A3 or S3


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Jan 1, 2020
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I was hoping some of you may be able to help. I bought an A3 2.0T Quattro from a friend who took it in PX for cheap. I am going to use the car quite a lot on the road but also wanted to take it for the odd track day here and there, and eventually turn it into a full time track car when I get a new daily.

My question is, purely in terms of performance, how much difference is there between the A3 and S3? I paid £750 for the A3, and the cheapest S3 I can find on auto trader is around £5,000.

Also, what are people's thoughts on the A3 as a track car? It wouldn't be my first choice personally, but is it worth using?
Firstly, not sure what sort of condition the A3 is in but I paid just under 3k for mine, £750 seems extremely cheap. Secondly, with the right upgrades the car is great on the B roads so could only assume it would handle a track day pretty good. The difference between the A3 and S3 power wise is 65bhp.

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The S3 has a K04 turbo, the A3 has the K03 but the S3 engine is far stronger.

The A3 will make a great track car. They’re quite heavy due to the Quattro but plenty of suspension and performance options available.
The car was a trade in that was going to go to auction, has 120k miles on. It had an engine management light on but was just a dodgy sensor, so that no longer comes on. There are a few fiddly bits to do, drivers side window won't go down, dents, scratches etc.

One potentially more interesting thing to sort is that the traction control (I think?) light on the dash comes on. Not had chance to look at that yet as I'm working in Switzerland at the moment. The car starts fine, runs fine and sounds decent.

So I'm unlikely to get as much out of an A3 as an S3, which is fair enough. I'm hoping to get suspension, brakes etc sorted first, then look at power increases and remap. What would you guys suggest is a decent bhp/tonne figure to aim for?
I do a lot of track days in a Westfield and I did try my A3 Quattro when it was ******* down. It understeers a lot and the brakes suffered overheating quickly, it wasn’t modded to go on the track at all just road tyres, brakes and Sline suspension. I’ve never seen an A3 or S3 on a trackday probably due to the cost and weight of the standard car. A much needed weight reduction program and suspension, brake mods are neede and would be expensive. I would look at an alternative car for the track, Clio Cup, Pug 106, 306, Mazda mx5, they are already light and require minimal cash spend to make them track worthy. More fun too.
I have an a3 myself, the 2.0t and I’m planning to put the ko4 turbo from the s3 into it. Looking at about 350bhp for about half the price of an s3.

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I have an a3 myself, the 2.0t and I’m planning to put the ko4 turbo from the s3 into it. Looking at about 350bhp for about half the price of an s3.

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How much did you spend on the car, and how much are you pricing the turbo swap at? I've seen this is an option but haven't priced it or anything myself yet. Would be well down the line that I look at doing that (unless the turbo needs changing earlier).
Not the best track car, but you'd be wise to invest in a decent BBK i.e. https://www.vagbremtechnic.com/fron...-calipers-with-362x32mm-2-piece-discs-bk0003/
Then replace the ARBs with the H&R set... https://balancemotorsport.co.uk/h-r-anti-roll-bars-audi-a3-a3-sportback-4wd-type-8p-08-03-on.html
And if funds allow, replace the suspension with a decent make i.e. https://www.dpmperformance.co.uk/ca...its3-8p-inc-sportback-20062013-20tfsi-quattro
Don't forget decent track day tyres too as they can make a big difference ... https://www.mytyres.co.uk/rshop/Tyres/Toyo/Proxes-R888R/225-40-ZR18-92Y-XL-2G/R-283560

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