EM TuningJMB Retrofits
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  1. #1
    Vertigo1's Avatar
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    3-door vs. Sportback handling differences?

    As I want to get a feel for both the S-line suspension and DSG 'box I've arranged to pinch a demonstrator off the local dealer for a few hours on Saturday. Unfortunately they could only find a Sportback rather than a 3-door.

    I presume the suspension and handling between the 3-door and Sportback are pretty similar? I know they won't be identical but will they be sufficiently close for my experience in the Sportback to be a good indication of how the 3-door would feel?

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  3. #2
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    I regularly switch between my own sportback and a colleague's three door.
    Can't say I can detect any discernable difference in the handling.
    Three door is a maybe a bit more 'flickable',due to the shorter wheelbase,but that's about it really.
    If you didn't know what was behind you,you'd be hard pushed to tell.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  4. #3
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    I thought they had the same wheelbase ?

    The SB's arse hangs out more though

  5. #4
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfspen
    I thought they had the same wheelbase ?

    The SB's arse hangs out more though
    Maybe they do,dunno.
    Not that interested really.
    Maybe the extra flickability of the 3 door is down to weight,or even just an illusion coz it's smaller.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  6. #5
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    I'm sure I read in a test somewhere that they reckoned the SB handled better.
    Sportback

  7. #6
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    Yes I read that too.
    But wasn't it comparing the SB with the pre-facelift (and hence pre suspension revision) 3-door ?

  8. #7
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    It's a pre-facelift 3 door I drive.
    Beggared if I can tell any massive difference in the handling between it and the sportback.
    They're both as numb and uninvolving as each other ! ;-)
    Both are just 'chuck it in and hope for the best' motors,with no feel for what's actually going on.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    It's a pre-facelift 3 door I drive.
    Beggared if I can tell any massive difference in the handling between it and the sportback.
    They're both as numb and uninvolving as each other ! ;-)
    Both are just 'chuck it in and hope for the best' motors,with no feel for what's actually going on.
    Must the colossal weight of that tractor engine up the front ruining the handling

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfspen
    Must the colossal weight of that tractor engine up the front ruining the handling
    And of course the concrete blocks that you see tractors carrying on the front to even up the weight. Mind you, the muck spreader out the back probably doesn't help either LOL

    I think you were correct re the article as it was a while ago, so prob was SB v old nose A3. How significant that is depends on whether the handling was solely down to the suspension or other factors but I do remember it slated the Sport suspension and said you were better off with SE suspension.
    Sportback

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdb2
    And of course the concrete blocks that you see tractors carrying on the front to even up the weight. Mind you, the muck spreader out the back probably doesn't help either LOL

    I think you were correct re the article as it was a while ago, so prob was SB v old nose A3. How significant that is depends on whether the handling was solely down to the suspension or other factors but I do remember it slated the Sport suspension and said you were better off with SE suspension.
    Ah yes, I'd forgotten about the muck spreader attachment !

    Mind you, In Bowfer's case he would have the gritting attachment permanently deployed, as it's always snowing up there in Scotland

  12. #11
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfspen
    Must the colossal weight of that tractor engine up the front ruining the handling
    My colleague's 3 door is a 2.0 Fsi.

    Can't blame a diesel engine for the numb handling/steering/brakes in that one.

    Try again. ;-)

    They're not bad handling motors,just completely devoid of any feel or actual driver involvement/enjoyment.

    You just sort of sit there,guiding it.
    Efficient,but dull.
    Like a German hooker ( I'm told...)
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    My colleague's 3 door is a 2.0 Fsi.

    Can't blame a diesel engine for the numb handling/steering/brakes in that one.

    Try again. ;-)

    They're not bad handling motors,just completely devoid of any feel or actual driver involvement/enjoyment.

    You just sort of sit there,guiding it.
    Efficient,but dull.
    Like a German hooker ( I'm told...)
    Yes, I agree that the steering feel on Audis is pretty non-existent.

    However, I still prefer it to the 'steering feel' of BMWs. I used to own a 320, and it felt as if the steering wheel was connected to the front wheels via a big rubber band. You had to constantly make small steering corrections, even on a dead straight road. At first I thought it was a Friday afternoon car, but every 3 Series I have ever driven since has had the same trait. At least the A3 goes exactly where you point it !

    The new S-Line I test drove recently certainly felt good in terms of the chassis too.

  14. #13
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Competent and safe are the words I would use.
    It would take an idiot to crash one,put it that way.
    When you get anywhere near the limit,you can actually put massive movements into the steering and nothing will happen.
    The only indication you will get that you are doing anything is differing amounts of tyre squeal.
    No tightening of line,no change to oversteer.
    Nothing.
    Just varying degrees of 'screech'.
    It's like a video game.
    Very safe,but not rewarding (or fun) for an experienced/enthusiastic driver.
    I know it's not a sports car,but I have had many sports saloons that 'talk' to the driver better,or can be tempted into a bit of sporty misbehaviour when pushed.
    Last edited by Amchlolor; 3rd August 2006 at 13:03.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  15. #14
    Vertigo1's Avatar
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    Well having put mine round a track (14 laps of the 'ring), I can confirm that the horrific understeer is the limiting factor to how fast you can go. I've had a few hairy moments when the nose just started ploughing wide after I went into corners too quickly and rapidly approaching armco is not what I'd call "fun"

    In such situations the steering is useless and winding on more lock or power does nothing, as you say. The only way out is to back off and try to shed speed but the weight shift to the front really unsettles the back end. On one occasion I entered a corner way too fast (left hander before Aremburg) and was forced to dab the brakes slightly to avoid ploughing off onto the grass and I really thought I was going to lose the back end!

  16. #15
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo1
    Well having put mine round a track (14 laps of the 'ring), I can confirm that the horrific understeer is the limiting factor to how fast you can go. I've had a few hairy moments when the nose just started ploughing wide after I went into corners too quickly and rapidly approaching armco is not what I'd call "fun"

    In such situations the steering is useless and winding on more lock or power does nothing, as you say. The only way out is to back off and try to shed speed but the weight shift to the front really unsettles the back end. On one occasion I entered a corner way too fast (left hander before Aremburg) and was forced to dab the brakes slightly to avoid ploughing off onto the grass and I really thought I was going to lose the back end!
    I can't do anything to provoke the rear in mine.
    No amount of lifting off or braking will upset the back end.
    I've tried,just to see if it would.
    Just stays where it is,even in the wet.
    Very safe for when my missus is driving,as she wouldn't know what to do,but bleeding boring for me...
    Maybe the greater rear-end weight of the Sportback means less weight shift to the front ?
    I remember Japper saying he could get his 3 door to oversteer.
    Last edited by Amchlolor; 3rd August 2006 at 16:11.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  17. #16
    Covenant's Avatar
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    Quattro ftw

    Just get the Haldex reprogrammed to shift a bit more power to the rear - the kits are available.
    2.0T FSi quattro Sline - Lava Grey
    Bose/Symphony

  18. #17
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    Try dropping the front tyre pressure on the quttro by 1 or 2 psi it helps to quell the understeer a little by giving a bit more grip..

 

 

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