Here’s a question I’ve been asking myself – if Audi released an RS3 with 342bhp and 344lbft (over 322lbft of it consistent between 3500 and 5000 rpm), SDS-enabled DVD SatNav and Bluetooth, BOSE and a sunroof as standard for Ł31,000 would I buy it and be happy I’d got value for money ? That’s more power & torque than a 911 Carrera 4S or a Noble M12 – and all the luxuries I need. Well that’s what I’ve spent on my S3 (Ł29,200 from new; Ł120 Forge CAI; Ł499 Revo; Ł1155 Milltek) and that’s what I’ve got sitting in my garage. The only difference is I think Audi would charge around Ł38k for a “genuine” RS3.
Why REVO ?
I’m not going to criticize SuperChips who were brilliant with me – great product, even better customer service – or GIAC but after canvassing opinion through loads of PMs and phone calls to forum members Revo was the only choice for me. GIAC customers always talk about a “smooth”, “linear”, “progressive” map – I’m not knocking it but that sounds a bit dull to me: I wanted a bum-clenching, stomach-churning, scrotum-tightening fist in the face old school smack of power right there in the chops – none of this linear and progressive nonsense. That’s what this Revo map is. Look at the graphs – there are 4 of them overlaid and the key at the bottom tells you what they are. I’ll just point out 4 things which AmD pointed out to me:
1. Look at the temperature of the Revo + Milltek + Forge CAI run – this was the hottest of the lot (done last) so the figures could have been even higher had it been at 19.3 degrees like the others.
2. Kenny at AmD noticed straightaway that I had a nail in my front passenger side tyre (slow puncture).
3. My Revo is set up quite conservatively (Boost 6, Timing 5, Fuel 9) so there is room for more should I want it
4. The map can take up to 3 days to fully adapt so should get even stronger.
Without these factors these figures would be even higher potentially – truly RS3 performance in my book. That blue curve is a torque curve to die for – no worries about the fuel pump anymore !
Why Milltek ?
A couple of weeks ago I posted saying I would never spend Ł1000+ on an exhaust for a few bhp extra. Now I have. What changed ? Well a few days ago the lad I sit next to at work said he didn’t feel well. Over the day he got (and looked) worse so we sent him home in a taxi. A few days later we found out he lapsed into a coma and that he may not make it. The doctors don’t know what caused it or even what the problem really is – it just came out of the blue. He’s 32 (I’m 38). In our office we have a calendar on the wall with “Quotes for the Day” on it – you know the ones. The quote for the day on the day this happened was by Ian Fleming (James Bond creator) and it was: “I am not going to waste my days trying to prolong them.” Last week I got on the phone to our HR dept and cancelled my next 12 months pensions contributions. Life is for the living – f*ck the pension. Hence the Milltek/Revo splash out and the new kitchen I’ve just ordered and the family holiday I’ve just booked. Regrets ? Forget it. You only live once (or twice if you’re James Bond I suppose). Anyway look at the graph – Milltek is giving me 20bhp more from 5,500 rpm (right where you want it) and quicker response times throughout. Well worth it.
Why AmD ?
I got quotes from all over the place. I live in Manchester but the leading “big name” tuning company here quoted me Ł1,275 for Milltek and didn’t seem to know what they were talking about (Quote: “you won’t need engine mounts coz the Audi S3 Mark 5 is the same car as the Golf Mark 4 and we never fit them on them.” Errr …. right.) Shaun at AmD was ultra-helpful, ultra-friendly, always answered my calls and emails and gave me the following quote which is what I paid in the end:
5 hours labour: Ł0
4 dyno runs: Ł0
Revo Select Switch: Ł0
Milltek TBE: Ł1155 (book price)
Uprated engine mounts: Ł40 (free labour). These are needed to avoid the problems S3BigAndy has posted about.
Bearing in mind I drove 260 miles to get there (3 hours there; 4 hours back – M1/M6 traffic hell for part of it) – if any aspect of the customer service at AmD hadn’t been spot on I would have been very cheesed off. As it was I was welcomed with the first of many cups of tea and treated brilliantly for the whole day. Shaun was genuinely interested in seeing how the mods would affect the car and is a real enthusiast who answered all my questions about Forge, Milltek, Audi etc etc. with expert knowledge. Kenny (Shaun’s second-in-command I think) involved me in all the RR runs, showing me previous customers’ graphs and other Revo’d cars so we could see the effect of the Forge CAI and Milltek as well as the Revo map and chatted openly throughout the day. Whilst the Milltek was being fitted and there was little for me to do/see they even gave me a lift to the cinema so I could chill out with a film for a couple of hours and then picked me up afterwards. On my way home at 8.15pm Shaun even phoned me to ask if I was happy and if the car was feeling good. Feeling good ?! Let’s just say that at the time I was going “quite fast” on the M6 autobahn (sorry – toll road) with all the windows down listening to the monster that now lives under my bonnet. AmD were brilliant – and well worth the time/distance. For price and service wise I doubt many companies could match them.
I’ve got what I see as the car Audi would have released if they had pulled their finger out and done the RS3. My car now is a beast. To be honest when I saw the power build on the graph as Kenny was running it (they project the image onto the wall so you can see it in real time) my stomach churned at the thought of 340+. I’d only really been expecting 320 – and I’d have been very happy with that. On the slip road which connects the A56 to the M56 a Cayman S with two blokes in it took me on. It’s a sweeping left with a straight onto the motorway. I’m not really into this sort of thing as there is no way I can prove it and it stokes up all sorts of responses – but to say I left them for dead is a laughable understatement. Pension my arse.
Here are the graphs and readouts: