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Thread: to 8L or not to 8L

  1. #1
    wuta3's Avatar
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    to 8L or not to 8L

    Hi all,

    So, a thought occurred to me. Would I rather burn cash on my current 8P (2.0tfsi) or find a low milage 8L S3 and make her amazing?
    Anyone owned both 8L S3 and 8P S3 want to talk me out of selling up and going 8L? I fancy it as a future classic like a MK1 golf.

    Mechanical pros vs cons etc?
    Last edited by wuta3; 25th June 2013 at 11:59.
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  3. #2
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    Go testdrive one and see what you think?

    As an 8L owner, I doubt the 8L S3 is going to be a classic anytime soon, there's plenty about! And whilst the 8L has the looks(I'm biased) with it's flared arches, I'm pretty sure the 8P is a better driving machine with more tuning potential, and so it should be, being the newer model. But it just looks so discreet, which is probably the appeal of it.



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  4. #3
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    8l s3's are money pits.
    8ps probably aren't yet.

    BUT, if you get a good'un, it could be epic

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    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Go testdrive one and see what you think?

    As an 8L owner, I doubt the 8L S3 is going to be a classic anytime soon, there's plenty about! And whilst the 8L has the looks(I'm biased) with it's flared arches, I'm pretty sure the 8P is a better driving machine with more tuning potential, and so it should be, being the newer model. But it just looks so discreet, which is probably the appeal of it.
    Thanks jojo. Personally I love the 8L looks, and also love the Mk1 TT looks. I think they have aged well. My current car isn't an 8P S3, but an 8P 2.0TFSI sline quatto (probably as close to S3 as you could get without actually buying one lol).

    If you are going full-respray, subtle mods I wonder if an 8L would benefit from the attention more. *ponders*
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  6. #5
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    I love mine and if looked after and serviced are not huge "money pits" - no more than any other car. Admittedly some parts are expensive but if you buy an Audi part you'll get a 2 year warranty on it which I think is pretty good actually....

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    Quote Originally Posted by superkarl View Post
    8l s3's are money pits.
    8ps probably aren't yet.

    BUT, if you get a good'un, it could be epic
    Yea my thinking is if you keep a car for another 5 years, do I wanna look at a fairly standard 8P or an amazing 8L. A conundrum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by s3mad_dude View Post
    I love mine and if looked after and serviced are not huge "money pits" - no more than any other car. Admittedly some parts are expensive but if you buy an Audi part you'll get a 2 year warranty on it which I think is pretty good actually....
    Are there any typically expensive bits that are common issues.
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  9. #8
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    I'd go for a well sorted 8L S3...one where the more expensive stuff has been done...

    E.g forged rods, poly bushed all round with suspension sorted and a decent clutch.

    You've also got to ask yourself how far would you want to take the 8L S3, power wise etc - as that could determine on whether it's a suitable car for what you want to achieve.
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  10. #9
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    I would go for one owned by an enthusiast who has modded the car ie suspension/remap/intercooler/boost pipes rather than a low mileage one which still has ten year old parts on it,and service wise I would prefer regular ones rather than dealer stamps as they usually are the last to know of inherent problems.
    Ballast in your xenons goes and its 450 a side when I inquired,relays go on them only 30 quid,alarm batteries go kaput,I loved the flared arches and stance of my ess and do it miss it occasionaly for sure.
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by voorhees View Post
    I would go for one owned by an enthusiast who has modded the car ie suspension/remap/intercooler/boost pipes rather than a low mileage one which still has ten year old parts on it,and service wise I would prefer regular ones rather than dealer stamps as they usually are the last to know of inherent problems.
    Ballast in your xenons goes and its 450 a side when I inquired,relays go on them only 30 quid,alarm batteries go kaput,I loved the flared arches and stance of my ess and do it miss it occasionaly for sure.
    Thanks for the info Voorhees. There is something magic about a nice 8L S3. Don't get me wrong, I love the current car, just looking at options trying to get the most smiles per mile.
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuta3 View Post
    Hi all,

    So, a thought occurred to me. Would I rather burn cash on my current 8P (2.0tfsi) or find a low milage 8L S3 and make her amazing?
    Anyone owned both 8L S3 and 8P S3 want to talk me out of selling up and going 8L? I fancy it as a future classic like a MK1 golf.

    Mechanical pros vs cons etc?
    MK1 Golfs are indeed modern classics at over 30 yr old and now command a premium for a tidy one.

    Although very nice cars in their own right, you are at least 10-15 years away from an 8L S3 becoming a `classic`so if thats part of your ownership criteria then you have a bit of a wait.
    Dont forget MK1 Golfs also have the reputation as the car that started the whole hot hatch phenomena so that carries its own kudos.
    Will the S3 ever have that? This is important if future classic status is important.

    If you want bonkers power in a rare-ish 4wd package then I would say the 8L is worth a look. Especially if you get a well sorted enthusiasts car. You dont see many about and the 18T is proven to give big power.

    The 8P 20TFSI with a Stage1 remap will give more modern, less stressed and reliable 250bhp though.

    Probably the better daily dpending on what miles you do.
    Now:
    -MK2 Golf Gti 16V/VR6, Oak Green, Shrick, Intake, Decat, Kish Retrim, Lenso BSX..
    -BMW 335d Xdrive, Estoril Blue, fully loaded.

    Before:
    S3 (8P), Ibis, DSG, Milltek, SHARK

    BMW 320d M Sport
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    Golf MK5 GTi 20TFSI - REVO Stage1, Red.
    Golf MK5 GTi 20TFSI - Std, Shadow Blue
    Civic Type `R`
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    etc....

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulAr View Post
    MK1 Golfs are indeed modern classics at over 30 yr old and now command a premium for a tidy one.

    Although very nice cars in their own right, you are at least 10-15 years away from an 8L S3 becoming a `classic`so if thats part of your ownership criteria then you have a bit of a wait.
    Dont forget MK1 Golfs also have the reputation as the car that started the whole hot hatch phenomena so that carries its own kudos.
    Will the S3 ever have that? This is important if future classic status is important.

    If you want bonkers power in a rare-ish 4wd package then I would say the 8L is worth a look. Especially if you get a well sorted enthusiasts car. You dont see many about and the 18T is proven to give big power.

    The 8P 20TFSI with a Stage1 remap will give more modern, less stressed and reliable 250bhp though.

    Probably the better daily dpending on what miles you do.
    Thanks Mate. I think "classic" was a bit strong, I meant more that it won't date hard and in 5-10 years time will still look the nuts if it is kept nice. The Mk1 comparison was a bit strong LOL
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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuta3 View Post
    Thanks Mate. I think "classic" was a bit strong, I meant more that it won't date hard and in 5-10 years time will still look the nuts if it is kept nice. The Mk1 comparison was a bit strong LOL
    With you mate.

    FWIW I do think the `original` S3 is a cool car.
    I always wanted one but found prices too strong at the time.

    Maybe why I am on my 2nd 8P S3.
    Cant go wrong with either I suppose.

    Good luck.
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    Now:
    -MK2 Golf Gti 16V/VR6, Oak Green, Shrick, Intake, Decat, Kish Retrim, Lenso BSX..
    -BMW 335d Xdrive, Estoril Blue, fully loaded.

    Before:
    S3 (8P), Ibis, DSG, Milltek, SHARK

    BMW 320d M Sport
    S3 (8P), Sprint, REVO, H&R Springs, BBS CHs,

    Golf MK5 GTi 20TFSI - REVO Stage1, Red.
    Golf MK5 GTi 20TFSI - Std, Shadow Blue
    Civic Type `R`
    Golf MK4 GTi 18T - 200bhp, MTM ECU, Forge DV
    Golf MK3 VR6 - Cat Back
    Corrado VR6 - JAMEX
    Corrado G60 - JAMEX, BRM Charger rebuild
    etc....

  15. #14
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    common problems are you lamda EGT sensors.... fuel pump, alternator, the gearbox (although stronger then the 02Q boxes to be fair) ... at that age you'd want to polybush it as they probably worn out, and silicon hose all the coolant and boost pipes then you'll have a nice reliable S3..

    i also love the 8L S3 comming from one myself but here in OZ for a decent one it demands 15-20K $
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  16. #15
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    Had both myself. Would rather an 8P 2.0T personally. Different if you wanted a nice wknd car but as a daily I'd go 8P.

    The 8L S3 was a far better car for its day than the 8P S3(build quality, recaros, beefed up wings etc) but even the newest ones are 10 years old now.

    Will be lots of age related issues now I'd think.
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    I didn't have a very good 8L to really compare them directly, but Jojo's right about the arches... much better on the 8L. Everything else is better on the 8P. There are some very well modded 8Ls going though, but if it does become a future classic then it'll be well specced standard cars that people go for (which would defeat the purpose of getting an 8L and making it better than an 8P).
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  18. #17
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    Thanks guys. Tough decision! I do have a soft spot for the 8L S3, and although I have a 2.0TFSI 8P2 something makes me uncomfortable about going "all out" on something not an S3 (mods,paint,wheels) ...

    Half of me thinks my 8P is a "thinking man's S3" and half of me thinks "plain old A3" LOL .... Split personality me thinks.

    Gonna have to chew on this for a bit I think!
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  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuta3 View Post
    Thanks guys. Tough decision! I do have a soft spot for the 8L S3, and although I have a 2.0TFSI 8P2 something makes me uncomfortable about going "all out" on something not an S3 (mods,paint,wheels) ...

    Half of me thinks my 8P is a "thinking man's S3" and half of me thinks "plain old A3" LOL .... Split personality me thinks.

    Gonna have to chew on this for a bit I think!
    i currently have the same car as you have mate, yes it would cost you abit of cash to have it running 380bhp roughly on a stock k04 turbo which tbh isnt bad and the s3 8l wouldnt be able to match that just with an FMIC and miltek TBE

    not to mention the 8L that you would possibly pick up would need a new oil pick up pipe so you dont get the dread oil pressure warning light and while you're at it change the oil pump...

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevv View Post
    i currently have the same car as you have mate, yes it would cost you abit of cash to have it running 380bhp roughly on a stock k04 turbo which tbh isnt bad and the s3 8l wouldnt be able to match that just with an FMIC and miltek TBE

    not to mention the 8L that you would possibly pick up would need a new oil pick up pipe so you dont get the dread oil pressure warning light and while you're at it change the oil pump...
    Well mines a K03 which might as well be an astmatic gradma with bellows charging my intake LOL. My current "plan" for the 8P is stage 2+ (cant remember the gains from 200bhp tho). Any further and I think its K04 conversion or BT plus brakes, suspension, internals. Just pondering if it's the right thing to do for a big-ol heffer A3.

    Though yes the 1.8t isn't better, the car overall might be more fun. TBH people's wise words about age and stuff are making me re-think the pipe-dream of a show car 8LS3 LOL
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  21. #20
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    Saying that, I still miss the Audi A2 I wrote off. Amazing car that.
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  22. #21
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    Get an 8P s3 or you'll end up thinking you've somehow woke up in the late 90's. 8L's are cool, but i wouldn't go back to one. The 8P is such a nicer place to be.

    Wait it out a little, since theres another s3 coming out the 8P's will become cheaper
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  23. #22
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    I'm far more into my older cars, unfortunately a lot of cons to it, but you've gotta love it to make it worth spending on it. Love the 8L S3 though would have a good ming blue one any day over an 8P.
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  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by immo View Post
    I'm far more into my older cars, unfortunately a lot of cons to it, but you've gotta love it to make it worth spending on it. Love the 8L S3 though would have a mint one any day over an 8P.
    Well if we're dreaming (:P) then i'll go for a 1968 Mustang ... could pour some love all over that.

    Lookin about doesn't seem like there are many mint 8L S3s about ... havn't checked PH tho yet
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  25. #24
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    This is the 8L I'm waiting on and I can't wait!
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  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivalacoulter View Post
    This is the 8L I'm waiting on and I can't wait!
    OMG, see, that makes me go weak at the knees a bit lol.

    ... *scratches chin* 2.0tfsi transplant in to an 8L S3
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    The 1.8t engine isn't all that bad! Lots of fun and tuning to be had for not too much of an investment. These cars are really cheap atm, probably due to their mpg. The money you save on the car you can put into some great subtle mods. Full miltek system, badger 5 tip, remap, lower it and get some camber adjustable (minds gone blank, "things") on the back end so you don't run massive negative camber once it's lowered.

  28. #27
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    Ahhh, they just look so good. 8L's just stir something up. As James May would put it, it gives me the fizz.
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  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivalacoulter View Post
    The 1.8t engine isn't all that bad! Lots of fun and tuning to be had for not too much of an investment. These cars are really cheap atm, probably due to their mpg. The money you save on the car you can put into some great subtle mods. Full miltek system, badger 5 tip, remap, lower it and get some camber adjustable (minds gone blank, "things") on the back end so you don't run massive negative camber once it's lowered.
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  30. #29
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    stock Vs stock, the 8p will be a better all round car, no doubt about that, part of that due to its age, which relates to condition/health, and also the technology/evolution of engines.
    Remember the S3 has always been a great alrounder, jack of all trades, master of none, no matter what generation you go for.

    BUT, as enthusiasts we tend to look at cars differently, i do anyway, for me its all down to the SOUL
    of the car, in which case i think the 8l has more, stock or modded.

    Its such a difficult debate, and if one had say 15k for example, it would be a hard choice, as an 8l s3 owner, i would find that decision damned hard!!!

    You need to answer what you want out of the car in the long run.
    Are you the kinda guy that buys a nice car, chooses subtle mods, then sells up every 2 years to keep with something fresh and modern.
    Or are you kinda guy who could buy a car, 8l or 8p, and keep it for some years to come, without worrying about loss of value, and to have as a project/love affair.

    An 8l will require some chassis modifications and a simple remap at least to keep up with the 8ps power and chassis. But when sorted, the 8l is great.
    What would perhaps sway the decision for me, is 'modern' car vs 'old' car. IMO old performance cars, talking pre-2000 design, have such a good feel to them in terms of controls/steering/feedback, that NO modern car can recreate with their electronic power steering, feather light clutches, and lifeless steering feedback.

    One tough decision to make, but i think ultimately whichever you go with you will not be disappointed. I will always favour the older 8L i think, im just an old car/classic kinda guy.
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  31. #30
    wuta3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superkarl View Post
    stock Vs stock, the 8p will be a better all round car, no doubt about that, part of that due to its age, which relates to condition/health, and also the technology/evolution of engines.
    Remember the S3 has always been a great alrounder, jack of all trades, master of none, no matter what generation you go for.

    BUT, as enthusiasts we tend to look at cars differently, i do anyway, for me its all down to the SOUL
    of the car, in which case i think the 8l has more, stock or modded.

    Its such a difficult debate, and if one had say 15k for example, it would be a hard choice, as an 8l s3 owner, i would find that decision damned hard!!!

    You need to answer what you want out of the car in the long run.
    Are you the kinda guy that buys a nice car, chooses subtle mods, then sells up every 2 years to keep with something fresh and modern.
    Or are you kinda guy who could buy a car, 8l or 8p, and keep it for some years to come, without worrying about loss of value, and to have as a project/love affair.

    An 8l will require some chassis modifications and a simple remap at least to keep up with the 8ps power and chassis. But when sorted, the 8l is great.
    What would perhaps sway the decision for me, is 'modern' car vs 'old' car. IMO old performance cars, talking pre-2000 design, have such a good feel to them in terms of controls/steering/feedback, that NO modern car can recreate with their electronic power steering, feather light clutches, and lifeless steering feedback.

    One tough decision to make, but i think ultimately whichever you go with you will not be disappointed. I will always favour the older 8L i think, im just an old car/classic kinda guy.
    Everything you said. 100% agree. I am split on it tho ... It is a dilemma as both "modern, reliable but a bit fat and dull" and "older, classy but needs more love" both appeal.

    Thanks for all your help guys! Might find one to test drive and have a think on this one
    ​​Programmer/Web Developer, Headphone/Amp Geek
    06 SLine Special Edition Phantom Black 2.0T FSI Quattro A3
    Done: P-Flo, RevD, Sachs Organic, Milltek TBE + Res + Sports cat
    Wanted/Next:Intercooler, HPFP, Remap

  32. #31
    voorhees's Avatar
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    I speak from my own experience here but reliability for me was never a problem,in seven and a half years the car only failed to start when I had inadvertently left the cabin light on for 12 hours and killed the battery.My S3 was trackday driven a few times and quarter miled even more times so its not like it was never sat in my garage being pampered.
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