Today only about eight percent of the new cars purchased in the U.S. are bought with manual transmissions. Compare that to Europe where around eight out of ten autos sold are stick shifts. The overwhelming preference for automatics in America means that even dedicated sports cars sold here had better offer an automatic.
And that’s just what Audi did when they launched the R8, their mid-engine supercar. It comes standard with a slick, six-speed manual transmission but they also offer an optional automatic dubbed R tronic. Unfortunately the $9,000 they charge for the R tronic isn’t the worst part about it.
Video after the jump …
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John McElroy is an influential thought leader in the automotive industry. He is a journalist, lecturer, commentator and entrepreneur. He created “Autoline Daily,” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis.