as the old V8, but it was lighter and avoided the gas guzzler tax. It was also no slouch in terms of performance, with the manual cars hitting 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Unlike some of the Audi models on this list, we actually love the B8 S4 with its seven-speed dual-clutch option, but we like the manual just a little bit more. Used prices now range from around $16,000 to $40,000.
There have been four generations of the Audi RS4, but the US only ever received one, the B7 generation in 2007 and 2008. Europe also received a wagon version, but the US only got the sedan and the convertible. Both were powered by a 4.2-liter V8 producing 420 hp, and both fed power to Quattro all-wheel-drive through a six-speed manual transmission. Fewer than 2,000 examples were exported to the US, making them a rare alternative to the highly praised E9X generation BMW M3. These cars are extremely rare, and prices currently range from around $20,00 to $40,000.
We mentioned at the beginning that Audi was getting rid of the manual transmission for the 2019 model year, but there are still plenty of leftover 2018 A4 and A5 models on dealer lots that can still be purchased brand-new or certified pre-owned. Audi didn't lock the manual transmission option to only one trim level, prices range from around $40,000 for a base model A4 to around $60,000 for an A5 Prestige Trim. You can save a little bit of money going pre-owned, but no matter which trim level you pick, you'll still be getting a modern sports sedan or coupe with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing a healthy 252 hp.