As per title, after much deliberation I eventually decided to get my S3 mapped. I was fortunate to have plenty of options available to me, with Revo, Giac, APR and Shark all within a reasonable distance.
My criteria was simple, I wanted OEM feel, with more go. Revo has a rep for being more aggressive, I spoke to a dealer who told me they could dial it down a bit, but his manner actually put me off so Revo was removed from the list. Shark was being offered by the new Scottish dealer (Broadster on the forum) at a very competitive price and in truth it was my preferred choice. However circumstances spun me around abit and my car ended up at Star Performance where Jim managed to twist my arm into getting the new APR map that they've just started doing. He had to change my DV as in his word "it was a bit weak", but other than that no other components needed changed.
Normally when I read things on forums I take them with a pinch of salt, more often than not it’s the opinion of an individual wearing rose tinted glasses. With regards to getting cars mapped, the usual statements of "it transforms the car" always had me a bit skeptical as I often thought that it was perhaps the person trying to justify their purchase more than the actual result of the map. I can categorically say now that I was completely......... wrong!
For those like me who don’t believe such things that are written, trust me when I say it does make a significant improvement to the way the car drives. I always felt that although the S3 was an all round good car to drive with ample performance, it paled in comparison to my previous cars (Highly modified MR2 Turbo, Stage 2+ LCR and Modified EVO IV (350 bhp)). I liked everything else about the car, but was never truly content with the performance. Cue Stage 1 Remap.
It truly is a game changer. The car feels much better to drive. Plenty of pull from lower down the rev range. I always felt the car needed to rev to get the best out of it, the map changes that. Now I can roll along on a wave of torque. I don’t notice a huge difference in the lower gears. 1st and 2nd gear feel largely similar to before with only a slightly increased pull in 2nd. However from 3rd gear on the car now pulls so strongly I genuinely smile every time I put my foot down. 3rd gear overtake is now blisteringly quick. 4th gear is now how 3rd used to feel when stock. Roll on the throttle in 5th and 6th gear on the dual carriage way and the almost instant pull means you don’t have to drop down to make quicker progress.
I’m still slightly blinded by the linear power of the car, previous cars had a bit of thump and drama about them that made them feel perhaps quicker than they were. I have specific roads that I drive daily, and have over the years created bench marks with speed vs certain landmarks. Yesterday driving home from work I decided to “give it some stick” and found that the car was achieving broadly similar speeds (slightly faster if I’m brutally honest) than my Evo did at the same points.
In short, a Stage 1 S3 is quite a road weapon. I would suggest that it will happily give higher end performance cars a serious run for their money. It would definitely have given my previous cars a scare – and I even get better MPG out of it.
I originally said that I wouldn’t go above Stage 1, but now I’ve got it I cant help thinking how good Stage 3 would be J