Monster MotorsportChris Nott
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  1. #1
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    Should I buy an S3?

    Hi Guys,

    Thinking about getting a 8P S3, I've got about 22-24k to spend. Had my heart set on one because of the performance and the 31MPG stats. Thought i'd do some reading up on them to see what sort of reviews they got and lots of people are giving bad reviews (including Clarkson)...

    If i did go ahead with a purchase, I would probably get it remapped, Revo? 300bhp? Good mod?

    Just wondered what peoples thoughts were on here.

    Cheers

    Dave

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  3. #2
    voorhees's Avatar
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    31 MPG lol
    Dave I think them figures are very generous.
    Revo's good.

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    31mpg is probably what to expect if you do long distance driving all the time, otherwise I expect much lower, depending on how much stick you give it.

    I noticed when I was thinking of what to get, all the reviews, although I think most of them were more a case of not great for the money, now if you think that brand new it's a 30k car, then it's not surprising. But, it didn't stop me buying one.
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    think of closer to 18-20mpg, and that's a better estimate. Lower if enjoying the higher rev-ranges..


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    Quote Originally Posted by madvw View Post
    think of closer to 18-20mpg, and that's a better estimate. Lower if enjoying the higher rev-ranges..
    No chance!! 23-25 if you're giving it the beans!
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    I get about 29mpg from mine in an average week and I'm not shy of crevving it when the opportunity arises. On a motorway trip 35mpg is not unusual.
    With the right mods you get good mpg from these cars I think - but maybe 31 is a tad optimistic as a general benchmark.
    The bad reviews mainly criticise it for being "too safe" - depends what you want. The S3 won't lose it in any weather or conditions - if that's boring to you stay clear.
    Phantom Black S3, RNS-E with SDS Hack , BOSE, Sunroof, iPod, ITG CAI, Forge DV, Milltek TBE, Revo Stage 2+, Autotech HPFP, Sachs clutch, Lamin-X, BBS Pescaras, H&R springs, H&R ARBs, NGK Iridium Plugs, Vagcom.

  8. #7
    paddy's Avatar
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    Take your time and find the right one, I have been looking half heartedly at a S3 because its more tune-able than my 3.2 and i need more power. Most S3's are really poorly equipped !! I looked at one today that had absolutely no extras at all. This idea that you need to pay extra on top of 28k just to get decent interior lights is frankly a rip off. a decent amp ?? extra Sir !! auto lights and wipers sir ?....rubs hands with glee !! loads extra Sir :-)). Its very difficult to look at an A3 with a few bits on it and see 30k sitting there !! Personally i would be happy to pay 15k for a decent 2nd hand S3 or 3.2 but 30k + for a hot hatch is unrealistic. that said, a lot of people pay that and are very happy.
    Ibis white Revo S3 and now matching Vivaro LWB HR 2900 :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by beanoir View Post
    31mpg is probably what to expect if you do long distance driving all the time, otherwise I expect much lower, depending on how much stick you give it.

    I noticed when I was thinking of what to get, all the reviews, although I think most of them were more a case of not great for the money, now if you think that brand new it's a 30k car, then it's not surprising. But, it didn't stop me buying one.
    Id have to agree, does sound alok, 30k New.. but 22-24k doesnt sound too bad..

    Quote Originally Posted by madvw View Post
    think of closer to 18-20mpg, and that's a better estimate. Lower if enjoying the higher rev-ranges..
    Sounds very low!!! dont even think my Old S3 was that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Staz View Post
    No chance!! 23-25 if you're giving it the beans!
    Few! that sounds better.. thats what im currently getting from my R32 when taking it easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iggu View Post
    I get about 29mpg from mine in an average week and I'm not shy of crevving it when the opportunity arises. On a motorway trip 35mpg is not unusual.
    With the right mods you get good mpg from these cars I think - but maybe 31 is a tad optimistic as a general benchmark.
    The bad reviews mainly criticise it for being "too safe" - depends what you want. The S3 won't lose it in any weather or conditions - if that's boring to you stay clear.
    Doesnt sound boring at all.. I find staying on the road quite a plus point!

    Quote Originally Posted by voorhees View Post
    31 MPG lol
    Dave I think them figures are very generous.
    Revo's good.
    Cheers..


    I did have my heart set on an E46 M3 but after working out what it was going to cost me to keep on the road for 3-4 years i decided to look at something else..

    From reading up on it the S3 is going to cost far less!

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    Quote Originally Posted by paddy View Post
    Take your time and find the right one, I have been looking half heartedly at a S3 because its more tune-able than my 3.2 and i need more power. Most S3's are really poorly equipped !! I looked at one today that had absolutely no extras at all. This idea that you need to pay extra on top of 28k just to get decent interior lights is frankly a rip off. a decent amp ?? extra Sir !! auto lights and wipers sir ?....rubs hands with glee !! loads extra Sir :-)). Its very difficult to look at an A3 with a few bits on it and see 30k sitting there !! Personally i would be happy to pay 15k for a decent 2nd hand S3 or 3.2 but 30k + for a hot hatch is unrealistic. that said, a lot of people pay that and are very happy.
    I wanted one with Sat Nav, but thats not gonna happen.. looks like i'll get the Bose stereo, plus the Flat bottom steering wheels.. Not alot else on the extra front..

    I asked the deal today about how much to add Satnav. sales guy said about 7k.. lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Staz View Post
    No chance!! 23-25 if you're giving it the beans!
    weird then. What really hurts my economy is a 10 mile daily town rush-hour commute. I drive mostly off boost, and very rarely get over 20mpg.

    I did recently get 29mpg on a 70 mile journey, but it had lots of roundabouts, which probably killed the mpg a bit...

    even on my 8L I used to only get 18-19mpg though, so it could be just my driving.

    What kind of journeys are you going to be doing knobby? As for the specs, there are indeed a lot of base spec ones out there. MFFBSW was also part of the base spec after a certain year, or at least it was on the SB.


  12. #11
    paddy's Avatar
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    If a dealer tells you its 7k to fit a sat nav then just walk away from the whole deal. If you cant trust them on the sat nav price then dont trust him on anything.
    Simplesss:-)
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    LOL..

    This is my only concern spending 22-24k on an S3... If it doesnt have the "Extras" is it going to be hard to sell in the future and depreciate lots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by knobby View Post
    LOL..

    This is my only concern spending 22-24k on an S3... If it doesnt have the "Extras" is it going to be hard to sell in the future and depreciate lots.
    just mentally set your minimum spec, and dont go below it. If times on your side, just be patient. Its always taken me a minimum of 6 months to find the right car.


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    Quote Originally Posted by madvw View Post
    just mentally set your minimum spec, and dont go below it. If times on your side, just be patient. Its always taken me a minimum of 6 months to find the right car.
    I am not that patient!!! how about a week?

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    I guess if you're willing to travel potentially anywhere in the country it could be done if you're lucky!


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    Quote Originally Posted by knobby View Post
    I am not that patient!!! how about a week?
    crikey, I thought I was impatient!

    I wanted to get a 12-18 month old car when I bought mine, and went far and wide just to find one I could test drive, I ended up buying a brand new one in the end because for the money you save on a new one (around 8-11%) these days, it didnt' make much difference. Apart from the agonising 4.5 month wait!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by knobby View Post
    I wanted one with Sat Nav, but thats not gonna happen.. looks like i'll get the Bose stereo, plus the Flat bottom steering wheels.. Not alot else on the extra front..

    I asked the deal today about how much to add Satnav. sales guy said about 7k.. lol
    Haha 7k they having a laugh. I think to retrofit it costs about 600-750 maybe some of the guys who done the mod can comment. I'm pretty sure with the money you have you can get yourself a very decent example with some nice extras.

    Quote Originally Posted by paddy View Post
    If a dealer tells you its 7k to fit a sat nav then just walk away from the whole deal. If you cant trust them on the sat nav price then dont trust him on anything.
    Simplesss:-)
    Agree with Paddy above.
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  19. #18
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    Buy a VW Gti (230bhp engine)

    Spend the extra cash on mods

    I have an S3 and a Gti and to be honest I'm beginning to wonder why I spent 1000's extra on the S3. Dont believe the hype that the interior is better and build quality better blah blah blah.

    At the moment I have only driven the S3 for 1100 miles or so but, I have a list of things I feel cheated on compared to the Gti. I am planning on starting a seperate thread. Dont get me wrong the S3 is a brilliant car to drive with a superb engine and gear change - its just my list of niggles (Audi being tight) keeps on growing!
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    I've owned 7 Golfs... Currently own an R32... Dont think i want another Golf.

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    pluves1's Avatar
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    Is your R32 MK 4 or 5?
    Now

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  22. #21
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    Classic MK4

    Last edited by knobby; 17th October 2009 at 21:26.

  23. #22
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    Nice.

    Always like the shape of the MK4 for some strange reason and the build quality was awesome.
    However, remember being so disappointed with my MK4 Gti pushing out a whopping 125bhp LOL

    Not sure if you've test driven a MK5 - if you haven't I would seriously recommend it.

    I went from VW to Seat in the search of better value and found it in the Cupra R - only problem was the build quality was poor. Then back to VW and a 3 year flirtation with BMW.

    There is something about a BMW which far exceeds my brief encounter with Audi (so far).
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  24. #23
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    Thats a lovely looking R32!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pluves1 View Post
    However, remember being so disappointed with my MK4 Gti pushing out a whopping 125bhp LOL
    I think this is a bit like the family member kept in the cellar...we never mention 'him'

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by voorhees View Post
    I think this is a bit like the family member kept in the cellar...we never mention 'him'
    I know what you mean.

    My move to Leon Cupra's was swift.
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  27. #26
    paddy's Avatar
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    Not sure what you expect from an S3 if an R32 disapointed you ?
    Ibis white Revo S3 and now matching Vivaro LWB HR 2900 :-)

    Many people are alive because its illegal to shoot them.

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    I would expect you to get a fairly well spec'd S3 for 24K then again, ASN is OEM heaven so you could expect to retro a number of mods - RNS-e being one of them for nothing more than 700. Also depends on what options you want.

    Good luck with your purchase and decision.

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  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by knobby View Post
    Classic MK4

    The best looking shape R32 in my opinion.

    Loving your little garage, wish I had one like that!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddy View Post
    Not sure what you expect from an S3 if an R32 disapointed you ?

    erm...faster, better looking (IMO), brand snobbery, more tuning potential...

    to name a few things.
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  31. #30
    paddy's Avatar
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    Faster ?? dream on. If you can split the difference and tell me thats worth swapping cars for then i will be suprised...And if your buying a car to tune....your probably buying the wrong car in the first place...at least thats the conclusion i have come to. i will grant you the A3 looks better than the Golf though
    Last edited by paddy; 18th October 2009 at 00:32.
    Ibis white Revo S3 and now matching Vivaro LWB HR 2900 :-)

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  32. #31
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    Set a spec in your head of `must haves`and stick with it.

    For me it was:

    -Sprint/Black/Ibis
    -BOSE
    -FBMFW
    -Armrest

    But it came with, flappy mirrors, auto lights/wipers, cruise, sunroof etc...so they were a bonus.

    Forget NAV (RNSE), you can retro that later just make sure you budget 600ish or it.
    If its got it then great, if it hasnt then dont let it put you off.

    Check Autotrader and Pistonheads EVERY day religiously.

    Be prepared to travel.

    I did a 500mile round trip for mine and it had only been on PH Classifieds literally for a few Hrs.
    Took me a while to find a lightly used one in spec I wanted but I saved around 4K on a used 5month old car.

    Mid 20s MPG is easy to achieve even without driving too gentle and some heavy traffic thrown in (this is what achieve with this mix.)
    30mpg is easy on run, even when pushing on a bit.

    Im a big Golf fan, in particular the MK5, its a great car but having 2 of them before my S3, the S3 just feels more special in everyway.

    But it is alot more money than a Golf so it should be.

    IMO, the looks, cabin finish, and all weather access to the power (in particular with a remap) are major plus points.

    Whether you think that bit extra is worth it is another thing.
    Probably still worth driving them back to back, and then make your own choice.
    Certainly dont discount the Golf, its good, buts its not an S3.

    Neither are bomb proof, legendary German build quality is a bit of a myth these days, but they do have a nice `feel` of quality, even though stuff will break and wear out earlier than they should.

    Mine is 2yr old 20K miles and the cabin is pretty much as new with the obvious exception of a few crease in the hide where its had to support 15st for the last 20month. The hide wears better on the std S3 sets than the Golf hide seats.

    REVO is a no brainer.

    It is brilliant, do it straight away whether it be s Golf or S3.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck.

    Cheers
    Paul
    Now:
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  33. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddy View Post
    Faster ?? dream on. If you can split the difference and tell me thats worth swapping cars for then i will be suprised...And if your buying a car to tune....your probably buying the wrong car in the first place...at least thats the conclusion i have come to. i will grant you the A3 looks better than the Golf though
    I agree, if you want a car just to tune, then I would go Jap anyway.

    But if you want a premium, fairly exclusive Hot hatch with tuning potential, thats does lots of things really well, then go for an S3.
    You could say its slightly niche in that respect.

    Cheap it aint though....

    cheers
    Paul
    Now:
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    BMW 320d M Sport
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    Golf MK5 GTi 20TFSI - REVO Stage1, Red.
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    etc....

  34. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddy View Post
    Faster ?? dream on. If you can split the difference and tell me thats worth swapping cars for then i will be suprised...And if your buying a car to tune....your probably buying the wrong car in the first place...at least thats the conclusion i have come to. i will grant you the A3 looks better than the Golf though
    The S3 is very noticeaby quicker than the 3.2 - even in standard tune. I went from one to the other and the performance differential in the S3 puts the 3.2 lump to shame. Have you driven an S3 for an extended period ? If so, and you couldn't notice the difference, then the S3 was either bust or you were half asleep.

    As for tuneability - how could the S3 be MORE tunable? Search the build threads of JonnyC or S3BigAndy (or any of the Stage 2+ cars on here including my own) - there are tuned S3s out there with over 525bhp. How much more tuning potential do you want ?! I'd be interested in exactly how you came to your "conclusion" paddy.
    Phantom Black S3, RNS-E with SDS Hack , BOSE, Sunroof, iPod, ITG CAI, Forge DV, Milltek TBE, Revo Stage 2+, Autotech HPFP, Sachs clutch, Lamin-X, BBS Pescaras, H&R springs, H&R ARBs, NGK Iridium Plugs, Vagcom.

  35. #34
    paddy's Avatar
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    Iggu

    I think you have misunderstood my post. The guy wants to go from an R32 to a S3 for extra performance and tuning potential. I am simply saying that they are too closely matched on the road to make the change worth the 15k it will cost him. also what i mean is if you are going to spend 25k on a car and its not going to be quick enough for you ( ie to tune) then your probably buying the wrong car in the first place.
    I have driven an S3 for a little while and they are quick but you have to thrash it to keep it on the boil. A 3.2 with DSG is a different beast and is much easier to drive fast while having a snooze with one arm out the window .
    Professional road testers might find .5 second between them off the line but they are both limited to 150mph and lets face it, its not how quick your car is today its how brave you are. I was chasing an M3 the other day round the lanes and i could stay with that!!!! he left me on some corners but only because he was prepared to gamble there wasn't any one on a horse just round the bend...
    Yes you can tune the nuts off it and kill your clutch and engine/gearbox life but its always cheaper to buy a quick car than to tune a ordinary car to go quick.
    Last edited by paddy; 18th October 2009 at 11:36.
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  36. #35
    PaulAr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddy View Post
    Iggu

    I think you have misunderstood my post. The guy wants to go from an R32 to a S3 for extra performance and tuning potential. I am simply saying that they are too closely matched on the road to make the change worth the 15k it will cost him. also what i mean is if you are going to spend 25k on a car and its not going to be quick enough for you ( ie to tune) then your probably buying the wrong car in the first place.
    I have driven an S3 for a little while and they are quick but you have to thrash it to keep it on the boil. A 3.2 with DSG is a different beast and is much easier to drive fast while having a snooze with one arm out the window .
    Professional road testers might find .5 second between them off the line but they are both limited to 150mph and lets face it, its not how quick your car is today its how brave you are. I was chasing an M3 the other day round the lanes and i could stay with that!!!! he left me on some corners but only because he was prepared to gamble there wasn't any one on a horse just round the bend...
    Yes you can tune the nuts off it and kill your clutch and engine/gearbox life but its always cheaper to buy a quick car than to tune a ordinary car to go quick.
    So buy an S3 or not?
    Or 3.2?
    Or M3?


    Paul
    Last edited by PaulAr; 18th October 2009 at 14:33.
    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....

  37. #36
    paddy's Avatar
    Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    So buy an S3 or not?
    Or 3.2?
    Or M3?


    Paul

    =================

    dont ask me

    I just think that to go from a R32 to an S3 is a bit of a sideways move if you dont think the R32 is quick enough. As you said yourself, if you want to tune the thing then buy Jap. The Nissan 350 would be a good start or a Skyline 32 GTR maybe ?
    S3 Excellent little car
    3.2/R32 Excellent little car but quite a bit cheaper (10k) than an S3
    M3....BIG Running costs..crap image
    911 ? Probably the answer

    Just my choices.........
    Ibis white Revo S3 and now matching Vivaro LWB HR 2900 :-)

    Many people are alive because its illegal to shoot them.

  38. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulAr View Post
    So buy an S3 or not?
    Or 3.2?
    Or M3?


    Paul
    Had an M3 loved it, power amazing etc. To expensive to run though and if something goes wrong like an smg gearbox then your screwed. Go get your S3 get your warranty and like someone said earlier set your spec and stick to it, because it will only bug you when you aint got it. I wanted black with satnav bucket seats, phone prep. it so happens it took a while to get it but I did eventually and it was worth it. And I also found out that you can drift in a S3 just like a M3, just got to have the stones for it lol.

  39. #38
    Iggu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddy View Post
    I just think that to go from a R32 to an S3 is a bit of a sideways move if you dont think the R32 is quick enough.
    I'm not saying its like going from a Volvo to a Veyron or anything - but it isn't a sideways move. More like going from a 330i to an M3 or a Boxster to a 911. Lots of similarities but in every scenario it will be quicker. My S3 got me round the Nurburgring over 40 secs faster than my 3.2 - and that was before I'd modded it or got used to it properly. Its a significantly faster, more agile car.

    Quote Originally Posted by RonstarS3 View Post
    And I also found out that you can drift in a S3 just like a M3
    This is a first. You must have made some amazing modifications to your drivetrain and chassis. To get a front-wheel drive biased first generation Haldex equipped car to behave like a rear-drive M car is nothing short of miraculous. Unless you were on a skid pan.
    Phantom Black S3, RNS-E with SDS Hack , BOSE, Sunroof, iPod, ITG CAI, Forge DV, Milltek TBE, Revo Stage 2+, Autotech HPFP, Sachs clutch, Lamin-X, BBS Pescaras, H&R springs, H&R ARBs, NGK Iridium Plugs, Vagcom.

  40. #39
    paddy's Avatar
    Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    He did say on stones !!

    So where do you think a std S3 gets 40 seconds over a 3.2 given its the same car with a different engine only 10bhp down...I cant believe its just down to weight ? Most of us in the real world don't drive the N/Ring to work unfortunately. I can assure you as a ex Bike racer that bikes that go really quick on the track can be pigs on the road !!

    I am interested here because i would like an S3 myself but cant get it round my head its worth paying an extra 15k so go on talk me round
    Ibis white Revo S3 and now matching Vivaro LWB HR 2900 :-)

    Many people are alive because its illegal to shoot them.

  41. #40
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    It wouldn't be worth an extra 15k - you're dead right on that point Paddy.
    Firstly, no standard S3 I've ever seen on the rollers has made anything less than 285bhp as opposed to the claimed 265bhp from Audi. Some standard S3s (Mitch78, L6ON, Kontraband, Phantom) even made 295 and over. Mitch78 and Kontraband have totally standard cars which have over 300bhp straight from the factory. So the real world difference in power is more than the factory figures suggest. (I think the R32 is about 255bhp - is that right ?).
    Secondly the weight of the 6 pot in the nose compared to the TFSi makes a real difference to the agility (I agree you'd notice this more on a track than an average road).
    Thirdly the torque of the turbo delivery is very easy to access at any revs. As long as you are over 2,500rpm any dab of the right foot will shoot you down the road on a wave of torque. Even without modding them these engines have a nice flat, wrung out torque curve. I found the VR6 of the 3.2 a bit wheezy (no offence intended) - as if it couldn't get enough air to really fly.
    I'm no expert - but these are my thoughts having owned both.
    Phantom Black S3, RNS-E with SDS Hack , BOSE, Sunroof, iPod, ITG CAI, Forge DV, Milltek TBE, Revo Stage 2+, Autotech HPFP, Sachs clutch, Lamin-X, BBS Pescaras, H&R springs, H&R ARBs, NGK Iridium Plugs, Vagcom.

 

 
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