1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Audi A3 a better prospect for a fast car than an S3?

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Dave_Bayern, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    I have an A3, and a few people have asked, as I obviously enjoy making it go very fast round in circles, why I’m not running an S3.

    So I thought I’d post here, and it should hopefully give some people an idea of exactly how good the A3 series can be for the money in comparison to an S3.

    Lets compare completely standard cars, buy them, upgrade them and look at the respective output.


    So, a slightly upgraded S3 would consist of:

    S3, lets say we go for a pre facelift to save money, but FASH and in good order = 8.5K

    Dampers and Springs, Bilsteins or H&Rs = £650
    Tie Bars to account for the lowering with the above = £250
    H&R Anti Roll Bars to again, go with the above = £300
    Remap, lets say Custom Code (260ish Bhp and 280ish ft.lbs) = £450
    Forge TIP = £130
    Forge DV007p Recirculating valve = £80
    Black Diamond grooved discs front and rear = £200
    Ferodo DS2500 front pads = £130
    Standard Fast Road rear pads = £50
    DOT 5.1 Brake fluid change = £30
    Oil and filter change, using proper spec parts = £50
    Milltek Cat back (the S3 Cat isn’t restrictive) = £300

    So total price for a reasonably upgraded, well handling, fast S3 would be £11,120

    This obviously assumes you are doing all the work yourself, which isn’t impossible, about the only thing I would prefer a garage to do would be to fit the exhaust, as a ramp is ideally needed.


    Ok, now onto the A3:

    Decent mileage A3, I’d try and get an AGU as less issues with large power upgrades should you so choose in the future = £5K
    Dampers and springs/Adjustable Coilovers = £550
    Eibach Anti Roll Bars = £250
    Remap, Custom Code again (For K03s on AGU, 235Bhp and 250ft.lbs) = £350
    Forge TIP = £130
    K03s from eBay = £170
    Forge 007p DV = £80
    FMIC for AGU = £300
    312mm Caliper carriers = £120
    Black Diamond discs and pads = £200
    Ferodo DS2500 front pads = £130
    Standard Fast Road rear pads = £50
    DOT 5.1 Brake fluid change = £30
    Oil and filter change, using proper spec parts = £50
    Milltek Cat back (the S3 Cat isn’t restrictive) = £300
    Peloquin Limited Slip Diff to take care of power distribution = £700

    So total price for the A3 = £8410


    So, using the above details, you can see why the A3 is a very, VERY good option, a fully specced A3 is less money than a standard S3!!!!

    With the K03s you are getting essentially K04 internals with a K03 housing so it can handle higher pressure and thus can be very nicely remapped. The power curve is preferable compared to your Revo type K04 remap also below 5k rpm.

    Also within the A3 price I have included an AGU Front mount intercooler (the £300 one from eBay with the massive thread on VWVortex), which is much more efficient than the twin S3 setup, thus allowing you to hold the boost for longer on your K03s than a remapped K04 on an S3.

    The haldex advantage is more or less totally lost also, as a Peloquin LSD in the A3 makes a very good car for putting the power down properly and of course you save 300Kgs weight by losing the Quattro system.

    Once you upgrade the A3 to 312mm and use decent discs and pads, the braking is exactly the same, the rears do very little work so the vented 256mm on the S3 compared to the solid 239mm on the A3’s isn’t an issue.


    So to sum up, for the price of a standard secondhand S3, you can build an A3 which has rough figures of 204Bhp per tonne.

    The remapped and 2.5K more expensive S3 would have 185Bhp per tonne.

    We know that pure numbers based BHP doesn’t really matter until you are pushing 80mph, so the 30Bhp extra on the S3 matters on straights only, all other track work is below/around this speed. As is 99% of road driving, so it’s a small consideration.

    We can also see that the A3 is 300kgs lighter (3 peoples weight)


    So in essence, using the A3 as a base for a fast car saves you 2.5k at least, produces a faster overall car that can maintain boost for longer and upgrade potential to big turbos is also better due to the AGU internals.

    Any thoughts on that?
    #1
  2. Ads

    Ads

    [Nov 24, 2014]

  3. S3IZZO
    Online

    S3IZZO Guest

    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Nice comparison if you're just comparing the performance I guess - I'd still take an S3 every single time though for the interior & wider arches etc - Also the fact that i'd guess the S3 will hold it's money slightly better than a 1.8T A3 over the years!
    #2
  4. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Yeah. Looks wise the S3 is definately nice. However I am one of these people who actually uses my car as it was designed - a sporting vehicle, hence performance is a much more important factor. Ariel Atoms look like stepladders with wheels, can't argue with the performance though.

    As well as trips to the shops, my car has trips round tracks.

    I hadn't included residuals, but I think you're onto something. the Majority of fast cars of similar type tend to be Mk4 golfs, cheaper still than the Audi A3's.
    It seems as if the S3 mindset isnt outright performance, more a comfortable performance based vehicle.
    #3
  5. S3IZZO
    Online

    S3IZZO Guest

    [Jun 27, 2007]
    I don't think any of the "S" range of Audi cars, perhaps even the RS range are build with the midset of outright performance - there is always a trade off between creature comforts, MPG, inital price etc with any car build specificly with road use in mind....I guess that's why we modify our cars (to get out of them what we want within a set budget). - At the end of the day it's all money down the pan come sale time :)

    At the end of the day neither the A3 or S3 is a fast car, you can pick up older Subarus and various other cars for the same purchase price as the 1.8T A3 which would kill both the A3 and S3 even after those modifications around a track. (That's if you're basing Purchase price vs performance purely - probably not a nice car to live with on day to day)
    #4
  6. twist
    Offline

    twist Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    No offence but it sounds a bit like you are justifying buying and modding an A3. For me a normal A3 was never an option just to plain

    Its not just about performance and handling. IMO STANDARD for STAMDARD the S3 is a far more attractive prospect in terms of status (Important to some), Looks (Wide arches etc LOOK far better), Interior and overall feel of the car

    Just my two pence worth

    For someone who wants just a car with a fair amount of a Power a remapped S3 is spot on
    #5
  7. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    I'm explaining why I went the option I did as a couple of people from these boards have asked.

    The pre facelift 1.8T sport has the same interior as a pre-facelift S3?!?!? (if you go the full leather option)

    We are not comparing standard to standard, in standard form, both are absolutely rubbish.

    I wouldnt spend 2.5K on a bodykit so can you see the reasoning?

    Again, it becomes plainly clear after my post about organising a track day, that these boards are FULL of people who care only about status and nothing about actual real performance.
    #6
  8. twist
    Offline

    twist Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    I dont care about status. I like the look of the S3 over the A3 arches, interior (no hunting for a leather clade pre facelift), I like the fact that with a £400 remap it pushes out a healthy amount of power, compared to the 1.8T, I purchased the car because I liked it for what it is.

    Rubbish is a harsh word, it isnt setup for track use out the box because 90% of people arent interested in that

    So what that a lot of people dont go on track days, each to there own. Personally it doesnt interest me, I dont have the time nor the want to track my car. I spend most weekends doing DH mountain biking and racing when I can, that is my poison not track cars. But I dont moan about 90% of bikers not doing the DH side of things.
    #7
  9. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Did you miss the title of the post?

    Better prospect for a FAST car....

    The A3 1.8T with a K03s has better Bhp/Tonne and is 2.5K cheaper.

    Could get some seriously wide arches for £2500
    #8
  10. A3_Turbo
    Offline

    A3_Turbo Swaying towards IHI....

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Great post there Dave.

    Evidence of this is, RICHA3Turbo He has a mentally fast A3 with IHI conversion.
    #9
  11. twist
    Offline

    twist Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    I fully read the title, hence me answering and expanding on some things other have said in this thread

    Apologies for having a view I will go away with my status wagon
    #10
  12. silver75
    Offline

    silver75 Big Ron

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    3,265
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Good post Dave but IMO if you were looking at performance and handling etc you wouldnt buy an Audi at all
    #11
  13. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    LOL, you have a very good point.

    I was assuming working within the limitations of the VAG marque.


    I bought an Audi because I was incredibly familiar with the VAG engineering, so could do 99% of the work myself. the same couldnt be said of Subaru or Lotus etc.
    #12
  14. mk1chopper
    Offline

    mk1chopper Missing the S3

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,093
    Likes Received:
    10
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Errr i dont think so, unless you find someone whos ticked the electric recaro option on the order form and added the piano black trim from an S3.

    You point is a good one all the same the fact you can make an A3 fast for less cash than an S3
    #13
  15. Blunteh
    Offline

    Blunteh Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Wouldn't a Leon be even more reasonable ? (not critisising, it's a good post/thread Dave !)

    I have to admit, I'm a bit of a tart so I'd go for an S3 still... (especially as the haldex makes driving in bad weather so much nicer). I'd love to use it on a track but I'm **** scared of the costs if anything went wrong.... (OK walking directly into the jaws of your price comparison argument here.. I know... I know !! :) )
    #14
  16. ChriS3
    Offline

    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,234
    Likes Received:
    14
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Traction????


    In all honesty, an S3 with just a remap would still be a much better car than an A3 with all those mods.
    #15
  17. Dubplate
    Offline

    Dubplate Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    1
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    agreed :icon_thumright:
    #16
  18. A3_Turbo
    Offline

    A3_Turbo Swaying towards IHI....

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Also you've got to take into consideration the S3 has a totally different chassis.

    Jason
    #17
  19. simch
    Offline

    simch Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,028
    Likes Received:
    1
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    I have a very well sorted 130k miler road car mk4 golf with k03sport and making about 235hp.
    It was a little quicker than my stock 225 s3 on the raod, but would outhandle it hugely.
    but the s3 with some nice billies and big arbs is suprisingly nimble, it does not like to be thrown around like the golf, ie driving it very roughtly indeed, which the golf loves, but I would have to say I'd be suprised if there ws much between them on the track... the 6 speed helps keep the stock k04 spinning and you are not as between gears as you can be on the 5 speed, where on many tracks you hardly get into 4th gea, (mine will do over 100 in thrid).

    Definatley for fun factor, the FWD chassis with massive rear arb is the business, and I agree on the braking too, S3 stock brakes are rubbish!

    BUT, whilst the mk4 I have is a formiddable track tool, and a comfy everyday car too, it IS lacking on power... At mallory I can lap comfrotably in the 58s with two on borad, and drive around the outside of Rs4s (new and old) and some really exotic machinery.....but down the back straight, they will pull 130 near and the k03s is struggling to do 110mph......!

    Now a 2wd proper k04 powered golf with say a proper 270hp would surprise an awful lot of folks oout there, but they do need about 30hp and 40ft of torque more to properly mince up the big boys!

    Shame the LCR is such a big heavy beasty!
    #18
  20. silver75
    Offline

    silver75 Big Ron

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    3,265
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Fair enough but I was responding to this comment..

    I cant see why you would be suprised at that on an audi forum.. not knocking audis or audi drivers, but they are not drivers cars.
    #19
  21. nickelvery
    Offline

    nickelvery RS4 B5 380bhp

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    I didn't think that was the case. I thought they were the same.
    #20
  22. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Yeah, the Leon is mid range for price/costs of the A3 and S3, has the 225Bhp engine as standard, Brembos, Recaros (MUCH better than the S3 ones) so bringing that into the equation yeah I reckon the Leon would be even better, with the added advantage of the nice interior, superior brakes, and the S3 engine setup already in it, with the weight advantages of the A3 series.

    You wouldn't be able to get the badge snobs to buy a Seat though would you!
    #21
  23. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    The A3 had a Peloquin Limited Slip Diff included in the price.

    Have you driven a car with the peloquin? Fiat Coupes have them as standard, and I believe RichA3Turbo has one.

    VERY good, easily comparable to the standard Haldex system (but not as good)
    #22
  24. ChriS3
    Offline

    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,234
    Likes Received:
    14
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Tried one, but I think you're missing your own point. These are not proper performance cars, they're good all-rounders. If you want performance, buy a jap car. I'll still stand by my opinion that the S3 with a map is a better car in more situations than a heavily modded A3.

    And personally, and it is a personal thing, I prefer the S3 Recaros.


    Nope, different.
    #23
  25. jojo
    Offline

    jojo Looking for Boost! Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Messages:
    26,599
    Likes Received:
    1,961
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Dave, I can see where you are coming from in making a fast street/track car with a budget in mind, it's no doubt the A3 is more value over the S3 with those mods and figures you have carefully chosen. But bear in mind that it will all be offset come resale time, your S3 will still be worth a few, maybe 3 grand more than your A3. Also take into consideration that your are spending approx. £3.5k on your £5k A3 and approx. £3k on your 8.5K S3, I know which car I would personaly spend my £3k on, but hey, I have an S3, so maybe that just makes me a bit more biased. ;)

    Good thread though...
    #24
  26. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Yeah, its not applicable to everyone.

    Maybe just the people who have an A3 and are considering upgrading to an S3, and take their cars on the track.

    Limited thread appeal then..... :cool:
    #25
  27. jonS3
    Offline

    jonS3 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    719
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    you don't have to mod an S3, it's not a bad car out of the box 8.5k will get you a decent facelift model with FASH

    IMO i'd rather have a standard S3 than a fully modded A3 as there are many many differences between the 2, some you can see and some you cant.

    if you look at it the other way, look at what you get over the A3 for an extra 3k purchase price (probably more like 10k difference when new), ESP, Climate, 4 airbags, Recaro's, electric seats, bigger brakes, wider arches, different bumpers, front fogs, heated seats, twin exhaust, 210/225bhp engine, 4wd, etc. etc.

    has been said before also that residuals are alot better, and it will trun more heads

    not saying that the A3 isnt a good car, but I agree with Ess_three, if you want a fast car that handles well, but something like an EVO
    #26
  28. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Thats the problem again.

    Status.

    I'd happily drive a Skoda Octavia VRS modified and remapped it would DESTROY an S3 in performance stakes.

    But I bet 80% of the people on here wouldn't even consider a Skoda because it wouldn't fit in with their image.
    #27
  29. Dubplate
    Offline

    Dubplate Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    1
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    you can pick up a caterham for next to nothing and imo that would be the best track car option... or to answer your question i'd go with the S3 :icon_thumright:
    #28
  30. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    What do you call next to nothing?
    #29
  31. Dubplate
    Offline

    Dubplate Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    1
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Its possible to pick one up for about £8000..... I actually thought they would be cheaper than that but after doing a search they seem to be between £9000 - £12000+..... so maybe not an option... though they look like great fun... :icon_thumright:
    #30
  32. mk1chopper
    Offline

    mk1chopper Missing the S3

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,093
    Likes Received:
    10
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    even better build one yourself saving even more money and stick a hybusa engine in it, or 2
    #31
  33. silver75
    Offline

    silver75 Big Ron

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    3,265
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    :think:you have lost me now, whats your point? That people go for expensive brands because of status? SHOCK!! HORROR!!! :ohmy::faint::faint:
    #32
  34. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Just seems silly.

    The Skoda is a fantastic car for the money, yet people wont buy them due to status.

    My boss has a Carrera4 that he only ever goes to the shops in.

    Basically, if you buy a car because of status, then thats admitting to having low self confidence, low self esteem and you are worrying too much about what other people think.

    Mind, I bet some of you have minging girlfriends too, so same difference :)
    #33
  35. mk1chopper
    Offline

    mk1chopper Missing the S3

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,093
    Likes Received:
    10
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    The main reason i brought my S3 was because i wanted a car that had all mod cons, was reliable, quick (not stupid fast) and something i wouldnt want to modify. I looked at A3 1.8t, bmw E36 328i coupes, gen 6 toyota celica gt4's and corrado VR6's, before deciding to go with the S3. All of them had pro's and cons but the S3 was the best overall for what i wanted. (mind you i still fancy either a raddo or a GT4)

    Id been down the route of modings car with my mk1 golf gti, if i still had it now id still be wanting to do things to it now, you never seem to stop when it comes to modifing cars.
    #34
  36. S3IZZO
    Online

    S3IZZO Guest

    [Jun 27, 2007]
    Audi is an expensive brand? :think: - I certainly didn't buy the S3 for the badge at all, I bought it because of the relatively cheap insurance vs performance, also considered Mk4 Golf R32 which I would have modified also and a Porsche Cayman (That I wouldn't have been modified) - The Porsche would have been a status buy though :)

    Who cares anyway - all this talk of status is detracting from the main point I thought you were making about 1.8T vs S3 (They are both Audi so where does the status come into it?)
    #35
  37. mk1chopper
    Offline

    mk1chopper Missing the S3

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,093
    Likes Received:
    10
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    i thought the point was you could buy a A3 1.8t and have near S3 performance (maybe better) for less than what it would cost to buy an S3 in the first place.
    #36
  38. silver75
    Offline

    silver75 Big Ron

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    3,265
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    yes of course it is.. what is it then? a budget brand?? Your car probably cost 25-30 grand brand new.

    (I think) he is trying to say you guys only bought the S3 over the 1.8t because of status
    #37
  39. Dave_Bayern
    Offline

    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    4
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    No, I'm trying to say, that if you have a 1.8T, or NEED an Audi and want it to be fast, you don't necesarily need to buy an S3, the A3 can be made great for a lot less money.
    #38
  40. nickelvery
    Offline

    nickelvery RS4 B5 380bhp

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    It won't be better performance, a S3 remapped gets from 250 to 275 BHP where as an A3 gets just over 200 BHP.
    #39
  41. nickelvery
    Offline

    nickelvery RS4 B5 380bhp

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jun 27, 2007]
    I agree, rock on fight your corner!!! See you Sunday Dave.
    #40

Share This Page