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

Upgrade to S4 from A3 1.8T? Worth it?

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by Prawn, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Prawn
    Offline

    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Messages:
    9,637
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    [Jan 3, 2010]
    Evening chaps, I'm in search of some advice, regarding a possible upgrade.

    I'm currently driving a 1.8T FWD A3 with a fairly considerable list of mods, it's running around 230bhp and 260lbft from a fairly pushed ko3S setup, it's running weitec shocks and springs, eibach ARB's, all new bushes, and a TT quick rack, S3 brakes etc etc etc

    it's a very well sorted car, and I love it to bits, but it's on almost 200k, so surely it can't keep going forever....

    I'm tempted to sell it now whilst it's still worth something (albeit minimal) and upgrade to a B5 S4, but I'm not sure what kind of transition I'd be in for.

    How does the S4 handle in standard form? is there a noticeable difference between the avant and the saloon?

    what's the performance like in the real world? is it still likely to be quicker than my A3? As a rough comparison my A3 now is pretty much on par with a mapped 8L S3 in terms of straight line speed.

    I'm kind of looking for something quick and capable in standardish form, I did buy an E36 M3 coupe last summer, but quickly got shot of it and went back to the audi as it didn't suit me.

    If there's anyone in/around the basingstoke area with a B5 S4 that wouldn't mind giving me a quick spin that'd be awesome too!

    Sorry for the excessively long post

    Nick
    #1
  2. Ads

    Ads

    [Sep 30, 2014]

  3. jcb
    Offline

    jcb Active Member VCDS Map User

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    4,118
    Likes Received:
    13
    [Jan 3, 2010]
    expensive step up IMO.
    not cheap to get a decent one and then the cost of mods and repairs is significantly higher than a 4 pot.
    Good 1.8tqs would be a more cost effective option as you already know the ins and outs of the 1.8t
    #2
  4. Prawn
    Offline

    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Messages:
    9,637
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    [Jan 3, 2010]
    I see where you're comming from, but I just can't see it being quick enough, at all.

    my ko3S'd fwd A3 now is just as quick as a mapped ko4'd S3, mainly due to the lesser weight and lower transmission losses. Without a big turbo upgrade, a TQS A4 can only be slower than what I have currently, meaning it's out of the question. same with an S3 really, in standard form it won't handle well, and be slower than what I have now. Hence looking to the S4 as the next logical step.

    I got the A3T aged 19 as a student. I'm now 23 having graduated and moved into a fairly decent job. Are running costs on the 2.7T really THAT high?
    #3
  5. jq_quint
    Offline

    jq_quint Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jan 3, 2010]
    Hi Prawn, The common theme on this forum is that S4's are very expensive to run. I've had mine only about a month now and straight away went for a cambelt change nearly £600.00! yes expensive but vital. Just insured for 12 months £408.00 (including business miles), which I think was really good...
    I'm averaging about 25 - 28mpg on my 16 mile journey to work which again I think is good...so i'm really happy.

    So I guess "High Running Costs" need to taken in context, I previously had an A6 2.8 Quattro which drank fuel heavier than the S4 so I'm ony really comparing to that.....
    #4
  6. Prawn
    Offline

    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Messages:
    9,637
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    [Jan 3, 2010]
    I have noticed that big things like the turbo's being an engine out job, and the cambelts costing a load more, but to be honest I'd probably end up doing things like that myself rather than pay anyone crazy prices. I've done basicly everything on the A3 over the past 3 1/2 years, I just feel it's time for a step up :)
    #5
  7. jq_quint
    Offline

    jq_quint Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jan 3, 2010]
    I can't compare to an A3 1.8T as haven't driven one(tuned or std), but IMO the S4 is a great car, only criticism I would have is it isn't the biggest of cars, but as your coming from an A3 I guess this shouldn't concern you. Other thing I really like is that I am planning an MRC re-map soon (currently stock), not a major cost but will easily achieve over 300bhp...so tuning to this level 'isn't' expensive either.
    Tuning any higher I really wouldn't have the foggiest clue, don't plan going any further..
    #6
  8. jcb
    Offline

    jcb Active Member VCDS Map User

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    4,118
    Likes Received:
    13
    [Jan 3, 2010]
    I am not sure what a stock S4 will give you with just a remap,
    but if you want to make a 1620kg car go as fast as a 2wd 260ftlb A3 at 1216kg (192bhp/ton) you are looking at more than just a remap.
    I think MRC do a rempa on a stock S4 to about 300bhp but that is where you run out of turbo IIRC.
    (A 300bhp S4 is 188bhp/ton and estimated at almost identical 0-60 time as your A3, http://www.torquestats.com/modified/index.php?pid=calculator not the most accurate but gives you an idea)

    above that and you need a pair of Ko4's, even decent second hand/recon'd set will cost you close to a grand.
    then you have an engine out and fitting which be close to another grand
    add the remap and you are £2500 already and that is before you start looking at uprated clutches, upgraded brakes etc. I left those out as they are probably required by any vehicle getting above that 275-300bhp level.

    £2500 gets you a LOT of A4 1.8t.
    http://pagparts.com/product_info.php?cPath=80_158&products_id=583
    http://www.034motorsport.com/product_info.php?cPath=21_102&products_id=268

    2 hardware kits from the US that are both less than £2k even with taxes factored in.

    Don't get me wrong, if I had the cash I would be driving a B5 RS4.
    I did all the homework on which B5 model to get for my purposes (not necessarily the same as yours but they don't sound too far off.) and the S4 was beaten on cost alone.
    I plumped for a 1.8tqs (its 200kg less than the S4 as well so I can afford to have a fat mate in the passenger seat!).

    cheaper to buy, to insure, to run and I don't have the skill, time or energy to be pulling engines out to replace a turbo/cam belt/CAT's etc.
    my 2p anyway.

    be interested to see what a good S4 is going for now as I have had my tqs for over three years.
    good luck with the search which ever way you go.

    There is a nice widebody 2000 S4 that just needs an engine and box down at Unit 20, offers around £3k (engine and box could be picked up for less than a grand)
    #7
  9. Broken Byzan
    Online

    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Messages:
    12,606
    Likes Received:
    278
    [Jan 3, 2010]
    Not quite 200KG lighter, a TQS A4 is 1450 and a 2wd A3/A4 is 1250, The S4 comes in at 1520 iirc from CraigG's spec sticker. the weight will have a huge impact on how fast it feels tho.

    However an S4 is an upgrade over an A3 anyday having had/driven both
    #8
  10. jq_quint
    Offline

    jq_quint Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jan 3, 2010]
    MRC quote 310bhp & 500nm Torque on their stage 1 remap (ref their website)

    I'm sure there's S4 guys on here with 330bhp+ from just exhaust and breathing mods (plus remap of course)?

    LOL . . .
    #9
  11. Blue_Thunder
    Offline

    Blue_Thunder Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,708
    Likes Received:
    9
    [Jan 3, 2010]
    A remapped S4 would still be faster as there is shedloads more torque.

    You've also got to remember that peak BHP doesn't tell the whole story. On a remapped S4 you will reach peak power around 5000rpm, i'm guessing you need to be at the redline to reach peak power in your A3?

    You would probably find the handling a bit poor in a totally stock S4 compared to yours, but a set of ARBS would make a big difference. Keep an eye out for an already modified car.
    #10
  12. Prawn
    Offline

    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Messages:
    9,637
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    [Jan 4, 2010]
    Cheers for all the input guys,

    Blue thunder, that's exactly what I'm hoping. Comparing peak power/torque to weight directly the S4 even when mapped appears to have lower figures, but the delivery in the A3 is fairly peaky, with a large boost spike creating the high torque figure around 3500rpm then tailling off fairly fast, and the power being developed right at the top of the rev range.

    Is the 500Nm figure from a mapped S4 about correct? 368lbft sounds like it would REALLY give you a shove in the back.....

    I think I'm going to have to get myself a ride in a standard, and mapped S4 to see if it's for me
    #11
  13. Matt82
    Offline

    Matt82 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,366
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Jan 4, 2010]
    the running costs (ie the petrol) will be high compared to your a3. £60 has done about 320 miles since i put it in on saturday and im almost on the red line again

    as for cambelt cost, youd have to be a mug to do anything other than DIY. why pay almost a grand for a cambelt job on a car only costing £4k?

    i did the whole cambelt and ribbed belt job, both tensioners, all rollers, pump and stat for c.£250

    its not that hard at all, but it just seems there is a climate of fear related to anything that involves looking under the bonnet

    ive been told the turbos are an engine out job, but ive not had a real good look yet so i dont know if they are accessible from underneath
    #12
  14. Matt82
    Offline

    Matt82 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,366
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Jan 4, 2010]
    bloody computer didnt post my last post...

    nick, im a mate of sheryl (a3 20vt) and went to the ring with her and dave (bmw m3) a couple years ago.

    standard handling is standard audi fare. bags of grip, feels almost infinite, but ultimately it wants to understeer. very dull and very safe. imagine a standard a3 but more.

    straight line speed. i think the standard s4 is claimed to do 14.1s quarter miles. a simple remap adds 50bhp

    as for power delivery, look at the plots.... almost identical to the 20vt. same gay little turbos and same ecu so the same diesel esq power delivery

    the estate is like a really fast transit van when you fold the rear seats down.

    rear leg room is minimal though, which sort of makes the car pointless.

    if you want fun, keep the a3 unless you want to spend all that money again.

    if you want a cruiser with a bit of welly, something different, get the s4 in addition to the a3.

    i kept my gti
    #13
  15. Fraser
    Offline

    Fraser Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    2
  16. Blue_Thunder
    Offline

    Blue_Thunder Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,708
    Likes Received:
    9
    [Jan 4, 2010]
    Some mapped S4's have made > 400lb-ft peak torque. I think Nez's did.

    @Matt - People have been able to do K03 swaps with the engine in-situ, but the general consensus was it was such a PITA that it's actually easier to pull the engine for access.
    #15
  17. jq_quint
    Offline

    jq_quint Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jan 4, 2010]
    Thanks matt, guess i'm a mug then, also paid way more than £4k for a minter so guess that makes me an even bigger mug..

    I don't have the time (nor patience) to do such a job, but it doesn't make me a mug matey....:p
    #16
  18. Matt82
    Offline

    Matt82 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,366
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Jan 4, 2010]
    you paid the extra for a "minter" but still had to shell out for a cambelt job. minter or not, they still have to be maintained. the value of the car is whatever someone will pay, and s4 prices have done a freefall, so when the cost of that maintenence is such a big %age of the cost of the car its just plain mad, there is a reason why these cars are now so cheap
    #17
  19. Oranoco
    Offline

    Oranoco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,194
    Likes Received:
    199
    [Jan 4, 2010]
    As per Matt82. Looked at S4's as a possible replacement to my onw FWD 1.8T but the costs of maintenance parts etc. and difficulty of jobs on them keeps pushing me off towards something else (an Evo in my case lol).
    #18
  20. Matt82
    Offline

    Matt82 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,366
    Likes Received:
    2
    [Jan 4, 2010]
    ive not driven one of those (Lancer Evo) in years, a real giggle compared to the scooby id compared it to at the time. the S4 does do the whole "grown up sensible car" thing pretty well, but either be prepared to pay frankly stupid money keeping it all in check or dust off your socket set and get the hammers out
    #19
  21. aidank1981
    Offline

    aidank1981 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    0
    [Jan 5, 2010]
    i dont think theres a comparison, taking nothing away from everyones comments each to there own, i had a 280bhp s3 we all the mods you've listed above an spent thousands to hit a 'performance wall' ended up feelin trapped, had spend so much i couldnt sell it, couldnt do much more so couldnt make it much better... ended up hittin a tree an the decision was made for me so got a nice clean S4 with my pathetic insurance payout an some savings, done the work below and the PULL is somethin else lost the punch of the S3 but far smoother power delivery for puttin power down outa bends, also far prefer the S4's 'proper' diff set up over the Haldex anyday! never did the diff controller but did full suspension ARB's, tie bars, bushes the works in the s3 an i'd still have mine!

    i'm lucky enough to only have to drive it when i want to though so dont have to 'live' with it as such

    good luck!
    #20

Share This Page