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S3 or MK4 R32???

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Ralph, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Ralph
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    Ralph New Member

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    Evening all,

    As you can see i am new here but been browsing for a while along with PH forum and ED38 researching varying different cars which in the next month or so will replace my VX220.

    I bought the VX about 6 months ago, a car i had always wanted and one came along at the right price so i plumped for it and its been great. However things are changing and i am now selling it on and looking for a hatch to replace it.

    Prior to the VX i had a MK5 GTi which was ace i really loved that and the whole VW/VAG scene that went with it.

    So with the VX on its way out i had to look in the whole VAG stable and have considered nearly everything ever made and it came down to a MK4 R32 or S3. I have always fancied an S3 for many years and way back about 7 years ago i owned an A3 1.8T Sport which i loved and i guess some of that enjoyment has stayed in me and now i yearn form an S3.

    However the desire for the R32 is also quite deep rooted having owned a andy white MK4 GTi some years ago and more recently the MK5 i have always admired the MK4 R and that engine note is sublime.

    So who can help me out, anyone on here driven both or been lucky enough to own both? Would love to hear your thoughts.

    On the S3 front i have a few questions -

    In relation to the facelift they did what year did this happen and was this the time the power went upto 225bhp along with new lights grille etc??

    Am i right in thinking the 225 doesn't respond as well to mapping or is that not true??

    Whats the rarest colour combo's of exterior paint and interior seats?? If i go for an S3 i want a colour thats says S3 i.e Nogaro, Imola, Misano, Goodwood the silvers, blacks and dark blues look very nice but i want something that was unique to the S3 only.

    Options wise i guess the more the better but are they any 'must haves' that you would recommend??

    Look forward to hearing from you guys.

    Si
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  2. OllieH
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    OllieH Member

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    I'm fairly new here myself mate and have a similar dilemma, as I like both the Mk4 R32 and the S3. I have no experience of each so can't help you there, but I think similar powers can be reached, (stage 2 remap on the S3 and cams and remap on the R32) and the R32 has a great soundtrack, but economy is worse than the S3, which is what will probably turn me towards the S3.

    From what I've read, the facelift occured late 2000, but still had the 210 engine (AMK I think) until mid 2001 when the 225 BAM engine was included. I think the difference between the two engines was just the map though, so both can be remapped to the same level. Not heard of the 225 not responding to mapping, think that may be a myth.

    HTH
    #2
  3. Ralph
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    Ralph New Member

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    Cheers Ollie - to be fair the 210/225 thing was when i was considering Leon Cupra R and a few people were saying the 210 was better to tune but i don't know why that was?!?!? So will put that down to myth. I only do limited mileage, since owning the VX i have only done 800 miles in it so the consumption isn't as important although saying that with petrol prices and tax on the up it could well be a factor. I have just found a post on here about a chap who owned an S3 and sold it now has MK4 R32 and has that up for sale to come back to an S3 so guess that says something.

    Thanks for the engine info it's pretty confusing with all these engine codes and facelift dates etc. that goes some way to helping me understand though.

    Good luck with your search!

    Si
    #3
  4. ianysm
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    ianysm Active Member

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    I went through this dilemma too. I opted for an S3 because i could find a decent one for about 3k less than the R32 and the S3 is far easier to extract more power out of. More economical too which was a bonus.

    R32's look and sound ace but the S3 won it for me
    #4
  5. golf
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    golf ***** rent boy

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    It's all personal taste but R32 >>>>>>>>>>>>>> S3 every time.

    The R32 is everything the S3 wishes it was. Look through my post history for more detail, as I'm off out now.
    #5
  6. Ralph
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    Ralph New Member

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    Some interesting responses, golf will have a look through now bud although guessing you have an R!

    Ian - did you drive an R32 when looking and if so how did it compare to the S3?

    Si
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  7. ianysm
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    ianysm Active Member

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    Why should we have to search through your posts, just put it here in the appropriate thread!

    An Turbo R32, now there's an idea...But rather expensive!
    #7
  8. barters3
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    barters3 Member

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    i was thinking of selling my 2001 facelift, (210 bhp) s3 to get an r32.
    I have just had a stage 1 revo map and im keeping it! saved thousands and still got a car that i love!
    #8
  9. s3_kev
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    s3_kev Stage2'd!!!!!!

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    i was in the same boat when looking at getting my s3 but the R was just out of budget at the time they seem dearer then the s3 for some reason, a well speced s3 with good modifications will be a far greater car then the R, as a standard car the R is probably best but if you plan on doing some changes the s3 will become the greater car plus you get the rareity of the audi over the far more common golf, with regards to the facelift to pre facelift this was in 2001 you can get 210bhp and 225bhp models from here on 1999-2001 you could only get 210bhp with two engine options with the apy with ESP being the best of the two, the bam engine is the 225 engine but no greater then any really there all as good just slightly different spec's. once mapped they all mapp to thesame power output anyway, the facelift from 2001 is where the headlights and tail lights change also the centre consol inside is slightly different not much difference and the prefacelift is not a worse car by any means although the facelift lilights do look better imo,
    imola yellow is the colour, so you looking at selling the vx or have you already done so??? i have been thinking of selling my s3 recently lol
    #9
  10. Ralph
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    Ralph New Member

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    Just tried looking through your forum posts on your profile tab and it only showed 2 - this one and a steering rack one?!?!?

    Have you seen the video of the turbo R - OMG!!!!

    barter - so you saying you were all up for selling your S3 but then had it mapped and you have developed a new love for it so keeping it now?

    Si
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  11. ianysm
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    ianysm Active Member

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    The remap makes a massive difference.

    I had a play with a MK5 R32 on my way to get mine mapped. Off a 2nd gear roundabout and onto a dual carriageway the R32 was slowly pulling away, but not as much as i thought it would. After the map i think mine would do the same to him!

    Also had fun with a yob in a standard S3, it was fun the extra overtaking punch and grunt off traffic lights. S3 remap a must have!
    #11
  12. Ralph
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    Ralph New Member

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    S3 kev - yeah i hear what your saying, i guess with the R you are looking at serious £££ for gains with supercharger the only real option which although it sounds divine i couldn't and wouldn't have the 5k to do it. Where as the S3 i am guessing with a map and a Milltek the gains should be pretty impressive. Thanks for further clarifying the engine and facelift situation, and if they all tune to the same level then its no odds which one i go for.

    I love Imola, have always been a big fan! The VX isn't sold yet, being detailed next week then off to the showroom whilst i head off to Canada for a couple of weeks on holiday, its being priced sensibly so hoping it won't hang around too long. Could well be interested in your S3 if you do sell it in the near future and the VX has gone. You got a link/pics/build thread of yours??

    Si
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  13. Ralph
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    Ralph New Member

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    ian - what map did you go for and is that the only mod you have done??

    Si
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  14. indiemike
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    indiemike ZoomZoom

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
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  15. ianysm
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    ianysm Active Member

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    Hi its the Custom Codde map done by JBS in Chesterfield. Very pleased with it. HAd it nearly a year now. They also changed the DV and air filter as part of the package. £350 all in.

    No other mods yet,
    #15
  16. s3_kev
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    s3_kev Stage2'd!!!!!!

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    #16
  17. sportquattro
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    sportquattro Active Member

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    S3 will a) be more economical, b) easier to tune, remap is a easy must have, c) have a better interior IMHO, at the end of the day though it's comes down to what floats your boat, personally I love the S3 to bits and think i'ts a better looking car than the R32, and overall the better car all round dynamically, though the R32 does sound lovely.

    Best advice I can give is try both a remapped S3 a standard S3 and an R32 and then buy whatever one gave you the biggest smile. I dont think either would dissappoint.

    Nige
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  18. s3_kev
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    s3_kev Stage2'd!!!!!!

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    stage2 s3 :racer:
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  19. Ralph
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    Ralph New Member

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    Kev you got any more details on yours?

    Sportquattro - think your right about driving both and luckily enough dealer on my doorstep has a 5dr R on their forecourt and a friend of mine with his own garage has an 02 S3 which he has fallen in love with however at some point it will be for sale...........being an 02 I am guessing it would be a 225 based on the above info?!?

    Watch this space and if you know anyone that wants a VX send em over! Lol!

    Si
    #19
  20. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hello and welcome Ralph to AS
    You don't expect a neutral response from a bunch of S3 drivers do you ?
    The R is brilliant sounding engine compared to the diesel sound of the 1.8t but its a big heavy lump and limited tuning capabilities IMHO.
    If the engine was that good then why have they ditched it for the 2 litre MK5 golf engine ?
    #20
  21. badger5
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    badger5 RIP S3dave Site Sponsor

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    R32 for me over S3

    sound wins it... very well sorted handling car out of the box
    #21
  22. FazS3
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    FazS3 Member

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    Had both even though none were standard! BT S3 and a supercharged R32, the drive and feel of the R32 is awesome..... R32 for me mate!
    #22
  23. S3BAM
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    S3BAM Member

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    I had a look at a R b4 i bought my stage 1 02 plate(Bam 225) Nogaro S3 Prefered the S3 has got a few more extra's as well though

    inc H&R Coilovers,Anti-roll bars,19's ,Ap racing 2 piece front brakes(Awesome..!!!)

    Its all down to personal choice i had a 240Bhp octavia Vrs(Mk1) a while back there bleady good cars..
    #23
  24. DJ_Troopa
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    DJ_Troopa K1 Driver

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    If only the S3 would make the R32 noise! :wub:
    #24
  25. S3BAM
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    S3BAM Member

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    Doesnt the R32 still suffer with the same timing chain tensioner problem the Vr6's used to...?????
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
    #25
  26. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    Emmisions.
    #26
  27. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    Emissions? Either way, I think it has more to do with the shocking history that the 3.2VR engine has had, it's old technology and needed replacing.
    #27
  28. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes Emmisions!, The 2.0 unit they used for the new Mk6 Golf R falls under the £400 per annum bracket, the Mk5 R32 didn't.
    #28
  29. S3KO4
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    S3KO4 Member

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    A stage 1 S3 is quicker, cheaper at least by a few £Ks, returns better MPG, cheaper tax than a standard or a stage 1 R32, the Audi has four rings rather than one in its badge, therefore a bit less common! because of these points it's S3 all the way.
    #29
  30. swatchuk
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    swatchuk Member

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    I currently have both cars sat on my drive. I love them both, it is a hard decision between the two. If both cars are standard its the R every time. A remapped S3 is an awsome machine, and is quicker off the mark and accelerating up to between 60-80. After that good luck keepin up with an R. Other than the shell and engine there prety much the same car, (Chasis, suspension, drive) so just gota decide which one you prefer. Im currently selling my R32 as my circumstances have changed and i need to pay off my loan, got my S3 at the right price so went back to one. Happily i might add. When things change again though I'd love another R32. And the noise out of it is awsome. Even when standard.
    Mark
    #30
  31. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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    ive never driven the R32 but do agree that it sounds awesome...... that said i wouldnt own one as the Golf appears very high sided in appearance, the front looks great and the back look boring...... id always be wanting the S3, yes it doesnt handle as good, but mapped it will definately beat the R32 and is adequate for road driving........ if your likely to push it beyond its reletively limited handling then you are most likely going too fast on a public road IMO
    #31
  32. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    R32 out the box anyday of the week from me, but the potential to tune it up cheaply would have to be S3.
    #32
  33. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    Either way, I'm sure both were deciding factors, but it's no secret that the 3.2VR was not a lot of cop and far less reliable than the 2.8VR unit.

    And by the way, "Emissions" is single m, double s ;)
    #33
  34. Dansmith
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    Dansmith Member

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    As everyone said the R32 sounds awesome, I test drove a few and must admit they felt good! Choose the S3 in the end cos i saw it as a better allrounder for me, I sometimes have to do alot of miles and the S3 cruises so comfortably, the R32 seemed alot more lumpy in the ride, also when I drove my S3 for the first time it seemed quicker than the R32... few months later found out it was re-mapped so guess that would of been why :)

    Both are great cars and I sometimes still find my self looking on autotrader for r32's
    #34
  35. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    :gun2:
    #35
  36. golf
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    golf ***** rent boy

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    You're never going to get a neutral response on an Audi forum, especially from some of the blinkered S3 owners on here, who will defend the car to the death as if they played a part in its design process. For what it's worth I currently drive an S3.

    Having owned both cars I'd say the R32 is a better car. The S3 can be standard or chipped, it doesn't matter, the Golf is far more rewarding and is nicer to own. Let's look at the pro's and cons of each car:

    S3 Pro's:

    1) Nice seats
    2) Flared wheelarches
    3) Good MPG on motorway
    4) Comfortable cruiser
    5) Faster in a straight line when remapped

    S3 cons:

    1) Unrefined and antiquated 1.8 engine
    2) Expensive to run for a 1.8
    3) Handles and rides pretty badly
    4) Less well equipped than an R32
    5) Needs a lot of suspension/brake work to get it up to scratch

    R32 pro's:

    1) More exclusive and better equipped than an S3
    2) Handles much better in standard form
    3) Glorious 3.2 V6
    4) Exhaust note
    5) Has real charisma and will be a cult classic like the MK2 GTI

    R32 cons:

    1) Expensive to run
    2) Boy racer image? (gets noticed a lot more than any S3, especially in the Deep Blue Pearl colour)
    3) Expensive to get more power out of the engine
    4) Running out of things here...


    The S3 is generally a bit cheaper to buy and run, but if you want it to handle properly you're going to have to spend a fair bit sorting the suspension out. Don't get me wrong the S3 is a nice enough car, but it's dull as ditchwater and the engine is coarse and feels strained at anything past 5,000 RPM. A remap will obviously crank the bhp up a fair bit but a Milltek exhaust will add very little power to an S3. Give an R32 a remap, a Milltek non-resonated exhaust and a decent induction kit, and not only will it sound awesome it'll be running at around 260 bhp at the very least. Where the S3 engine is screaming at 5,000 RPM the R32 feels at ease and the noise from the exhaust and engine is a real treat. The R32 is regarded as a modern classic and has real character, the S3 8L will be forgotten in 10 years. The R32 does attract the wrong sort of person though, I was constantly tailgated and goaded in to racing by Saxo's, Clio's and other undesirable tinpots.

    In order to get more power from the R32 you need at least Shrick cams, a remap, a proper exhaust and then you'll be at 275bhp which is more than enough for most, but for real power you're going to have to look to forced induction, i.e. a supercharger from Rotrex or VF. £3,500 will get you up to around 310 bhp on a stage 1. Stage 2 supercharger costs £4,500 but gets you a very respectable 350bhp. So, if it's big power you're looking for get an S3 or get saving! The handling and brakes are better on the R32, that's not to say it handles like an Integra, but it inspires confidence on twisty back roads and the steering feels sharper. The S3 is a bit more wallowy and just feels heavy despite the it actually being a bit lighter than the R32.

    The R32 likes a drink of 99 RON petrol that's for sure, I rarely saw more than 18mpg (real calculation, not from computer) in town which is where the majority of my driving takes place. By comparison I get around 22mpg in town on the S3. On the motorway the best I ever managed in the R32 was 27mpg but in the S3 I've got 35 fairly comfortably. Insurance is actually cheaper on the R32 for me which is a surprise as I'm 22 and the R32 is a thief-magnet. I've not kept track of the Road Tax price increases so I'm not sure where that leaves the R32, but when I had the R32 I was paying £220 a year which is what I pay on the S3. Tyres will be more expensive on the Golf as they are 18's rather than 17's. My R32 was very reliable, didn't give me any major problems, but neither has the S3, although the manifold has become loose and the steering rack just died. The only problem I had with the R32 was with the secondary air system and the driver door microswitch.

    Interior wise I think both are pretty poor and showing their age, although I think the S3 feels more solidly built and the Recaro's are nice. The Koenigg seats in the R32 are more supportive, but are only half leather as standard. The R32 has a 6 CD changer, auto wipers, heated seats, auto dimming mirror and 18" OZ alloys as standard however. The only thing the S3 has over the R32 is that you can get BOSE and an arm rest, neither of which were available on the Golf. The standard sound system on the R32 is shocking by the way. Another point to make is that the xenons in the VW are brilliant and you can actually see properly at night, which is not the case with the Audi.

    Also the people saying that the R32 is more common than an S3 need to do some research. 2,391 R32's were sold in the UK, and that figure is probably closer to 2,000 now so it's a rare beast. That's not to say that the S3 is common though, because it's not, but there are more 8L S3's in the UK then there are MK4 R32's.

    Before people start getting wound-up by my post, this is all MY personal opinion. OP you might hate the R32 once you've given it a go, but for me the VW's a clear winner. Sorry for the probably the longest ever post on a-s.net, but I hope it helps you make up your mind, or at the very least get out there and drive them! If there's anything else you'd like to know or if I've missed something drop me a line.
    #36
  37. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What do you mean especially the DBP !? I thought that was the only colour :)
    #37
  38. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    I'm with Bill on this one...
    Having modified the hell out of my S3 to end up with a car that handled and stopped as well as it went...a mates R32 with H&R springs and a pair of Dr Schricks finest cams is the equal of it point to point.

    You may get bigger numbers out of the S3, but you have to spend a fortune making it handle properly.
    The R32 is just good out of the box.

    It maybe understeers a bit more due to the nose weight...but point to point it makes up by having a 'nicer' engine to rev.
    R32 with cams = 270-280 BHP with revs the S3 can only dream of.

    If you want a project, to change the brakes, springs, dampers, ARBs etc...and mess with the engine, buy the S3.
    If you want a great car out of the box, with 270-280 BHP potential...R32.

    At the age they are now...and with the cost of making each car better...I think I'd be looking for an R32.
    #38
  39. DJ_Troopa
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    DJ_Troopa K1 Driver

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    These are the colours and numbers sold for UK:

    Diamond Black Pearl Effect = 755
    Reflex Silver Metallic = 615
    Deep Blue Pearl Effect = 813
    Moonlight Blue Pearl Effect = 57
    Tornado Red = 44
    Indigo Blue Pearl Effect = 76
    Grey Anthracite Pearl Effect = 31

    Total = 2391
    #39
  40. 1animal1
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    1animal1 The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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    I wouldnt say im blinkered Golf......nor would i stereotype most others on here just because they dont agree with you.....granted i take on board the handling etc but how the hell is the Golf better equiped? as standard the S3 comes with pretty much everything you'll likely to need, most have options....explain
    #40

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