An automatic wasn't even a consideration for me initially, call it 100/0 (100% going M7, 0% going A6). Every time I read about the A8 it makes me think less about the M7. I'm now 10/90 (M7/A8). Other than my preconceived notions about an automatic getting in my way, I cant see any reason NOT to go that direction. Articles like this one really drive the point home.
Paddle shifting is standard in high level road racing because it is faster. But, I will argue that an automatic DOES take away from the driving experience, other than maybe enhancing driver comfort in heavy traffic situations.I don't know if an automatic makes the overall driving experience inferior. Paddle shifting is standard these days in all forms of high level road racing. Fifty years ago, a C2 came with non power assist steering, and non power drum brakes. Certainly no ABS, traction controls, or electronic differentials. The 7 speed now comes with rev matching, which means that the skill of heel and toe is no longer needed. Improvements in all areas mean that those seeking to push the envelope just push in different areas. You can concentrate more on your lines through corners.
A manual transmission will probably never be as fast as an automatic. Pretty much all of my previous cars were auto's except for my Escorts of the 80's and my VW's in the past. My 2004 Spyder was a paddle shifted 5 speed manual. It was pretty sweet, but in a few years after the novelty of it wore off I wished I had just gotten the full blown manual. When I decided on a Corvette I knew the only way I would be completely happy was with a manual. I too love the feel of having the manual feel of being one with the car and shifting through those gears. Am I as fast as an automatic, absolutely not, nor do I wish to be. It's the feeling of pushing and pulling through those gates that gives me the rush, and speed is not necessarily a part of it. I agree things evolve and the manual will probably become a thing of the past within the next few years. It is sad that most younger folks have grown up with automatics and may never experience what they are missing. I guess you can't miss something you never knew. Things change and evolve, that's life I guess. I'm not knocking the auto's, they are the best they have ever been. If you are going for all out speed and precision or ease of operation they can't be beat.
Very well put Denzil. This topic and all the various opinions on the subject are subjective, which I deeply appreciate and respect from everyone because they reflect everyone's personal place they are in life. The various priorities set by everyone appears to be influenced by location, accessibility by others and our personal senses in connection with the automobile. I personally, always drove manual transmission car's my entire adult life until recently. The automatics in the past seemed sloppy and boring. I always felt more connected with the automobile I was driving, so I completely understand the connection part of this.We're all talking about cars..so it is about 98% opinion and 2% BS. I'm personally excited about the A8 as based on my test drives it is one of the smartest automatic transmissions I've driven to date. It works very well with the rest of the powertrain. In addition..I'm an arm amputee so automatics are my thing. I can drive a M7 but the gymnastics of it make it a chore I don't want to go through all the time. In short..to each his own.
c5a, I'm about 20 years your junior. I can only wish to my lucky stars that when I'm 84 I'm ordering a new high performance sports car. You are to be envied! More power to you!My current 2012 GS is manual and I understand the connection between driver and car with using the manual. I love this car in all driving situations except in heavy traffic so therefore my 2015, on order, is coming with the A8. Being 84 I guess I am getting lazy or something so definitely am looking forward to the new one with the A8.
I'm clocking in about 40 years his junior and I too find it highly enviable. You sir are living it right.c5a, I'm about 20 years your junior. I can only wish to my lucky stars that when I'm 84 I'm ordering a new high performance sports car. You are to be envied! More power to you!