You can have the same level of control with the A8, using either the paddle shifters or the autostick. Using either and in sport mode the trans will not up shift by itself. You can drive around at 5,000 RPM at all times if you're so inclined. Not trying the change your mind but the new A8 isn't an old 4L60e from 20 years ago. It acts the exact same as a manual if you want it to, just without a clutch pedal. Plus a new automatic against a manual is ... never mind, I won't start that conversation here.... I just prefer having that level of control when I want more RPMs. ...