As I mentioned when I first began posting on here, my partner and I recently took the plunge and purchased a brand new S3. I'd been after one for ages and after looking at a few used ones, eventually got a phenomenal deal on a new car from TONBRIDGE AUDI (I can't recommend this dealer enough - made to feel really welcome, very supportive, friendly and reassuring).
We went for a Brilliant black 3-door Black Edition with black embossed leather and "Comfort Pack" option. Clare had wanted parking sensors, and I like the tech of the auto wipers/lights. I was all set for a white one but at the last minute, and faced with four different cars all available from Audi UK stock, we said black. As I said before, when I first walked into the showroom and saw the brilliant black BE they had in there, I turned to my girlfriend and said "That's just changed my mind about black S3s"! Have to say that IMHO I made the right choice -especially the brilliant black because it is of course an EXACT match for all the exterior and interior Black Styling Package items and I've always thought that a normal solid black can look like no other colour for depth and reflection!
Graham, my salesman, called me after a few days checking available stock and said he'd found a Brilliant Black one with the Comfort Pack, keeping everyone happy! He had found a Panther Black one but alas another dealer got in before us and had it! Darn!
So here's the pics...
My salesman emailed me these on the Thursday afternoon, a nice teaser! I was pretty excited by this point!
On the Saturday morning we went down to the dealer, I could hardly wait and the only reason I slept at all Friday night was the knackering week I'd had! (Even though I'd only worked two days, hehe!)
This was a nice touch, although we had to pass the dealer about an hour before handover and I almost spoilt the moment by seeing my car getting moved into position!
And then off came the cover!
As I am a lovely boyfriend, I let the other half have the first drive which was from Tonbridge back to South London, however I then got an hour and a bit in it as Clare had a nail appointment! As we are in an urban area I didn't get much of a play but seeing as it was nicely warm after the gentle motorway drive home, I did have a couple of little squirts...
So that was Easter Saturday, and we've now had it two weeks. Some feedback?
Firstly, and I do appreciate that there are several modified examples on here, I am blown away by how effortlessly powerful it feels. It's easy to drive quickly, relaxing to drive slowly and of course a VERY nice place to be. Personally I love the BOSE, you have to adjust your thinking as in my ears it produces sound more like a home theatre system than your average car install (so not bass-heavy and compartmented but crisp, clear and with different aspects of the music coming at you from different places). I know you'll all know this anyway but for anyone out there who is shopping or doesn't have an S3, here's my views! Clare loves it for being comfy, cosy and its handsome looks, I love it as it is an absolute WEAPON cross-country. I've not been thrashing it, obviously, but even without really giving it some stick you can make serious progress. I initially scared myself with how fast the car could take corners, absolutely no handling issues but my brain and eyes were saying I should have backed off ages back! I've been well aware a couple of times that my old VR6, even with its sticky tyres and sorted chassis, would have been backwards (or forwards) through the nearest hedge way before the S3 even had to work! Some of the major magazine roadtests had said that the S3 feels a little dull to drive quickly as it's SO capable, but I must admit I'm not bored yet!
My car came with the Bridgestone RE050s, which I was hoping for, and I'm so far very well impressed. I'd initially wanted black alcantara seats but love the leather - the quality of it and feel, also on the steering wheel, is great. I might sound stupidly excited here but I've lusted after one of these cars for ages, and having had old VAG/Ford/Peugeot hot hatches and then my partner's 206 "fever" this feels amazing to be in!<br><br>Another pic taken by my good friend Thor when we went for a BH Monday drive...
Now I must admit I never liked those wheels, and in fact when I was going to be factory-ordering a car I wanted to spec the pre-2011 wheels instead (anthracite RS4-style), but I'm really warming to them, they suit the look of the car and contrary to what I thought (a bit "bling" for my liking) they and the car get admiring looks from people all over the place (although that could be the striking handsome driver?!
Ok so there have been some negative points so far...
- I am surprised at the fuel consumption so far, average is apparently 19mpg and I've not got above 25mpg. I'm only going off the DIS but it does seem to be drinking a lot - the car's had an almost equal dose of rapid cross-country, M-Way cruising and commuting so far. A couple of my mechanic friends have assured me that the fuel consumption will calm down a bit after 1500 miles or so so I'll wait for that to see if it does! I've already noticed a slight improvement and of course I have to get used to how the car drives, gears etc..
- THAT front arch gap/ride height; It seems to have settled thankfully, and the car now looks a bit more squat.
- As I have a 32gb iPhone full of music, I'm surprised that there isn't a search option on the RNS-e that works the same way as the alphabet wheel within the NAV/TEL modes. I think I have about 500 albums (or more) and I've found the search a bit labour-intensive (although I've now found out that if you spin the wheel really fast it shortcuts into a sort of alphabet search).
-The major issue (Had to go back to Audi); After just a week, the car was covered in hazy swirl marks. I do appreciate that a solid gloss black car is always going to be a mission to keep spot-on but after a week, and three careful washes, I don't think that should have happened! Thankfully the superb team at Tonbridge Audi agreed and the car was re-finished for me the other day, to a much higher standard.
- Also my plastic wheelnut covers discoloured to a faded white after two washes, however once again the dealer was fantastic and these were replaced for me. The tainted ones are going to be Hammerited in anthracite and kept for spares or winter caps!
If anyone can offer advice about how best to protect this apparently quite fragile paint from swirls and keep that awesome gleam locked in, I'd appreciate the help - I'm looking to get a protection detail done first then combine regular maintenance details with my own work, when I can (communal car park with no facilities unless I visit the folks or inlaws!). I am sad, and quite pissed off, to say that this morning I noticed several deep, individual swirl marks across the bonnet that even after some finishing polish was run over them, have not gone. I'm reluctant to complain AGAIN especially as it may not be Audi's fault, so I guess it will be some minor correction before the protection.
Thanks for reading, apologies for the essay - I have to say I'm really happy with the car as it is so don't really have any plans except to enjoy it and keep it looking and feeling showroom fresh. Maybe a remap will creep in at some point, and I might have to drop the front with the help of a pair of Eibach springs - but at the moment I can live without both of those mods!