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Feedback from those with S3s now

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by Itguy, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Cumbrian_bob
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    Cumbrian_bob Member

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    [Dec 23, 2013]
    Having had my S3 for a few days now i have begun to enjoy it more and more.

    The interior quality is really good and hasnt failed to impress anybody I have shown it off to. People have always noticed its a step up from the normal small hatch. I guess this goes across the A3 range, but the leather seats with stiching and some of the other extra features really show the car off.

    The accelaration when I have had a chance to put my foot down takes people by surprise as how quick it is. And its quick with confidence from a drivers perspective, the party piece of the parp from the exhaust really makes both myself and other smile and is a bit childish fun, this might wear off over time, and I think I might set individual to have the sporty settings other than the exhaust noise.

    I havnt had a chance to have a drive on a twisty road, but it seems to be well placed, even if the steering is a little numb.

    With the other options, I think I like the auto more for normal driving, but the efficient mode is actually a real pleasure once you get used to it. The car coasts so effortlessly and is acutally fun in itself to see how many free miles you can get.

    The more I drive it the more I think it is the perfect package of usefullness and sporty capability in a top quality decently priced car.
    ChrisCY, SparkyMcA, Marky142 and 5 others like this.
  2. royalsteve68
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    royalsteve68 Active Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    But that's the thing these stupid journo's don't have to buy them so they don't car about costs.

    The focus st is another car they rave about but check on drive the deal and laugh at the discounts - an st2 is £25K but can be bought for £17-18K - can you image what the resale value will be in 2 years!!
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  3. royalsteve68
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    royalsteve68 Active Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    I wouldn't worry, he is used to driving a 911 gt3
  4. royalsteve68
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    royalsteve68 Active Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    I though lsd was something you inhaled/injected
  5. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Audi have gone to pot ! ;-)
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  6. Marky142
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    Marky142 Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    I would fully agree. I was a little luke warm when I first got it, but every day that goes by it's getting better and better. It's loosening up nicely and for me coming from an 8V 150 TDI s-line I have had to change my driving input / style a little to suit the S3. This could also be a diesel to petrol change / adjustment.

    Auto is probably to me the best all round day to day option, comfort is way too light, it will have you turning around like a London cab in a one way street. Dynamic is ok, but the best way to go quickly (other than if you have a manual - pilot -:) ) is to use the paddles so you have more control of the gears. I am happy with my estoril, when it's clean it's great and attracts attention of those that know and not the general public of racers. When it's dirty, well it's like most cars when they are dirty, pretty bland and needing a wash. The steering feedback is not fantastic but we all know that.

    All in all, a very good package, understated looks, can go when you want it to, and can potter around quite the thing as well. The quality is exceptional throughout. Just need that light in the centre armrest

    Merry Christmas all, stay safe.
  7. Ecosphere
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    Ecosphere Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Thank you Bob and Mark for above reviews. Great to hear that you are both loving the "practical" performance car that I and others await in 2014. Both Estoril too, great in the right light, bland and anonymous when you want it to be ..... Exactly what an S3 for the real world should be. Roll on March.

    Ditto S3asons greetings to all.
    Marky142, J6YAK, Lmg and 1 other person like this.
  8. Joetidman
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    Joetidman Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    GRE57Y likes this.
  9. GRE57Y
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    GRE57Y Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
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  10. Joetidman
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    Joetidman Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
  11. Johnnyb
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    Johnnyb Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    See the S3 tuning thread!

    I have bought the same alloys as the ABT car in that pic!

    you are looking at around £1900 for th stage 1 ABT tune
  12. PilotAudi
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    PilotAudi New Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Those wheels are growing on me Johnny! If they were Waitrose rather than Asda I could be tempted ;-) Happy Christmas folks
  13. Johnnyb
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    Johnnyb Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Honestly Pilot, if you want to swallow your pride and purchase a set for yourself i won't hold it against ya....or take the p**s out of you any more...

    I think they'd look immense on your Phantom...

    Just sayin'
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  14. Joetidman
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    Joetidman Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Ah I've added two and two together now. Do you think you'll get the power upgrade?
  15. Johnnyb
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    Johnnyb Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    I will definitely be getting "a" power upgrade, just going to wait first and see what other tuning companies like APR, REVO etc come up with, hopefully they will have their product to market at some point next year..then i will decide which.

    Being used to 300bhp cars i really feel the upgrade will bring the car alive, i suspect alot of S3 owners here will end up plumping for one...
  16. the_lecht_rocks
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    the_lecht_rocks Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    my main concern is the chassis's inability to harness the 300hp without the correct differentials.

    i'll also go to stage 1 after i have the chassis sorted. i find it inexcuseab;le that Audi haven't addressed the fundamental issue in the first place ! ? !
    Marky142 likes this.
  17. CraigI
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    CraigI Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    It's because they'll sell anyway that they don't need to get it bang on.
    As a fast, safe, family hatchback it's a great prospect. Just that final 10% that you want to get out of it and it drops behind the competition. The other 90% of the time it's probably top of its sector.

    It's my daily slog and will mostly do that well, so I'll likely live with the flaws and will keep this car for 4 years (had it been my only car that would have been unlikely), but will likely think twice before replacing it with another Audi S model.
    Perhaps should have waited for the RS, but had a requirement for a 5 door in early 2014, so didn't.

    We all have different requirements, experiences and standards when it comes to cars.
    So far my experience of two Audi S models (3 and 5) has left a little to be desired when you want to treat them like the S models that they are.

    Before anyone gets bent out of shape, this is my opinion only, some of you might disagree, but I'm just telling it like I see it.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
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  18. Johnnyb
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    Johnnyb Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    To be honest, if you know the history of the S3 you will know that it has a reputation to understeer, so the fact that it still hasn't been fully rectified is kind of par for the course with Audi, and also no surprise to me, i knew it would have this problem before i bought it...

    The trade off for me though is everything else that is exceptional about the car, so i will take the understeer for the amazing gearbox, cabin quality, understated looks, AWD, exhaust note, 300bhp standard with the capability of 370bhp from a stage 1 tune..

    Lecht - i think the way you are wanting the S3 to drive to your driving style is everything your GT3 is gonna give you, in essence your S3 is a quick utility car...i'd be happy with that?
    J6YAK, geefunk1978 and PilotAudi like this.
  19. the_lecht_rocks
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    the_lecht_rocks Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Nope, not happy with it to the point where I'm reconsidering the purchase, but there's nothing else out there that has rails and will hit 100kmh in less than 5 seconds and fit in my garage in the Alps.
  20. geefunk1978
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    geefunk1978 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Right, it's about time I put some thoughts down on here!
    Had the S3 for 4 weeks now, it's only done 550 miles but I've driven it 'properly' from day 1. I ordered it not long after the order books opened, so no one really had any experience or advice to give so I'm hoping this will help others now! I could only go off journo impressions, but they don't ever talk about what are good options so I had to make my own mind up!
    From the first moment I saw it in the metal I knew I'd chosen the right colour for me, the lines and creases on the car really stand out in glacier white, it's a fantastic shape and looks very purposeful with the black styling pack. I'm still not mad keen on the 10 spoke titanium wheels, I think they look ok, but I definitely wish I'd stuck with the standard S3 wheels and saved myself £395. So the outside is really good, it get's serious looks when you're just driving about, a bit understated but when people see the 4 pipes hanging out the back they know it's something a bit serious (or hear the bangs, but I'll come to that later). I had a guy in a V10 R8 give me the nod about 4 days in to ownership, I don't think he could believe how hard he had to try to keep up off a set of lights!
    The interior is top notch, we all know that already but I can't stress how much it is a nice place to be. The super sports seats are very comfortable, I had the recaro buckets in my last S3 and although they were great seats, they were a bit too hard for daily use I thought. The B&O upgrade is epic, I've been in some seriously expensive cars and this sound system is up there with the best of them. If you like music I would highly recommend this option. Talking of options I wish I'd gone for the advanced key, maybe because I'm lazy but I had it on a Megane a few years ago and it's so easy just to keep the key in your pocket and get in and go.
    Right now onto performance. Many of you will know I had it on a dyno after 2 weeks. It only had 300ish miles on but that doesn't make much difference to dyno readings. I was quite surprised it only made 280bhp but 396Nm torque. So up on standard torque, but down on bhp. The car definitely felt as quick if not quicker than my stage 1 8P S3 (310bhp dyno certified). It doesn't pin you in your seat particularly but it is effortlessly quick. A quick look at the speedo off the mark and you won't believe the speed you're doing in no time whatsoever.
    It's now running 325bhp and 460Nm torque but this is only a development at the mo. To say its rapid is an understatement. The S Tronic gearbox is very good, again I must be getting lazy in my old age! As an engineer I embrace technology, I know there's always going to be an argument between manual and auto but having had manuals for years I am happy with the 2 sided nature of the S Tronic. Cruising about in auto around town, but a press of a button and you've got full control. I cannot describe the bangs on upshifts. They actually make people jump if you're in an area where it echoes. That alone was worth the money!!
    Of all the modes I mainly use efficiency for commuting then dynamic when I'm giving it the beans. Yes the steering feel could be better, but it doesn't detract from the driving experience. Around a back road I know locally, it is one of the best cars I have driven, it is effortlessly rapid and handles really well. I know people have been moaning about understeer, but I haven't found that so far. I've had plenty of 4 wheel drive cars so know how to drive them. I have been driving it pretty hard, I've had it 4 wheel drifting a couple of times around roundabouts. The only thing I would and probably will upgrade handling wise is tyres (never liked Conti's, Michelin Pilots are 10x better) and the brakes (I am part owner of a company that does brake upgrades).
    So to summarise, it's a very quick, capable, stealthy hot hatch with premium build quality. For the price I can't think of a better all round car.
    Hope I've not bored you all 😉
    ChrisCY, RYuill, Joetidman and 15 others like this.
  21. Itguy
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    Itguy Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Sounds superb - you're just making my wait even harder!!

    I've never owned a 4wd car before (only a 4wd Ranger) so if there is any chance of doing a bit of a thread on 'how to drive a fast 4wd fast safely' - that would be great!
  22. geefunk1978
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    geefunk1978 Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Just realised how sad it is I wrote that Christmas Eve! Dedication to the forum! Plus got a 19 week old baby so have lots of spare time at night when she's gone to bed lol
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  23. Pieterw
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    Pieterw Member

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    [Dec 24, 2013]
    Thank you so much for this, lovely to read a great write up on an excellent car. :beerchug:
  24. scherzkeks
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    scherzkeks Member

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    [Dec 25, 2013]
    I'm always amazed how in these threads, there never seems to be a discussion on the driver's role in a chassis behavior. The S3 does not understeer when driven with sympathy for the chassis handling balance and the fact that it is AWD. In 99 percent of the scenarios where a driver experiences an understeer event in a car of this caliber, it is driver induced. Overly rapid corner entry (and sometimes, exit, with too much steering lock) is usually the culprit, but because most of the random comments about "understeer" in this thread never specify when during the corner the understeer event took place, it offers the more critical thinkers among us no opportunity to debate why the particular car may have done what it did.

    There is a lot of nonsense in this thread, and not enough appreciation for the abilities of these cars, which will see off the majority of vehicles one encounters on the road, and will do so with a boot full of groceries. Finally, for most drivers, a chassis set up for mild understeer in the event that the driver pushes too hard (read: makes a mistake) is far safer and less fatigue-inducing than one prone to sudden oversteer. Our goal as drivers is to learn how to drive the chassis cleanly and effectively, but unfortunately the" face-tweet generation"-type posts that seem to rule on these forums detract from the discussion we should be having as drivers -- namely, how to drive rapidly and efficiently in a car that is far more capable than most of us may ever be. Instead, many seem to be searcing for a problem in need of an answer.
    Verse1, Silky-S3, SiBax and 5 others like this.
  25. Daveotto
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    Daveotto Well-Known Member

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    [Dec 25, 2013]
    Makes a lot of sense , and very brave for a new poster, welcome to the forum.... I suggest starting a driving tips thread for A3 and S3's where you can maybe shar your experience and advice
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  26. Pieterw
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    Pieterw Member

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    [Dec 25, 2013]
    Agree :icon_thumright:
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  27. scherzkeks
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    scherzkeks Member

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    [Jan 4, 2014]
    Thank you for the kind words. Advice for driving AWD vehicles? Slow-in, fast out, with the caveat that one needs to watch out on corner exit and not get too impatient with the throttle. AWD vehicles will understeer on corner exit with impatient or inexperienced drivers. Drive clean lines, take mid to late apexes (usually), and roll on the throttle on exit -- don't use the throttle like an on/off switch, especially with steering lock dialed in. Properly done, corner exits are exhilarating, and this is where the key benefits of AWD come into play.
    PilotAudi, Johnnyb, Aran383 and 2 others like this.
  28. CraigI
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    CraigI Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 4, 2014]
    For me, in a proper drivers AWD car, the bias should be to the rear with the front getting more when it loses grip.
    Unfortunately, and this is what causes the flaw in the S3 from IMO the purest driving set up, the AWD system in the S3 is far too front biased, which will inevitably cause understeer/poor turn in.

    Do you have the new S3 and, if so, what difference do you think a front differential might make to the way it corners?
    You seem to know your stuff, be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Like I said, not a huge issue, but the car could be much better balanced than it is, which would improve the way it drives - I struggle to disagree with the review in Evo.

    Anyway, nice day here today, so away out for some fun RWD driving.
  29. scherzkeks
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    scherzkeks Member

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    [Jan 4, 2014]
    I don't think a revised differential is needed. What is the ultimate goal? Few people seem to understand how the newer Konzern Haldex systems work, and I would not say they are "heavily" front biased. In fact they approach RWD chassis in terms of feel in certain scenarios. With Haldex 4 (facelift S3 8P cars) and 5 (8V; 5 is simplified and lighter), the system can and does often pre-lock the clutch pack to deliver 50/50ish torque distribution before any slip on either axle occurs. Should/once slip occur(s) on the front, the system can be rear biased, hence Audi's literature stating that up to 100 percent of torque can be shifted to the rear. Also, something to consider is that there is slip built into the driveline. On my old 8P sportback, the rear tires wore faster than the fronts by about 2mm consistently.

    Like all Audis and other AWD cars, to be fast, you need to a adopt slow-in, fast-out driving method to avoid overworking the front tires. This means being particularly mindful of weight transfer and steering lock on corner exit. The mild understeer that occurs at the tractive limits is far easier to deal with than an oversteer characteristic, particularly for extended driving scenarios where concentration can lapse and the fatigue of driving a more nervous, rear-biased car at the limit sets in.
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  30. CraigI
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    CraigI Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 4, 2014]
    You know your facts about the systems in question. Do you have the new S3?

    I thought the bias of the AWD system used by Audi on the A3 range was heavily towards the front wheels.
    It certainly feels like it is and feels like it would benefit from a differential similar to the one a Renaultsport Megane has.
    What is the split front to rear?
    Apologies if I am mistaken though......

    Do you know if Audi tweaked the Quattro system to handle the extra power of the S3 compared to lesser powered A3 Quattro's?
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  31. ConS3
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    ConS3 Active Member

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    My two cents on this whole thread, in particular with respect to the steering/understeer/handling comments....sure, it's an S3. But, as others have mentioned, it's not a track made car. It's made for the roads, and your typical driver who wants something a bit more special.

    The minute you start going down the mechanical LSD and suspension road, you will most likely have to make trades on the suppleness of the suspension. You want better handling and steering feeling? Sure. The suspension will need to be firmer. Right there you've probably lost a very large percentage of the people who would want to buy this car, and instead, catered for the 3% of people who care. Most aren't buying an S3 to track it. They're buying it as an every day driver that can still haul arse when needed.

    If I was the head of Audi, who has a vested interest in its shareholders, I'd be aiming this car for the other 97%. The ones who probably don't even know what an LSD is, other than a hallucinogenic.

    It's not that Audi hasn't invested time and money into the suspension and handling of this car. I'm sure they have spent millions. It's more that the majority of the people who will buy this car couldn't care less. Why did Renault decide to go with an auto transmission on the new Clio RS? Exact same reason. Wider audience to sell to.

    My two cents.
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  32. kenny_boon
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    kenny_boon Active Member

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    To be honest there haven't been many recent Audis that are not set up to under steer. As said previously I believe Audi attempt to leave the handling focused cars to the RS range. Rightly or wrongly they have their own marketing agenda
  33. RobH_S3
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    RobH_S3 Active Member

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    Oh please lets not start down the road of Audis marketing agenda and target audience... yaaaaaaawwwwwwnnnnnn!

    I still think this "safety" understeer is easily fixed. Yes you can drive around it, but it is there, no where near as bad as some are making out mind.
  34. the_lecht_rocks
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    the_lecht_rocks Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    get ours when we get back on 1st march. hopefully the greasy conditions will be on the decline and the issues not so apparent.

    how are the new owners finding the comfort of the S3 ? is it overly crashy or is it quite well damped ?

    and what happened to Paullowther ????
  35. scherzkeks
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    scherzkeks Member

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    Again, I don't understand how "heavy" front bias applies to Haldex 4 and 5. You could make more of a case for Haldex 2, as that system relied largely on axle slip (some built into the driveline) that was either driver and/or environmentally induced to shunt more power to the rear. The newer systems (4 and 5, as described in the last post) don't. The computer can lock the clutch pack at any time, which creates a 50/50 distribution when fully locked. Slip on the front axle with a locked clutch pack would send the car into a rear-biased state, which often happens on heavy acceleration and in certain cornering scenarios.

    As with any AWD car, you must be careful not to overwork the front tires. The S and RS models do indeed use different Haldex calibration according to Audi; this is actually mentioned in the brochure I have for my old 8P sportback. I have driven the 8V but do not own one.
  36. Silky-S3
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    Silky-S3 Is loving his new 8V S3!

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    Quick Headline pros and cons after 2000 miles:

    Pros
    1. The car is much more tail happy than my old S3, not sure if this is due to different Haldex settings or the new chassis. 4 wheel drifts are possible when ESP is totally turned off!
    2. The exhaust note! Awesome, especially with the Stroinc. Not sure about the false engine sound coming through the centre speaker when in dynamic mode though, sounds a but cheap to me, but everyone else likes it thats been in the car.
    3. The finish in the cabin, a massive step up from the 8P S3. Loving Mono.Pur.
    4. Stronic is much more aggressive and faster to change than the 8P.
    5. ACC and all the other tech, loving the advance key, LED headlights, google mapping sat nav, folding mirrors on lock, Connect services etc
    6. Super Sports seats, so comfortable while holding you firm.


    Cons:
    1. The performance is a little flat. But I was expecting this coming from a Stage 2+ 360bhp 8P S3. Remap is needed, saying that the turbo lag and torque is much improved from the 8P.
    2. Rear view mirror is way to small (even with the auto dimming one)
    3. The position of the all weather light (LED lights)/fog light switch is hidden by the steering wheel. The old pull type switch on the 8P was better.
    4. Lack of storage space, no holes to store stuff and the door pockets are rubbish!
    5. Some c*nt opening the door into mine when it was 2 weeks old, causing a dint and taking the paint off Going in to bodyshop next week to fix.
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  37. scherzkeks
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    scherzkeks Member

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    The RS cars also understeer at their tractive limits. There is no deception at work here. Both over and understeer at the tractive limits are a car's way of telling you that you have exceeded the limits. And you lose time with both. The goal as a driver (when not just out to have fun) should be to drive cleanly and rapidly. Whether you prefer an under or oversteer characteristic when you break traction is more a matter of taste than anything, and with AWD, the only way to get the massive traction benefits that allow one to power out of corners faster than any 2WD car is to keep the car neutral on exit, which is entirely up to the driver.
    Lmg, J6YAK and Silky-S3 like this.
  38. the_lecht_rocks
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    the_lecht_rocks Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    Scherz, do you appreciate the impact of a mechanical differential over and above the electronic closed system OEM on the 8V ?
  39. GNJ_Motorsport
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    GNJ_Motorsport Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    [Jan 5, 2014]
    Good review mate, seems not much to grumble about!

    I'm going to leave mine stock for a few weeks to get a feel for what areas need improving first. First mods though will be springs, spacers and DTUK / Shark tuning box :)
    Silky-S3 likes this.
  40. geefunk1978
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    geefunk1978 Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 6, 2014]
    Are you at the a Autosport show this year mate?

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