Well, we've had the car a week now after picking it up from Inverness and driving it 600miles south back home to Taplow (Berkshire). Lovely journey to get aquainted with the new ride and our first venture into Audi. I am impressed too. I'm historically a BMW man through and through - I've owned 7 now including various M3s and a Z3 M Coupe. My wife's last few cars have been a Cooper S, 125i coupe and a 130i hatch. Our only experience with VAG cars is the 2 x Golfs we've used as workhorses/dog transportation vehicles! So the Audi is something kind of new to us.
Before I go on any more, here it is
It's my wife's car, and it had to be something hot/quick as she's a bit of a girl racer. Also had to be relativekly cheap (under £13k) as we've just bought our first place. She's only ever driven new cars (new or under 2 years/still in warranty) so for her to buy a 6 year old car with 60k on the clock is unchartered territory for her, and probably a bit outside her comfort zone to be honest. But I've owned lots of older performance cars (my current M3 just turned 10!) and like to do a lot of the work that's required to keep them in top condition, so I'm well used to maintenance and looking after slightly 'older' models.
The search was originally for a Edition 30 Golf, but I extended the search to S3s, and I'm glad I did. The extra power, better spec and Quattro made it a no-brainer really, as the Edition 30's still command a big premium and push them into S3 money.
Orginally the quest was for a low miler (sub 40k) but the one we ended up with ticked the boxes in every other respect and we picked it up for a song as it needed some maintenance doing.
So the spec:
- Phantom Black with black leather
- Heated leather
- Bose sound
- Flat bottom steering wheel (a dealbreaker - it had to have this)
- Genuine Audi black optic front grill
- Ipod connection
- 60k miles
- Full Audi Main Dealer History
I must say I'm very impressed. My M3 is a much shaper tool in terms of chassis dynamics and outright power, but the S3 is a superb little thing and arguably better for real-road driving. The turbo allows effortless overtaking, riding the wave of torque without even switching cogs if you're feeling lazy. The car is supremely comfy - the 600miles drive was no bother, and the suspension soaks up our less-than-perfect roads with ease, offering a smooth ride but firm enough to tackle the backroad twisties with confidence. The Quattro is brilliant too - impressive stuff. The car has made quite an impression on me, I think it's great!
So as mentioned, we got it for a steal as it needed cambelt and waterpump doing immediately, and had an advisory for needing brake pads. It's also wearing Kumho rubber which I aim to change very soon.
First thing we did when getting it home was give it to Audi for the cambelt and waterpump. I wanted it done at Audi to maintain the FASH - I know the jury is out on whether main dealer history is a good thing or not, but for a car of this age I felt it worthwhile maintaining this.
Next day I DIY fitted OE spec Zimmerman discs and Brembo pads. Upon doing so I was annoyed to find the MOT the previous owner had put on the car just before we bought it must have been a 'dodgy' one, as the pads were in no way an 'advisory' - they should have been a clear fail. They were down to the metal with less than 1mm left. The fact we drove 600miles home on them did not impress me at all . All sorted now though.
I then fitted genuine facelift rear lights, which smarten the rear up no end:
Only problem with this mod is they must have switched the fog and reverse lights around on the facelift, as the reverse light is now red and the fog white! I will sort this promptly with a bit of re-wiring.
I then fitted brand new genuine Audi mats - £85 quid for the set - to freshen the interior.
I also changed the rear wiper arm with a genuine Audi part as the old one was flapping around (broken spring lug > missing spring).
Finally, I have picked up a second set of genuine Audi 18" Sportline rims. The current wheels are not bad, but could do with freshing up and I want to change the rubber anyway. So plan is to purchase a set of decent rubber - maybe some GY F1 Assymetrics or some Vred Ultrac Sessantas (which I run on the M3) and then hand the lot to my wheel refurber. When I get them back I will sell on the current wheels with there Kuhmo rubber (all tyres are +7mm tread) as a winter / spare set to someone else.
So there it is! Sorry for no interior pics (forgot) but the car is in really nice condition inside and out now. After the wheel refurb all it'll want for is a good machine polish and a replacement brushed aluminium gear surround if I'm being picky as it has a couple small marks on it.
Finally a picture of it's driveway partner - my tatty old M3