Or is the company just messing with us?
While it was never a popular option in the United States, Audi did offer a number of cars with manual transmissions over the years. In fact, some of the company's best cars like the RS4 and RS2 were only offered with a manual and the original R8 was even offered with a gated box. Sadly, Audi waved goodbye to the manual transmission (in the US market) with the 2019 A4. The Audi A4 was the last model available in the US with a manual option and the company even sent it off with a special edition model called the A4 Ultra Sport.
We thought Audi has done with manuals for good since hardly anyone in the US buys them anymore but a recent tweet from the official Audi account has our attention. In the tweet, Audi posted a picture of a manual gear lever from a Quattro with the caption, "The lost art of deciding which gear you're in. #40YearsOfquattro."
There are two ways to analyze this tweet. One: it's a gut-punch, throwing salt in the wound for manual transmission lovers from a company that, just two years ago, killed off the stick shift. But let's assume there's something deeper to this tweet. The alternative explanation is that the company could celebrate the 40th anniversary of the legendary Quattro by rereleasing a new model with a stick shift. BMW will keep the manual transmission around for a little longer with the next-generation M2, M3, and M4, so perhaps Audi might see the value in bringing it back (even if only a handful of people buy it).
It seems more likely that the tweet doesn't have any deeper meaning but we want to remain optimistic. After all, the 2021 Audi A3 Sportback that was just revealed in Europe will be offered with a manual transmission. We know the US won't receive the Sportback but perhaps the A3 sedan will arrive sporting a three-pedal option when it comes stateside.