Leshkin's Sepang Blue S3 Money Pit Project

smurfworth

Registered User
A quick update on what the S3 has been up to for those that are still following this... My daughter, wife and I decided to do a family road trip to Europe mainland right after Christmas. It was all a bit last minute, but with route planned and hotels booked along the way as well as a list of places we wanted to visit, the three of us set off in the S3 on boxing day and spent the next 9 days traveling through France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Lichtenstein. We covered around 2000 miles in total, saw some amazing places and met the New Year in Zurich. Here are some of the photos from the trip...

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Have to say that the modifications I made to the car only made the experience better. The only minor annoyance was the slightly open power valve as the sound, while still great, did make some of the longer legs on Autobahns a little tedious. It did sounds incredible while bouncing off the mountains and in the tunnels! :) I'm not sure how many Swiss speed traps I set off, but they didn't stop me on the way out to pay any fines, so hopefully dodged that one haha

The S dealt with heavy rain, fog, icy/snowy roads as well as many alpine passes with much ease and never felt out of its comfort zone. Even a couple of 150+mph Autobahn runs were dealt with ease. Oh, and no noticeable oil used. The two minor issues that I'm aware of is the NS front wheel bearing might need replacing as I noticed a slight speed-dependent humming coming from it at between 40-60mph when I was taking a break in the passenger seat while my wife took the reigns. The second is that one of the rear passenger doors has been stuck locked on occasion, so that will need to be investigated. Not bad for a car that's almost 10 years old :)

When we got home and recovered from the trip, the car was covered in a thick layer of dirt and I couldn't help myself and cleaned it as best I could:
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I have to say that lately, I've been thinking about selling the S3 and replacing it with something more driver focused out of the box as we now have two cars and my wife's car can be the primary family car. This dual purpose was one of the original reasons why I got the sportback S3 in the first place. My thinking was that this would be a last big trip we took in the S3, but after last couple of weeks, I'm not sure I want to sell... Decisions, decisions... :)


What sort of motors you been looking at moving to? As you say, the s3’s are a good all rounder when upgraded slightly
 

leshkin

Hold my beer...
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What sort of motors you been looking at moving to? As you say, the s3’s are a good all rounder when upgraded slightly
I can't see anything else replacing it to be honest. Only reason I want to change is because my wife will be driving the new comfy 'family' car that will be used for trips, etc That means I can get something for me that is less practical, but more focused on performance. Not 100% set on anything yet, but really like the idea of BMW M2 Competition... Hopefully will test drive one this week and see. Ideally a RWD performance car with reasonable power would be great.

I might look at Porsche Cayman, but would like to keep some semblance of practicality.

As I say though, I don't think anything can replace this particular S3 as a complete package, especially at its price level in my eyes.
 

smurfworth

Registered User
I can't see anything else replacing it to be honest. Only reason I want to change is because my wife will be driving the new comfy 'family' car that will be used for trips, etc That means I can get something for me that is less practical, but more focused on performance. Not 100% set on anything yet, but really like the idea of BMW M2 Competition... Hopefully will test drive one this week and see. Ideally a RWD performance car with reasonable power would be great.

I might look at Porsche Cayman, but would like to keep some semblance of practicality.

As I say though, I don't think anything can replace this particular S3 as a complete package, especially at its price level in my eyes.

Yeah I know what you mean, I recently picked up one of the 6.2 c63 amg’s and it’s probably on par speed wise with the s3 and the s3 is definitely quicker in the corners. Just can’t get away from the noise you get out of the c63, it’s addictive. Maybe worth a look at? Will definitely be coming back to an s3 however it’ll have to be an auto next time
 

leshkin

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Yeah I know what you mean, I recently picked up one of the 6.2 c63 amg’s and it’s probably on par speed wise with the s3 and the s3 is definitely quicker in the corners. Just can’t get away from the noise you get out of the c63, it’s addictive. Maybe worth a look at? Will definitely be coming back to an s3 however it’ll have to be an auto next time
I did consider a C63, just wasn't a fan of its handling. The V8 sound is intoxicating though.. I drove a friend's C63 biturbo and that was a proper muscle car. Couldn't put its power down for anything, but lots of fun haha
 

smurfworth

Registered User
I did consider a C63, just wasn't a fan of its handling. The V8 sound is intoxicating though.. I drove a friend's C63 biturbo and that was a proper muscle car. Couldn't put its power down for anything, but lots of fun haha

Yeah tell me about it, did it have the LSD in? if I had one again I’d go for one that’s got it as like you say it definitely struggles to put the power down. I don’t really use it in a performance way though so suits me. Just enjoy the noise too much
 

leshkin

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Yeah tell me about it, did it have the LSD in? if I had one again I’d go for one that’s got it as like you say it definitely struggles to put the power down. I don’t really use it in a performance way though so suits me. Just enjoy the noise too much
I'm not sure if they come with a LSD... I think they have the electronic one, but either way it was incredibly tail-happy.
 

miltybilty

Registered User
I'm not sure if they come with a LSD... I think they have the electronic one, but either way it was incredibly tail-happy.
I believe the 6.2 could have the LSD as an option .... From specs I was reading.
Performance pack had one for sure

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leshkin

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If there's no real problems with it you'll probably regret selling it .... But at least you've enjoyed it to the max.

Nothing quite like it in looks and style. I can't say that I like the looks of the 8V's as much.

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Oh don't get me wrong, the car is epic and if I had the space I'd keep it. I just want a decent RWD sports car that is all about handling dynamics and fun. Wife's new car will be used as a comfy family bus. I'm hopefully test driving the M2 Competition this week, so it's either that or an E46 M3 for me.
 

smurfworth

Registered User
I'm not sure if they come with a LSD... I think they have the electronic one, but either way it was incredibly tail-happy.

I believe the 6.2 could have the LSD as an option .... From specs I was reading.
Performance pack had one for sure

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Yeah as mentioned it was an option or included in the performance pack, would still be tail happy I’d have thought just more predictable
 

leshkin

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Yeah as mentioned it was an option or included in the performance pack, would still be tail happy I’d have thought just more predictable
Yeah it was pretty manageable, just so easy to let the rear step out - very different to the way my S3 behaves :)
 

paddy

Registered User
My 10p's worth would be to ask why you want to sell it. Is it because its almost done ? or you have taken it as far as practical, maybe you want to start again with something new ? I have often thought about a more focused driving machine, maybe a 911 C4S. i looked at an M3 and both were dismissed because of economy and basic running costs, i dont want to have to worry about fuel costs or paying twice the price for tires. Its hard to find a car with 380 or even 420bhp that does 30+mpg and only ties up 15k ...
In the end i decided i was selling to try and find a replacement and the S3 would be a bench mark which then made me think i should wait till i see something that i really cant live without, not sell up and hope to find something better than what i have....
Hope you find the right thing :)
 

leshkin

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My 10p's worth would be to ask why you want to sell it. Is it because its almost done ? or you have taken it as far as practical, maybe you want to start again with something new ? I have often thought about a more focused driving machine, maybe a 911 C4S. i looked at an M3 and both were dismissed because of economy and basic running costs, i dont want to have to worry about fuel costs or paying twice the price for tires. Its hard to find a car with 380 or even 420bhp that does 30+mpg and only ties up 15k ...
In the end i decided i was selling to try and find a replacement and the S3 would be a bench mark which then made me think i should wait till i see something that i really cant live without, not sell up and hope to find something better than what i have....
Hope you find the right thing :)
I'm selling because the original reasoning for buying the S3 no longer applies mainly because my wife started to drive a car again and we'll be getting her a more comfier and larger family car to replace the Mini. Having only car in the family was the reason for a practical performance car, but now that it's not the case and I'm in a position to get something that is designed to be a performance car and this prospect is very tempting.
I have reservations and these are mainly to do with my attachment to the S3 - it's an amazing car, but I can't help shake the want for something more focused, less practical... more fun I guess. Plus I'm getting old, so perfect time to have a mid-life crisis :)
 

ElzLewis

Registered User
Seems like either way you will miss the s3 unless the new car absolutely blows it out of the water performance/handling wise which I imagine means buying an expensive car aha!
 

smurfworth

Registered User
Yeah it was pretty manageable, just so easy to let the rear step out - very different to the way my S3 behaves :)

I think all rwd performance motors are like it in comparison to the s3’s, with the s3 you can be an absolute idiot like foot to the floor leaving a roundabout, point it in the direction you want to go and it does but with all higher hp performance focused rear driven motors it’s not like it. They’ll all feel tail happy slightly as we’re used to the safety of the 4wd. High hp is suited to 4wd motors however there is that fun factor that the s3’s can lack at times. I know how you feel though, am in the same boat at the min and am unsure if I can really let the s3 go as it’s such an awesome motor for not a lot of money
 

leshkin

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I think all rwd performance motors are like it in comparison to the s3’s, with the s3 you can be an absolute idiot like foot to the floor leaving a roundabout, point it in the direction you want to go and it does but with all higher hp performance focused rear driven motors it’s not like it. They’ll all feel tail happy slightly as we’re used to the safety of the 4wd. High hp is suited to 4wd motors however there is that fun factor that the s3’s can lack at times. I know how you feel though, am in the same boat at the min and am unsure if I can really let the s3 go as it’s such an awesome motor for not a lot of money

Hit the nail on the head there - with my S3 I can be a wally and it won't bat an eyelid, but with a RWD, high HP car you need to be on top of your game more of the time, which is what I'm starting to miss. Saying that, I had plenty of times when all four wheels lost traction and AWD powerslide hilarity ensued, but to do that you really need to be nailing it.

Yes, there will be times when I miss the S3 for its ability to annihilate most things on the road or pin me in the seat with the level of effortless acceleration, but I'm finding myself wondering more and more about the fun that could be had at a quarter of the speed in a RWD car... Who knows, I might end up taking the S3 off the road and storing it for a year or two at a friend's farm warehouse, while I get this out of my system with a RWD plaything :)
 

paddy

Registered User
all i am saying is sell the S3 because you found something better you really want :) dont sell it "hoping" to find something better you really want..
 

miltybilty

Registered User
Add a haldex controller and see how you like it .... Apparently it shunts more of the power to the back. Not quite sure on this.

What's your thoughts on the TTRS?

Why the M2 Competition though? If they sound like the M3/M4 then oh h*** .... The regular M2 is one of the best sounding cars though ....

Sent from my highchair using Tapacar
 

leshkin

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Add a haldex controller and see how you like it .... Apparently it shunts more of the power to the back. Not quite sure on this.

What's your thoughts on the TTRS?

Why the M2 Competition though? If they sound like the M3/M4 then oh h*** .... The regular M2 is one of the best sounding cars though ....

Sent from my highchair using Tapacar

I don't really like the styling of a TT if I'm honest, but main reason is that I want a fun, relatively powerful RWD car with a manual box and good handling. The M2 Comp is something that really made me interested in potentially owning a modern car as a result of this focus on driving. I get the sound with the OPF filter, but it's easily solved with one of many after-market systems that still keep the warranty intact for the rest of the car and easy to revert if needed.
 

miltybilty

Registered User
I don't really like the styling of a TT if I'm honest, but main reason is that I want a fun, relatively powerful RWD car with a manual box and good handling. The M2 Comp is something that really made me interested in potentially owning a modern car as a result of this focus on driving. I get the sound with the OPF filter, but it's easily solved with one of many after-market systems that still keep the warranty intact for the rest of the car and easy to revert if needed.
True m2 looks much better.

Opf filter as in the gas particulate filter?

M2 comp is great other than it has the S55 which .... Welllllll there's many BMW forums threads on it .... Like there 4cylinders that sound better.

The regular M2 with the N55 sounds amazing with an exhaust though

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downtothebone

Registered User
Life’s too short not to give something else a try ...
 

S.

Save the manuals
Add a haldex controller and see how you like it .... Apparently it shunts more of the power to the back. Not quite sure on this.

Sent from my highchair using Tapacar
It does. Today i felt like the rear end is racing the front end.
@leshkin good luck with the sale and new car! Scratch that itch!
 

paddy

Registered User
Does sound like you need a 997 or even a manual Cayman S
These people are just down the road from me and worth a visit even if its just to cross it off the list

https://www.cridfords.co.uk/inventory/used_cars/201313-porsche-cayman-s-cayman-34s-manual/

Sorry but a BMW is a bit of a backward step :) I looked at a new black 3 series in the car park the other day and i thought they had invented a new paint finish ? but it was just an appalling orange peel. Quite frankly if it had been my new car i would have rejected it.
 

smurfworth

Registered User
Add a haldex controller and see how you like it .... Apparently it shunts more of the power to the back. Not quite sure on this.

What's your thoughts on the TTRS?

Why the M2 Competition though? If they sound like the M3/M4 then oh h*** .... The regular M2 is one of the best sounding cars though ....

Sent from my highchair using Tapacar

Wear rate on the tyres on mine without a haldex controller is rears wear twice as fast as the front, shows how much power already gets moved to the back
 

leshkin

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...and she is now sold. Mixed feelings about this, but a new adventure awaits. If anyone wants to see what happens next, feel free to follow me on instagram (@leshkinski).

leshkin, signing out....
 

mechanic69

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...and she is now sold. Mixed feelings about this, but a new adventure awaits. If anyone wants to see what happens next, feel free to follow me on instagram (@leshkinski).

leshkin, signing out....

Good show less, loved your posts. And your engine cover lol


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leshkin

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Was stumbling over my old Youtube videos and found this video - made me remember the times with this car and get all nostalgic (please excuse the music, it was free:) )


Thought I'd come and say hi :)
 

ch1z64

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Lovely Scencery

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