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What's all this about RS3s and understeer?

Discussion in 'RS3 Forum' started by Vorshprungdork, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Vorshprungdork
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    Vorshprungdork Member

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    To start off I would say if I can get the money together for an RS3 any time in the future I would have one in the blink of an eye, so not here to slag the cars off or anything. I was brousing through You Tube at the weekend and came across a video from about a year ago of a road test between on RS3 and a BMW M135i. It's probably been posted before but if anyone wants to see it I will dig it out and post a link. The guy who did it Chris someone? I have seen before and he generally seems to know his stuff but he wasn't very complimentary on the RS3, particularly on the understeer issue and I am now interested to know from those on here who obviously know better than he will ie real owners, what it's all about, is it just the general; manufacturers tend to set new cars up to understeer for safety reasons (B*llsh*t) or is there more to it than that?
    Cheers in advance.
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  2. 45bvtc
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    45bvtc Active Member

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    It's Chris someone, he don't like Audis when Audi supplied 'em for evaluation, much prefers slippy-slidy BMWs, until it rains or snows of course.

    But guess what Chris someone buy's with his own money, go on, guess...

    Here's a clue: 4-letters and NOT three...

    I think your own conclusions are about right :applaus:
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  3. S3P8
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    S3P8 Member

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    book a test drive in one if you can
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  4. kwistof
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    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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  5. S3P8
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    S3P8 Member

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    I have those on my S3 they are wicked
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  6. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    Chris Harris sat on the bonnet of his own daily driver...... not a roundel in sight.
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  7. DAYTONA500
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    DAYTONA500 Member

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    I think his nick name is "monkey" ,well he really makes a "monkey" out of himself in this video 2.40 minutes in by inferring that pressing the sport button changes the suspension from soft to unpleasant,there is no adjustable suspension on the RS3, so as you can see he really knows what he's on about. :keule:
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014 at 12:29 PM
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  8. dbm
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    dbm Member

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    You wouldn't drive a FWD car and expect it do behave like a RWD one, yet he insists on driving AWD cars like they are RWD and wonders why they don't behave as he expects...

    Driven correctly on decent tires the RS3 is a road weapon.
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  9. MB RS3
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    MB RS3 Member

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    There is a tendency to understeer with the RS3 but it's nowhere near as horrific as Mr Chris "Monkey" Harris makes out, well not for me certainly.


    I have recently swapped tyres to the MPSS and the difference over the original Conti's is night and day IMO and the understeer "issue" is greatly reduced unless your going in to corners at silly speed where ultimately every car/tyres will find it's limits.


    It's a great all round package the RS3, always puts a smile on my face. Point to Point is right up there with anything.


    Go test drive and enjoy! :icon_thumright:


    Mal
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  10. Vorshprungdork
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    Vorshprungdork Member

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    Yes would love a test drive but would need to be seriously considering buying, my time will come but a few years off yet I am afraid. Right now I am driving a TDI Quattro which has similar accusations levelled a it. I haven't noticed any particular understeer with that and don't really get the "lack of feel" claims some testers seem to report about that. I am planning a suspension upgrade and wondered if I should go for adjustable top mounts just to give me more adjustment and maybe the capability of custom settings in case I do find that understeer in the future and want to do something about it. Unfortunately it seems adjustable mounts are manly for track use and have no rubber damping, I don't really want to make it too harsh for everyday use, any thoughts?

    Cheers for the great replies by the way, several made me chuckle but also some good serious information in there, does Chis Harris actually have an RS3 then?
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
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  11. S3P8
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    S3P8 Member

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    The mod squad will be along soon I'm sure :sos:
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  12. Dave Hedgehog
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    Dave Hedgehog Member

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    The front end can get terribly out of control, especially on turn in with even light power applied, even at relatively low speeds, this is the one thing the RS4 is vastly better at

    for what ever reason the haldex just does not seem to work as well (or is set up differently) to the TTRS, it's very easy to over power the front

    things that can help

    1) its 4wd so slow in fast out

    2) always keep it in sport ESP mode (ESP button not the sport mode button, you can use that as well thou), this improves it greatly, its as thou the E Diff is off unless the cars in sport ESP mode

    3) bin the front conti's, they are truly terrible tyres especially when it gets coldish, try not to increase the grip on the rear, thats the last thing the RS3 needs, i have considered getting low grip eco tyres for the rear to see if that will help

    4) reducing the front PSI abit (about 10%) seams to help



    For me its a flaw in the car, but the rest of the car is just so brilliant i can live with it, would be nice to have the RS4s front end thou :)



    oh and Harris is a one dimensional entertainer, hes after youtube hits, and he deliberately over drives the car on track to make it look bad

    octanes review is far closer to reality imo

    Octane | First drive: Audi RS3 Sportback



    oh and dont buy one with buckets, theres an epademic for stealing RS buckets and flogging them on ebay
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
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  13. Vorshprungdork
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    Vorshprungdork Member

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    More good info, I like it! On Haldex, do you think it is maybe to do with it being predictive now, I find this concerning as 90% of the time you maybe drive the car one way and it get used to that, then you take it on the track, how does it predidct what you are going to do? I can get with Reactive, senses slip and reacts and in a very small amout of time but Predictive??
    I don't think my TDI will ever be big power, going by the advice of track guys I am aiming for better handling and brakes for it, already spent too much so I think the engines more or less staying as it is. I am interested in the tyre info though as normally I would have listed Contis as one of my favourite tyres, obvisoulsy need to reallign that view then.
    So back to Mr Harris, nothing new there then, is that not just what a certain Mr Clarkson's been doing for years, makes good TV but not much use if you are looking for a genuine test/thinking of buying the car. Thankfully I opted for a policy of ignoring him for the last few years and haven't regretted it yet.
    One final point, bbbbbut I like the buckets :( (6'2" my back likes all decent seats), just need to garage the car, with alarm/immobiliser, wheel clamp, chain and padlock, steel door , move to the western isles, (buy a shotgun, haha) and so on.
    WANT AN RS3, now :)
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  14. Veneeringman
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    Veneeringman Bazinga

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    Buy one now you'll not be dissapointed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Then buy the 8.5J fronts with 255 / 30 /19 makes a big difference.
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  15. 45bvtc
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    45bvtc Active Member

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    As most will know, I like my RS3. Bluey is still wearing Continentals; ok, so I changed to the 8.5J fronts, but these are still Continentals. And on public roads I do not find a problem, and not a lot of difference either to the Vredestein Wintrac 4xtreme tyres currently fitted.

    Now I don't get overtaken much, if at all, and then only if I chose the wrong lane. And I do tend to press on some when necessary, or even when un-necessary, just for FUN!!!

    Now I've driven a fair number of RS3s, and some fitted with alternative tyres brought to me to evaluate; and overall, on the road, have not found another day-to-day tyre I'd want to change to and/or raid my moneybox for. Ok, the Goodyear F1 seems to give a better ride, but I've lowered my tyre pressures some and am content; plus I just hate that Goodyear F1 side wall advertsement.

    And Michelin shod RS3 cars do feel a tad tighter, but harder, so I've upped my tyre pressures some…

    In normal road conditions I doubt many of us have the ability (let alone the balls) to push our car to its/our limits, so any RS3 replacing a tired/scrubbed set of rubber with a FRESH set is going to feel a huge positive difference anyway, leading to: WOW! these are GREAT! sort of thing...

    Been there, done that. Back in the 70's I ran my Europa Twin Cam on the then Formula Ford prescribed Firestone Torino cross-plies, WOW! Only lasted 3000-miles mind, but WOW!! If a dog had urinated (ok, I was gonna say 'pissed') across the road those tyres would find and follow the trail… But WOW! And white-lines in the centre of the road had magnetic attraction to those tyres... But I loved 'em non the less.

    So I'm with Vorshprungdork: there's too much crap talked about Audi tyres/steering/steering feedback; even in today's Autocar, for example, talking about the RS4. Could it be that these magazine scribes are just copying/repeating the same words written/said by others previously, seems like that to me as any write up I read on a current and or new Audi always repeats the same infantile ****!

    These pro' scribes need to get real; go get your wife and kids into back of a 60's premium car (or a current rear wheel drive BMW) for a week of UK (Welsh) wet and dry serious motoring, and then go try a modern Audi, any modern Audi…

    As for tyres, unless you have track space, I seriously doubt you'd tell the difference whilst driving HM roadways - and that's from someone was gifted 'new' rubber on a daily basis to evaluate over the same roads day after day…

    So go get a set of good quality tyres, no body makes bad tyres these days, and enjoy your car for what it is.

    Oh, and make sure the tyre pressures are set correctly: often overlooked but can make a greater difference to the ride and/or handling of the car than the manufacturer of the tyre…
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  16. S3P8
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    S3P8 Member

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    Tyre pressures are very important...note to self ! :tocktock:
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  17. MB RS3
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    MB RS3 Member

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    They are indeed!

    For me best set up I've tried is 39/37 which was advised by John (45bvtc), the RS3 definitely sits and rides better for me through the corners on this set up :thumbsup:
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  18. elton121272
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    elton121272 Member

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    Book a test drive in a M135i first and you WILL feel impressed, but then follow up with a test in an RS3 and you will instantly smirk.....the grip and pull in 'S' is sublime and launch is different class.......then once you've examined and thought about her all round package you will be smitten as there really isn't anything on the road that ticks all her boxes......then you would sum up and say there is NO COMPARISON and being fair I'd say they are in different leagues anyway.
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  19. Dave Hedgehog
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    Dave Hedgehog Member

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    Interesting as i do not think there has been a day, including my initial test drive when i have not had the fronts spin (until the ESP brings them under control) or had the front push severely wide on cornering, even on my drive home last night it happened 3 times and thats driving slowly because of the traffic

    this is something the B8 RS4 never does (it turns in so much better than the RS3 and handles power to the front so much better) and even the C7 RS6 with is mountain of torque that will spin up all 4 wheels in third in the damp and power slide neutrally rather than let the front go does not do it
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  20. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    These RS3 threads are providing a really interesting read in terms of the perceived handling characteristics from owners. I've been on car forums since 2000'ish, and over the years halo models come along and you have to read carefully between the dick swinging, the the rants and the candid reality. I always ignore the repetitious bull spouted by the mags which spout the same understeer/lack of feel stories time and time again. If you drive an Audi according to it's (intended) limitations they're a match for most things.

    I did think briefly about buying an RS3 before I chose the S5. Now please don't think this is a criticism I'm making here, but I've never been a huge fan of the sportback variant of A3 (I have no need whatsoever for 4 doors), and when I reflected on my ownership of 7 years of S3 there is a small part of me that kept thinking 'This platform came to market in 2003, was probably designed a year or two before that, and by god it has a lot of weight hanging out over it's nose'. To give you an example the S3 has 3cm more overhang beyond the front wheels than an S5. Now whilst that figure's not hugely worthy of note on it's own, given the overall size difference of the two cars (S5 is about 40cm longer overall from memory), it's significant that any of it's overhangs are longer (especially at the heavy end). However it's only one part of the equation, and the RS3 has a much lower kerbweight (probably in the region of 150kg), and is bound to be more nimble given it's proportions (and the fact it's not a lumbering hulk of a car).

    When looking to change car this time I tried an RS3, an S5, and finally the 8V S3 before I committed to purchase anything. I found the 8V S3 to be quite a step up in terms of handling (over the 8P); with a much more compliant ride, oodles more grip, much better front end turn in, and you could really feel the 100kgs or so of weight that they've carved out on their latest 'Ultra' campaign to reduce weight. I did very much enjoy the RS3, a big step up from my Stg 2 S3 (61 plate). To be fair it's quite amazing that given the largely similar underpinnings that Audi were able to do such a good job on the RS3 as the S3 is starting to show signs of age in 8P guise. It's a tremendous piece of work to pull out such a compelling car from such an aged platform. However there was something nagging at me, don't know if it was the prospect of paying quite a bit more for largely more of the same (+ one cylinder and some very nice tinsel) when for a few quid more I could have another two cylinders, a charger and somewhere that felt significantly different to sit. The S5 is no RS3 when it comes to outright performance and fun, but somehow the big coupe managed to hide it's weight incredibly well and with the sports diff and damper control it is surprisingly focussed (not M3 focussed, but impressive for something with 4 rings on the front).

    Really encouraged by what I'm reading here on RS3 8P, if it really as good as owners state the 8V version is going to be (and will need to be in this competitive market) absolute dynamite. Will revisit the RS3 for an 8V model after this 'coupe' interlude, I just hope they offer it in other shapes! Very nice cars indeed guys; enjoy!
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  21. 45bvtc
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    45bvtc Active Member

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    [​IMG]
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  22. Dave Hedgehog
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    Dave Hedgehog Member

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    To be fair, there's very little 8V left on the RS3, new engine, gearbox, steering, suspension, brakes, wider track, its even got a completely new rear end for the suspension, in my mind the front end waywardness is purely down to how audi set the car up.

    And don't get me wrong i adore the RS3, its a country mile better than my B5 RS4 or any other car i have owned, its on a different planet to the 2011 S3 i had. Its unbelievable for an Audi in that its actually a 10/10ths car (the S3 is a 7/10ths car), the handling, turn in and especially the brakes (the A45 AMG can't touch them, and is a boring car) and the whole car just feels alive and involved even at 20mph, it loves to be driven hard, and the harder you drive it the better it gets. I love the way the car suddenly stops bouncing about and goes flat when driven fast enough.

    its just the front end is easily over powered on the conti's

    i will switch over to MPSS this payday and from the reports i have had from other owners who have suffered likewise it makes a big difference, especially as i spec'd my car with the wider fronts

    its certainly the most un-audi like audi i have ever driven, well than and the R8
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  23. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    P?

    Agree, it doesn't really feel anything like an S3, but then I had a drive of a neighbours TT-RS the other day (APR Stage 3) and there is a depth of engineering in the RS cars (as there should be) that just isn't present in the 'S' cars. The 'S' cars are hi spec slightly quicker 'normal' cars, the 'RS' cars are another significant class above.
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  24. Dave Hedgehog
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    Dave Hedgehog Member

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    Opps ;)

    The RS4 does not feel anything like the 3, the dynamic steering and suspension feel very disconnected

    The RS6 is a ballistic big comfy cruiser, that pumps laughing gas into your face every time you hit the go pedal

    I should drive the TTRS, I don't know if there as hardcore as the 3
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  25. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The one I did certainly did but there was barely a standard item left on it. APR Stg 3, APR intake, titanium exhaust system, KW coilovers.... It felt slightly more nimble than the S3 to me but whether it would standard is hard to tell given all the stuff that's been changed.

    It used to be JonnyC's (silver wrap) car but has been bought by a guy who lives on my road called Mario. Supposedly its not far off running 600bhp.

    It's in the back of this picture here:

    [​IMG]
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  26. DAYTONA500
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    DAYTONA500 Member

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    Dave I keep reading all these negative comments from you about the RS3,you haven't changed those Contis which you say are crap , but have you ever thought for one minute it could be your style of driving thats causing all this wheelspinning and front end sliding.
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  27. Dave Hedgehog
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    Dave Hedgehog Member

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    i have owned a lot of 4wd cars, Scooby Sti's, RS4, EVO VI, R32, Celica ST205 GT4s, Cossworth, S4, ur quattro 20v, and i have driven a lot of the new audi range and none of them do it
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  28. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    Yep sorry Ben but I'm with Dave on the tyre issue. It isn't the driving style it's the tyres. I'm the same driver on the Michelin Pilot Super Sports as the Conti's - the Conti's fell apart the MPSS were superb. Though lets also put that in perspective the MPSS are singularly the best tyre I've ever known for hard cornering (an I mean flat out edge of grip cornering) and resisting wear.

    It is possible to over stress the tyres on track, I've done it myself with R888s which even on the 1200KG Renaultsport Megane R26.R would wear quickly if the pressures were out or the temperatures got way too hot. The Conti's by contrast fall apart at road speeds and that should never be the case. The 235/35 Conti's are good tyres with about 200bhp going through them, beyond that the wear rate and lack of grip is shocking. Whatever you do don't take a set of these tyres on track, you'll need a new front pair within 20 miles!

    Like Dave I've owned plenty of AWD machines and never once had this excess wear problem. My bigger question would be did Audi know the Brembo's were a real weakness so fitted the Cointi's so that they were a bigger problem we'd notice first?
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  29. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I had Conti's on both S3's when they arrived and didn't even work on that, so can imagine on RS they're not up to much. They get reasonable reports when mags test them on run of the mill cars, but I don't find them particularly compelling at the limits. As I upgraded to RS3 rims and was skint at the time I bought them (near £2k for the rims), I only had enough money toshod them with Uniroyal Rainsport 2s at the time. They are no worse, and given the current weather we're having they are actually pretty good! Normally I'd be on Michelin or Goodyears, the only complaint I have of the Mich (PS2) is that on some surfaces they drone.
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  30. Vorshprungdork
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    Vorshprungdork Member

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    I assume everyone feels the wear issue is the tyre, not the car? I can believe this as I always had Continental tyres at one time but we bought some for a campervan a few years ago and the wear rate was awful (fast). Tyre suppliers didn't seem surprised and I think by the time we noticed it was common knowledge to them and they weren't recommending them any more.
    Going back to my earlier point though, is there a possibility the cars could be better set up than they come from the factory, particularly for those who want to use them on the track, would more caster/camber adjustment i.e. adjustable top mounts probably be useful and make adifference, without compromising the ride quality in normal driving?
    Not sure how many questions that is :)
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  31. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The alignment on my car was out from factory (20 minutes on both rears). APS tracked it up on their Beissbarth machine after I noted the rear tyres inner edges were scrubbing (imagine the edges of a 50 pence piece rather than a round circle), and the dronw was so bad I thought the rear diff had gone. Turns out VAG cars hatchbacks seem to suffer this the larger the wheels get. Certainly worth the £100 to get it checked if you have any doubts.
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  32. Vorshprungdork
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    Vorshprungdork Member

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    Yep my Wife's car had this problem but has had the 4 wheel alignment done and no probs since. I plan to get mine done once my suspension upgrade is complete but I have no tyre wear issues at the moment, just wondered while I am swapping parts would building in more adjustability be a good idea.
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  33. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    Adjustable top mount suspension is useful if you are going to use the car regularly on track for sure. For just road use I'd say it's a bit excessive in terms of the extra benefit you'd get from it.

    I ran the AST 'Type 20' suspension on my Impreza and it really did change the character of the car. The standard STi used to get into a bouncy sort of rhythm on motorways which was very strange and uncomfortable. The AST's sorted that. Being able to adjust the suspension for the conditions was the biggest bonus. When wet adjust top mounts to the softest setting and you just got so much more grip, the stiffer settings meant individual wheels would skip across standing water, with the soft setting full contact with the tarmac and traction was maintained. The RS3 really suffers from this problem on tracks with standing water, basically it runs out of suspension travel and as a result you lose some front end traction (though to be fair you'll still lap pretty much everything in sight so this is all relative!). The soft setting was just as good on wet b roads too, the natural home for the Impreza. The first time I tried to follow an AST equipped STi in my then standard car I was amazed just how much quicker and more assured the other car was - so then I bought a set!

    When the track is bone dry and tarmac super smooth setting the top mounts to hardest at the front and a little softer at the rear worked on the STi. Better turn in, better grip and maximum tyre contact with the road. As I'm sure you know the more aggressive the camber and thicker anti roll bars you run the quicker the tyre wear. The lack of body roll in the dry and ease of sliding the STi at the limit was something you had to experience to believe. That said the Evo IX MR360 was a better resolved and faster car out of the box so some cars don't need the upgrade at all. I didn't use the RS3 on track enough to justify a suspension upgrade but I'd imagine the results would be similar. It's worth remembering that the RS3 suspension already works superbly on a dry track so I'd say push the car to the limit and find out more about what you think you need from a new suspension set up.

    For full on track machines top mounts are a must have, I love them on cars like Caterfields. For road cars it less of an issue. It's just a shame all cars aren't as well resolved as machines like the Megane R26.R which was perfect on track and a joy on road too, somehow they balanced body control/lack of roll with a resolved ride quality.
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  34. 45bvtc
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    45bvtc Active Member

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    Here's the humble RS3 understeering:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014 at 12:29 PM
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  35. dbm
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    dbm Member

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    You do know that's a computer game, yes?

    On a a related note, I've just put my summer wheels and tyres back on (GE F1). With the right rubber the RS3 is a totally sorted car.
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  36. 45bvtc
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    45bvtc Active Member

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    CORRECT! :applaus: But the car still looks good - but not so the 747 with octagonal engine air inlet ducts...

    As for the summer wheels and tyres, I'll leave my winter tyres on for a couple more weeks yet all the same, ambients can plummet in March and my car still feels ok on the Vredesteins.
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  37. Ubbs
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    Ubbs Member

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    Understeer? Don't know what your all talking about! I haven't driven mine since the 11th of November apart from a quick squirt up to menston yesterday (weather decent and no salt) it hasn't seen daylight!
    That said plenty of understeer from the £1200 fiesta I've been using for the daily commute, I even put all seasons on it thinking there'll be a big dump of snow at some point!
    Ubbs
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  38. MBK
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    MBK Active Member

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    Read The Fourth Dimension article in evo this month if you want a great perspective on the 4wd understeer debate. The tight and twisty Anglesey lap times are hugely revealing, the RS Q3 puts in a stunning time. The lighter, more powerful RS3 on a set of MPSS would have taken at least another second (the MPSS tyres alone are worth this, it's how BMW make the M135i lap times look so impressive) out of that. How can I know that for sure? At Llandow Chris Harris lapped the A45 AMG in 47.5s, I managed consistent low 46's with the RS3 on MPSS.

    Also Forza 5 (the video John included above) does a great job of simulating the RS3, it's just so close to the way the car feels on track.

    If you turn in too fast, which the electronics will let you do, the RS3 understeers, if you drive it well it is just devastatingly fast and efficient which leads some to say it isn't much fun - unless you like going fast efficiently which I certainly did!
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