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Pics of the new S3! Work has already started...

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by -Keith-, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. -Keith-
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    -Keith- Audi Newb - BMW Vet

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    Well, we've had the car a week now after picking it up from Inverness and driving it 600miles south back home to Taplow (Berkshire). Lovely journey to get aquainted with the new ride and our first venture into Audi. I am impressed too. I'm historically a BMW man through and through - I've owned 7 now including various M3s and a Z3 M Coupe. My wife's last few cars have been a Cooper S, 125i coupe and a 130i hatch. Our only experience with VAG cars is the 2 x Golfs we've used as workhorses/dog transportation vehicles! So the Audi is something kind of new to us.

    Before I go on any more, here it is :)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    It's my wife's car, and it had to be something hot/quick as she's a bit of a girl racer. Also had to be relativekly cheap (under £13k) as we've just bought our first place. She's only ever driven new cars (new or under 2 years/still in warranty) so for her to buy a 6 year old car with 60k on the clock is unchartered territory for her, and probably a bit outside her comfort zone to be honest. But I've owned lots of older performance cars (my current M3 just turned 10!) and like to do a lot of the work that's required to keep them in top condition, so I'm well used to maintenance and looking after slightly 'older' models.

    The search was originally for a Edition 30 Golf, but I extended the search to S3s, and I'm glad I did. The extra power, better spec and Quattro made it a no-brainer really, as the Edition 30's still command a big premium and push them into S3 money.

    Orginally the quest was for a low miler (sub 40k) but the one we ended up with ticked the boxes in every other respect and we picked it up for a song as it needed some maintenance doing.

    So the spec:
    - Phantom Black with black leather
    - Heated leather
    - Bose sound
    - Flat bottom steering wheel (a dealbreaker - it had to have this)
    - Genuine Audi black optic front grill
    - Ipod connection
    - Manual
    - 60k miles
    - Full Audi Main Dealer History


    I must say I'm very impressed. My M3 is a much shaper tool in terms of chassis dynamics and outright power, but the S3 is a superb little thing and arguably better for real-road driving. The turbo allows effortless overtaking, riding the wave of torque without even switching cogs if you're feeling lazy. The car is supremely comfy - the 600miles drive was no bother, and the suspension soaks up our less-than-perfect roads with ease, offering a smooth ride but firm enough to tackle the backroad twisties with confidence. The Quattro is brilliant too - impressive stuff. The car has made quite an impression on me, I think it's great!


    So as mentioned, we got it for a steal as it needed cambelt and waterpump doing immediately, and had an advisory for needing brake pads. It's also wearing Kumho rubber which I aim to change very soon.

    First thing we did when getting it home was give it to Audi for the cambelt and waterpump. I wanted it done at Audi to maintain the FASH - I know the jury is out on whether main dealer history is a good thing or not, but for a car of this age I felt it worthwhile maintaining this.

    Next day I DIY fitted OE spec Zimmerman discs and Brembo pads. Upon doing so I was annoyed to find the MOT the previous owner had put on the car just before we bought it must have been a 'dodgy' one, as the pads were in no way an 'advisory' - they should have been a clear fail. They were down to the metal with less than 1mm left. The fact we drove 600miles home on them did not impress me at all :mad:. All sorted now though.


    [​IMG]


    I then fitted genuine facelift rear lights, which smarten the rear up no end:

    Before:

    [​IMG]


    After:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Only problem with this mod is they must have switched the fog and reverse lights around on the facelift, as the reverse light is now red and the fog white! I will sort this promptly with a bit of re-wiring.

    I then fitted brand new genuine Audi mats - £85 quid for the set - to freshen the interior.

    I also changed the rear wiper arm with a genuine Audi part as the old one was flapping around (broken spring lug > missing spring).

    Finally, I have picked up a second set of genuine Audi 18" Sportline rims. The current wheels are not bad, but could do with freshing up and I want to change the rubber anyway. So plan is to purchase a set of decent rubber - maybe some GY F1 Assymetrics or some Vred Ultrac Sessantas (which I run on the M3) and then hand the lot to my wheel refurber. When I get them back I will sell on the current wheels with there Kuhmo rubber (all tyres are +7mm tread) as a winter / spare set to someone else.

    So there it is! Sorry for no interior pics (forgot) but the car is in really nice condition inside and out now. After the wheel refurb all it'll want for is a good machine polish and a replacement brushed aluminium gear surround if I'm being picky as it has a couple small marks on it.


    Finally a picture of it's driveway partner - my tatty old M3 ;)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Richard Peters
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    Richard Peters Member

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    Lovely car Keith (including the BMW)! I've always wanted an S3 but my commute and mileage dictated a diesel. Can't help but have a pang of envy whenever I catch a glimpse of the S3 badge on other cars :D
    #2
  3. -Keith-
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    -Keith- Audi Newb - BMW Vet

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    Thank you Richard. You could always do what I do - have a boring old Golf for the daily grind and an M3 (in my case) for the weekends and roadtrips!
    #3
  4. mattfinn
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    mattfinn Smoking is good for you

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    Liking it!! I'm, waiting for my S3 to arrive sometime this week. Chopping my B8 A4 in for a 3-door black ed. Speedlines are my faves, got some 19"s on the B8, really want some 18" for the impending S3 :s3addict:
    #4
  5. dan77
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    dan77 dan77

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    Tatty old M3 ?! That second pic looks stunning!!! S3 is lovely aswell,
    #5
  6. -Keith-
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    -Keith- Audi Newb - BMW Vet

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    Haha, it was tongue in cheek... But it is old now. Still looks good I think.

    S3 is a great looking car too - much more so than the Edition 30 Golfs we were considering prior.
    #6
  7. autolatry
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    autolatry Member

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    I love M3's. Yours looks great Keith.
    Different league to my car even though they have same size engines.
    #7
  8. XFi
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    XFi Member

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    Love the M3 also, I was going to get one but the running costs I wasn't comfortable with! Looks very clean with a good wide stance.
    #8
  9. immo
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    immo Stop me

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    Old? ¬_¬ It's an E46... timeless

    As for the lights, think you picked up some left hand drives?
    #9
  10. MartayMcFly
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    MartayMcFly Well-Known Member Regional Rep

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    MY11 rears was the first thing I did to my S3, makes such a difference to the looks.
    #10
  11. -Keith-
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    -Keith- Audi Newb - BMW Vet

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    Thanks for you input and comments guys.

    Thanks mate. It is a wild car, screaming it's head of at 8k rpm the sound and punch is pretty intoxicating. The main difference with naturallay aspirated ///M engines is they make all their power ath the very top of the rev range 8,000rpm) so it pulls harder and harder as the revs climb, egging you on to change up only at the redline. When driving like that and pressing on hard it makes you feel alive!

    Running costs are brutal - it's why I have a daily car, aside from the fact I want to keep it for weekend fun. Big service is £800 at a good specialist, front wishbones are £500 a pair, rear tyres are £200 a pop... Worth it though.

    Thanks - didn't think they'd be so much love for the M3 here!

    They could be left hand units I suppose? Although I assumed Audi just swapped sides for the facelift to deter people from updating the units. They came with the car (unfitted in boxes) as part of the deal. Because of this, I can't change them. Looking on eBay CLICKY it seems they are all that way round (fog on N/S unit, reverse on O/S) and at £270 a pair I think I'll just do a tidy rewire to swap the sides over - I am an electrical engineer after all! They's no law that states the reverse light must be on the nearside is there?!

    Agreed - the difference makes a big impact. Lovely design.

    Thanks for the input. Like I said above, as long as I wire it correctly, is there a law/MOT stipulation against which side the fog and reverse lights must be on? Certainly hope not anyway, although I'm friendly with my MOT tester so shouldnt be a major problem.
    #11
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  12. JamesS4cab
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    JamesS4cab Well-Known Member

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    Car looks awesome! Nice buy.

    Taplow eh........ We should meet up and I am more than happy to help your spend your hard earned. (I am less than 5 miles away so PM me!)
    #12
  13. -Keith-
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    -Keith- Audi Newb - BMW Vet

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    Hi James! 5 short miles... Guessing maybe Marlow, Bourne End or White Waltham way? :)

    A meet sometime would be good mate - not so sure about helping me burn money, I'm good enough at that already LOL.

    Do you have an S4cab or an S3 as per your picture?
    #13
  14. JamesS4cab
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    JamesS4cab Well-Known Member

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    You are correct on the location. ;o)

    I have an S3 with some modifications. But i'm sure a little drive in mine compared to your stock will only help bring fwd the urgency for expenditure........
    #14
  15. -Keith-
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    -Keith- Audi Newb - BMW Vet

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    Oh dear in that case I'd better avoid you ;o)

    Some nice pubs near us, maybe we'll sort a little meet up over a shandy.

    Do you have a build thread I can peruse?
    #15
  16. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    You'll find plenty of us ready to help you with your bank account here!
    #16
  17. RedDejavu
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    RedDejavu Well-Known Member

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    Im Berkshire too if you dont mind me to come and meet you two:]
    #17
  18. JamesS4cab
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    JamesS4cab Well-Known Member

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    You both have PM!
    #18
  19. geefunk1978
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    geefunk1978 Well-Known Member

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    -Keith-
    I had an E46 M3 (55 plate) and an 08 S3 (remapped to 315ish BHP) at the same time which my wife drove. I must admit I agree with the M3 is a machine and the noise at 8000rpm is awesome. But, in every other way the S3 is a lot better car. Build quality, effortless power and torque, quattro handling, reliability. I always wanted an M3, but once I had it I was quite disappointed with it. It constantly broke down and rattled like a 20yr old Ford. If you'd paid £50k for it I think you'd be gutted. I also think the S3 is as quick, if not quicker as you just cannot drive an M3 around on the redline constantly as there's no power before 6000rpm.
    Have you had many problems with your M3?
    #19
  20. phil76
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    phil76 Member

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    Lovely cars mate ,the S3 looks stunning because it's like mine which i fell for
    mine hasnt got nav ( i dont care i have a good phone)
    sunroof i would have liked,but does have all the rest like yours plus i have the heated buckets,the rear light mod i need to do as does make so much difference but then again so would the clutch which is still slipping its bag off when i give it some beans from 5/6 month ago,mine also needs the wheels doing and i wouldnt mind getting a rear bumper with out the parking sensor holes in as they through the shape of the bumper out on mine with it been black and not impressed with them anyway to be honest .

    as for the lights i think yours will be left hand drive as said as many a folk has done this mod with no issues.

    here's the link to mine when i first got in september from memory :http://www.lancerregister.com/showthread.php?p=4614398#post4614398
    #20
  21. -Keith-
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    -Keith- Audi Newb - BMW Vet

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    Hi Mate,

    Maybe I've been lucky with past and present ///M cars! Nothing except simple maintainance - although I did find cracks in my M3 subframe as it turned 9 years old - although that was repaired free of charge by BMW (£4k repair) as it is a known weakspot and they honour repairs up to 10 years old. Can't say fairer than that.

    I have to disagree on the S3 being a 'lot better car' though too. That depend entirely on what you demand from a car. Build quality between the two is similar IMO - not sure what you could knock about it? The S3 is great for fast wafting about, but definitely feels blunt compared to the M3. You really have to work to drive and M3 fast - it's not for lazy drivers. The box has to be worked and the revs kept high - if you can manage that the feeling you get is very exciting. That 'feeling' is what it's all about for me. I'm not interested in A-B pace, more how a car makes me feel. The sound, the steering feedback, the throttle response.

    The S54 won 'engine of the year' awards for years running (you cannot deny it's exciting), and Chris Harris reckon's it's one of the best cars of all time... Presumably because of how it makes you feel as there are faster cars out there.

    Now, all this is subjective and I don't want to get into an M3 vs S3 type debate as they are very, VERY different... And both very good cars, but for different roles! :icon_thumright:

    Cheers Phil, will have a good look mate :)
    #21
  22. geefunk1978
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    geefunk1978 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I was just unlucky with the one I bought, it must've been a Friday afternoon built car! I do agree with the engine being epic and I miss the straight 6 howl, but that's about all I miss really. I just found the build quality was terrible for a car of that price. The dash and doors rattled, the windows didn't seal properly and like I said it constantly broke down. It kept eating throttle sensors weirdly and I just couldn't drive it like I can the S3! I've had absolutely no problems with the S3 and feel it's still like new even with 50k on it!
    But agree with what you're saying it's totally down to the individual. I just prefer A-B pace and in all honesty there's not many things that would keep up with an S3!
    #22
  23. -Keith-
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    -Keith- Audi Newb - BMW Vet

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    Fair play - completely understand where you're coming from. Shame you had so many problems with the M3. For the most part they are pretty solid, even at higher mileages. There are always a few cars of any type that just seem to be problematic :(

    I'm very glad to hear your S3 has been rock solid, even at 50k miles. Ours is at 60k now, and in truth, I do have nagging worries about future turbo failures and fuel pump/cam followers giving up on me! But I guess that's just because this is my first ever turbo car and I'm sure after a bit of time I'll feel more comfortable in it.

    The S3 package as a 'daily' really is a winner so far though. It's very comfy and compliant, even on our terrible roads, and the power is so easily available it's just great for easy-going fast-cruising. Wonderful thing :)
    #23
  24. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    I have to agree with what you've both said about S3 build and reliability.

    Mine's at around 56K miles now,and hasn't caused any problems at all,and given what's been done to it,that's quite a testament to the way Audi build them.
    #24
  25. -Keith-
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    -Keith- Audi Newb - BMW Vet

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    Very glad to hear that Alex. Good stuff.
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  26. geefunk1978
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    geefunk1978 Well-Known Member

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    I know a few people that have had e46 M3's and had no problems so just have to chalk it up to experience!

    I did actually consider buying an M3 V8, but I've been that impressed with the S3 I've just ordered a brand new one!
    #26
  27. -Keith-
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    -Keith- Audi Newb - BMW Vet

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    I'll admit I am a huge BMW fanboy, but the E92 M3 coupe one doesn't appeal. Can't really say why. It doesn't have the same muscularity, presence or character of the E46, and almost looks a bit... feminine (?) in it's styling. It just doesn't float my boat. Saying that if I did get the itch to try V8 ///M power I'd have to get the saloon version, which I think are much cooler, just because they are much rarer.

    The new S3 looks superb! Nice choice. :o.k:
    #27
  28. hp88
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    hp88 New Member

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    Welcome, are you the same Keith from e46zone?
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  29. -Keith-
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    -Keith- Audi Newb - BMW Vet

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    Hi mate,

    Yes, I used to post on e46zone (my M3 is in their 2013 calendar) until quite recently, when work banned their URL! Since then I haven't logged on as I do most of my posting from work.

    Do you have the same username over there? I think I recognise the 88.

    Thank you for the welcome!
    #29
  30. danb986
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    danb986 In awe of VCDS

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    Sadly there is. The fog light has to be positioned from the centre to anywhere to the right of this. It's so that people can see where the right hand side of the car is in bad visibility in case they try to overtake you. If the fog was on the left and the conditions were seriously bad (pretty unlikely) then in their eyes someone could hit the offside of the car as they tried to pass it as they wouldn't be able to see it.
    I know it's highly unlikely that you'll ever be driving in conditions that bad, but that's why the law exists apparently.

    As for the reverse light, that can be anywhere.
    #30
  31. jb0o
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    jb0o North East Forum Moderator Regional Rep Site Sponsor

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    Certainly looks like you got the S3 for a great price and from what the photo's show, it seems in good nick to (aside from the brake pads!). M3 looks gorgeous too!
    #31
  32. Toxic7862
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    Toxic7862 New Member

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    Nice cars fella but concur your rear lights are left hookers, I work for an importer/distributor and we often have issues with LHD lamps being sent as RHD and often they get sold off to online retailers to sell on when they should be returned or scrapped.
    #32

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