Old to New, S3 8L to S3 8P


Registered User
Hi guys,

Just thought I'd record some initial thoughts.

I picked my new S3 up from Links Audi Macclesfield on Saturday (21-04-07)morning 10:00am on the dot.

It was a great experience at Links Audi, a dealership that has been renowned for years in the North West for excellent customer service and a friendly, family atmosphere. I've been using them for 8+ years now.

They made it special by having the car covered, and once all paper work was sorted, we unveiled it.

See Gallery: http://audi-sport.net/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=558&ppuser=150

The car was gleaming. Even though I had specified to Links:- just remove the plastic protective coverings, remove residual glue, jet wash and leave to dry. No sponges, no hydro blades etc etc. Hence, no swirls or fine scratches in my new paint! They had done as I asked.

So we where shown around the car. When I opened the door and saw the bucket seats, we (me and the missus) knew we'd made a good choice, they look awesome. We then sat in the car whilst the salesman explained some of the different features of the car compared to my S3 8L.

I was well impressed by the updated DIS functions. Oil temp being a good one, digital speedo and lap timer for on a track.

Eventually it was time to go. And nervously we headed off out of Macclesfield, up towards Whalley Bridge on to Buxton and then up over the Cat & Fiddle road back to Macclesfield. These are twisty A-roads with long straights.

What a superb car this is. Even though I was keeping the revs to a self-inflicted maximum of 4000 rpm, you can feel the potential of this car. It wants to go faster. But even in high gears like 4th and 5th, at 50-60 mph, the grunt that the car has is amazing. Comparing it to the demonstrator that I drove in January, this car is much smoother, no lag, and picks up from around 2200-2400 rpm.

The whole feel of the car is aimed at the driver. Seating position, pedals, Flat Bottomed MFSW, braking, handling and balance, its all just spot on. You just want to push-on more and more. They've also done a great job on the speed-dependant steering - it really weights up smoothly. Also, the small, Flat Bottomed steering wheel is a must IMO, its the perfect size, really sporty.

In comparison to the S3 8L, its similar, but they've moved it on a bit more. I loved my S3 8L, loved it (despite its little niggles and problems), and during the week or so before collection of the S3 8P, I was more sad at seeing the S3 8L go than I was looking forward to the S3 8P. But this new car has just moved the game on in all areas. Its also very refined when you are taking it easy, it rides the ruts and bumps better, its smooth on the motorway too. All the ******** in the mags about it being twitchy on the motorway is just that, ********. Its fine.

But the best thing of all is the engine. It sounds great for a 4-pot, its got a good exhaust note, and I just can't fault it at the moment. No lag at this stage anyway. I can't wait till its run-in.


Well I do think the standard of plastics in the A3/S3 8P range is not a patch on those used in the A3/S3 8L. The plastic on the dash, seat bases, door panels, are a lot cheaper looking. The S3 8L also had touches like: fabric in the door pockets to cushion things in a luxury type of way and stop them sliding around, not in this car. Just cheaper looking plastic. But the aluminium bits look decent, and the air vent rings. Switches are of the same excellent Audi quality.

Leather. There is no way this Silk Nappa leather is of the same quality as that used on the S3 8L Recaros. Nor is the leather black as stated, its grey/ charcoal. But I'll live with it. The leather on the bucket seats, especially were your **** hits, is much corser, and doesn't have the quality feel that the S3 8L had. Sorry, thats what I think.

Boot. Is it me or is it smaller? I don't think its as wide.

BOSE. Its good, just as good as the S3 8L sounds superb and I am happy with it. If I had to say one thing, I do think the bass does not shift as much air, so you don't feel it your ****/back - but you did in the 8L. I think the sub-woofer must be smaller in the 8P (if it has one).

Wheels. They are growing on me, but I can perfectly understand why others are fitting spacers. It doesn't look too bad at the front, but the rear wheels look too far in.

Any regrets?

Wish I'd ordered the Auto Light pack, or whatever its called, because it has the added feature of Coming Home lighting function - useful in dark streets etc.

Also wish I'd gone for bluetooth phone prep, as my TomTom 910 Hands Free function is ****.

Thats all I can think of at the moment. :)



Congratulations Al!

Same thoughts here! Although I did not had the previous S3 I cannot compare those Cons... But my car is very similar to yours, and those bucket seat are great, try a long trip and you will see they are great!
They are a bit prone to crease on the side bolsters but that is just normal use...



Registered User
Cheers Pedro!


Four Wheel Drifting
Nice one Al, great looking car and it sounds like you had a great day! Get some pics up of the interior for us!


under pressure
Congratulations Al and have fun with it !


Registered User
Congrats Al, very detail post, it was a nice read!


Registered User
Great review.

I wasn't totally convinced by the looks of the new S3 as originally I thought it was too similar to the S-Line but have now changed my mind and love the subtle modifications. I sat in a black S3 friday at Derby Audi which had the leather bucket seats and flat bottomed S/W and was instantly won over, everything is just right with the seats making the car feel very special indeed, I guess when considering the S3 you have to be prepared to dig deep and appreciate the whole package adding those essential upgrades mentioned. I now love the car and will definetly consider one when the pushchair and baby paraphenalia is no longer required, can only imagine how well it drives as I didn't dare ask for a test drive knowing full well I'd have been hooked :) Enjoy............


Site Sponsor
Site Sponsor
VCDS Map User
Nice to hear that Macc Audi treated you well, i have been trying to decide where i should take my A3 for its service and i think Macc Audi will be my Audi dealership for the next few years!!!
AL_B said:
I was well impressed by the updated DIS functions. Oil temp being a good one,

Am I missing something here, I can not find oil temp on my car. Looked in the book, checked the DIS menus, Nothing. Can anyone tell me where to find it please.

Good post by the way !!




Registered User

Just go the sat nav plus route and fit the bluetooth kit to work in conjunction with that like I've done, its excellent!


Registered User
treblesykes said:
alan bastaard?

:) hehehe


Links, the servicing section has gone through a lot of changes over last few years. They are still good but not quite as good as they used to be when Huw Crampton was there. But I'd still recommend them.


Glad you like the pics. I was surprised at how well they turned out.

Sorry I didn't take any of the interior, but due to my cleaning instructions i.e. don't clean, they didn't touch anything. So it needed a dust/wipe down.

Will take some an post, as soon as the weather stops p#ssing it down.

One thing I'll add, I know the tyres won't be scrubbed in yet at 170 miles, but not sure about them in terms of grip and feel. They are Continental Sport Contact 2's. Perhaps the side walls aren't as hard as the Goodyear F1's on my S3 8L. I'll check the pressures first though.



I was impressed is a good way about the Conti´s... But next it will be Michelin Sport or Bridgestone Potenza...



Registered User

Its probably in my mind. I'll only be able to make a proper judgement when the car is run-in and I'm putting it into bends quicker etc.

Very comfortable ride on them though.



Registered User
Al, how are you getting on with the buckets? As you probably know from my recent thread, I'm considering them but I am concerned that they are a bit narrow around the thighs. Have you noticed this, and if so, have you had a chance to see whether this is a problem on a long drive?


I can answer this one! The bucket seats are made for not very large people, I am 180cm and weight 71kg and they are perfect for me but if you are a bit larger you might find them too tight...

Long runs concerned, I have done 3000Km (yes 3000Km) in two days and no back problems or any other problems related with the seats...

I would spec them again and ~'m very happy I did... Tricky to get into them and for sure the side bolster will show some creases with use but that is normal as far I'm concerned...

Al, please leave your thoughts....



Registered User
I would agree with Pedro. However I haven't done a long journey, so can't comfort on long drive comfort.

I'm a slim framed bloke, but with the beginnings of middle-aged spread!! haha :) 5'9", 10 stone. The seats are perfect for me. I would expect if someone is 6'+ big build or perhaps on the chubby side, the seats might be a bit tight. And may also proove difficult to get in and out of, if you don't want to crease the seat base side bolster.

I push the seat all the way back. The I push myself up, with left and on steering wheel, right hand through outer "harness loop hole" and push up with my left leg, whilst lifting my right leg over the bolster and sill. I want this leather to last. Its akward I know.

Is it worth the hassle. Well, if you've already had electric seats, like I have, its no big deal going back to manual. So its all down to how the seats look and how they hold you. I'd say if you like taking the car out on the twisties and want the S3 to look that little bit more special (i.e. to stand out from the S-lines interior wise) then I'd get the buckets. But I'd recommend you try them for size first.



Registered User
Congrats Al. Happy motoring.


That's a nice touch. Do they do that for all their customers, or just the "S" ones? Is it something all Audi UK dealers do?

Wes G

Registered User
Lovely motor Al-love the look of the bucket seats:hubbahubba: Looks like the Dealer looked after you really well-never seen the local dealer in Norwich do that-great touch!:applaus: