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    Emma Woodcock

    Tuned 520bhp Audi RS3 8P

    Posted in Cars on Sunday, 31 March 2019

    Standard it might seem but Kevin Baird’s 8P RS3 hides a dirty little 520bhp secret… Words Emma Woodcock. Photography Adam Walker.

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    360bhp tuned 2.0-litre TFSI MRC Tuning Stage 2+ ECU re-map Audi S3 8P

    Posted in Cars on Saturday, 02 February 2019

    Sting in the tail. Meet ‘Bumblebee’: Fhiona Scott’s Imola Yellow S3 that might look largely standard, but that’s ready to deliver a substantial turbocharged attack when provoked… Words Jordan Ballard. Photography Adam Walker.

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    Prime cut S3 8P Show-stopper revealed. When Matt Vanstone isn’t preparing the Southwest’s finest fillet steaks, he’s working on his stunning S3…. Words Davy Lewis Photography AJ Walker.

    The second generation Audi S3 is a cracking little car. Launched in 2007, it packs a potent 2.0 TFSI engine, quattro drive and the kind of neatly understated looks that set it apart as a premium hatch back. Audi sold bucket loads of them and they’ve become one of the most frequently tuned of all the S models. So when Matt Vanstone was after a new car, he had his sights set on an S3. “I’d been into Fords before,” he explains, “but I wanted something I could modify in a Dub style.”

    After looking at a couple of cars, he found an immaculate S3 in Sprint blue, which he fell in love with. “It was only down the road from me and although it wasn’t as highly spec’d as the others I’d seen, I didn’t mind as I planned to upgrade it.”

    Having thrown £14k at the salesman, Matt proceeded to enjoy his new toy. “I’d spent all my cash, so it was standard for about a year,” he says. But the plan right from the off was to create something show worthy – just as soon as he’d saved up the money. Then disaster struck...
    “It was during the floods of 2014; I was driving home and hit standing water.” The S3 aquaplaned into a ditch and the damage was significant. “My heart sank, I thought it was a write-off – but I just got away with it,” recalls Matt.

    That said, there was a big bill for replacement parts, including a new front end, wings and other bits, which all told added up to about four-grand – which wiped out the tuning budget. However, there was some good news…

    “I came into a little bit of money and while the car was in the bodyshop I decided to do a few bits to it.” This included fitting the latest (at the time) Air Lift Performance kit, some Forge Motorsport goodies and new wheels. With the S3 making good progress, Matt went along to Ultimate Dubs, where he was blown away by the standard of some of the cars. “I met Jules Loose and he invited me to join Dubfiction, which is where I got a lot of help and inspiration for the car.”

    At this point, there weren’t any RS-style honeycomb grilles available off-the-shelf, but Matt had his heart set on one. So, he set about making his own. “I ordered a brand new RS6 grille from Audi and my mate cut out the honeycomb section and adapted it to fit the S3’s OEM grille. It involved a lot of work and expense, but looks fantastic, especially with the satin silver surround, which he’d seen on an RS4. Next came new wheels.

    “Jules offered me a set of RAD48s, but they weren’t quite “wow” enough for me, so I sent them off to be ceramic-polished. Sounds simple enough, until Matt explains this involved shipping them off to Belgium for the work to be carried out, at a cost of about £500. Now that’s commitment.

    With the exterior looking good, Matt turned his attention to the inside.

    “I knew I had to really go for it to make the car stand out at shows, so I bought a full S5 interior,” he says. Unfortunately, the seats were in bad shape, with dodgy electrics and bent sub frames. “They needed about £900 spending on them and I felt like giving up,” he admits. But it’s when you’re at your lowest point that your mates really help and Jules, plus girlfriend Terri told him to carry on – setting a deadline of the next Ultimate Dubs show to get the car ready. “That left us just three weeks,” laughs Matt.

    “I managed to get hold of some genuine Bentley leather for the seats – I hadn’t even seen the colour, apart from a picture,” he says. When he visited the trimmer to see the progress, there was another heart-in-mouth moment: “I didn’t like the colour,” laughs Matt. But girlfriend, Terri, said it would be okay and told him to let the trimmer get on with it. “She even bought me a flat-bottom steering wheel, which spurred me on.” The trimmer had some work to do though – the stitch pattern alone took over a week to complete. Finally, with the show just hours away, having pulled another allnighter, Matt and his crew made it to the show, even having to stop en route to pick up the parcel shelf.

    But you know what – it was all worth it. The S3 was very well received with plenty of nice comments about the interior. With a renewed enthusiasm for the 8P, Matt began planning his next show – Early Edition. Then, disaster struck for a second time: “An inlet cam snapped and I ended up having to get an engine rebuild.” This took another chunk out of the tuning budget, but as Matt says, ‘You can just give up, or accept that life gives you hurdles like this and get on with it.” Wise words indeed.

    The engine itself is now in rude health and although not currently running any performance software, the Cobra Sport exhaust has transformed the S3’s character. The 3in turbo-back system, with sports cat, is much freer flowing and delivers a nicely rorty sound, without any annoying drone. There’s also a Forge twintercooler and inlet, which means this S3 is ready to have its potential unleashed with a remap.

    At the time of writing, Matt is recovering after a flat-out Christmas rush preparing turkeys for his customers, but in between wielding his cleaver, he’s been planning his next upgrades. “I’m fitting some new wheels, plus some carbon bits and maybe big brakes for next season,” he says. “I also want to get the engine sorted, so I’ll be giving the guys at MRC Tuning a call at some point.” There’s lots more to come from this S3 – look out for it at this year’s shows.

    SPECIFICATION #2017-Audi-S3-8P / #Audi-S3-8P / #Audi-S3 / #Audi-A3-8P / #Audi-A3 / #Air-Lift / #RAD48-DR1 / #RAD48 / #Audi-8P / #Audi /

    Engine 2.0 #TFSI , #Forge twin take induction kit with carbon fibre air filter covers, Forge chrome recirulating value, #Forge-twintercooler , Forge blue silicone hose kit, Forge chrome charcoal canister cover, Forge chrome oil water and coolant caps, custom made engine cover using old air box and dipped in carbon fibre affect and colour coded pipe work in sprint blue, turbo back sport cat exhaust system by Cobra Sport all in 3in pipework

    Transmission 6-speed manual, Forge adjustable quick shifter

    Suspension Full #Air-Lift-Performance slam struts with 3/8 airlines and two #Vair comps and 4-gallon skinned tank with #V2-Auto #AutoPilot-V2 management

    Wheels #RAD48-DR1s 8.5x19in all round et45 fully ceramic polished by Felgenwerkes/puc polished in Nanking tyres NS2s 215/35x19

    Interior 2011 flat bottom steering wheel with carbon fibre air bag cover, Audi S5 front seats with custom diamond stitch in centres and retrimmed in Bentley nappa leather with a blue stitch, carbon fibre control panel and seat backs and grab handle, rear seats, arm rest, hand brake, gear gaiter, parcel shelf, glove box, under steering wheel and door card inserts all trimmed to match

    Exterior 2011 rear lights, custom made, front grille using RS6 and standard one moulded together to make one grille then painted gloss black centre and satin silver ends, carbon fibre b pillars, Forge chrome petrol cap

    Contacts and thanks Stefan May at Tiki Custom, Kris Butler at Forge Motorsport, Jules and Mario at RAD48 wheels, James batty at Autofinesse, Colin Haden at D Hayden Upholstery, Matt at System Clenz, Indy at Felgenwerkes/Stefan puc polished, Nick Cockman at Cobra Sport exhausts, the Mrs, Terri for putting up with my temper tantrums, the whole Dubfiction crew, Adam Ford for many late nights working on it before shows.

    “I knew I had to really go for it to make the car stand out...”

    Essentials: air and detailing kit.
    Bentley leather was used for the interior.
    Flat-bottom wheel with carbon centre.
    Nicely detailed bay, with big power to come.
    Cobra exhaust looks and sounds ace.

    Dubfiction 9 July 2017

    If you haven’t heard about Dubfiction, it’s a cracking show with a very welcoming attitude. Based in Derbyshire’s Peak District at one of the UK’s most picturesque locations, it offers plenty of space to park up, a show and shine, trade, music and camping. The new date for 2017 is 9 July, so make sure you get it in your diary and check out Dubfiction on Facebook. Dubfiction 2017 – 10am - 4pm, The Bull I’ th’ thorn Inn, Ashbourne Road, Hurdlow SK17 9QQ.
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    AUDI S3 TTE420 turbo and
    APR-tuned / TTE420 S3 8P – photographed by AJ Walker

    Words Davy Lewis Photography AJ Walker BRIGHT IDEA The TTE420 turbo set up is a fantastic way to liven up an S3, and the new / TTE-specific APR software has taken it to the next level…

    AUDI S3 TTE420 and APR-tuned

    There’s an old adage that bigger is better. But, when it comes to turbos, bigger is not automatically better.

    The thought of bolting on a whopping great GT40 with 700bhp+ potential to your 2.0 #TFSI #Audi may sound exciting – and with a fully built engine and drag racing in mind, it may be just the job. However, for the road, it will be a bit limiting. For starters it will likely as not offer a very narrow power band – that bit of the rev range where you can actually use the damn thing. It’ll take time to spool up and require a very careful custom map to use it. Performance road cars need a more user friendly set up, which is where TTE come in.

    TTE or The Turbo Engineers, to use their full name, specialize in creating high performance blowers that are carefully developed to get the most out of specific engines. While peak numbers are of course important (everyone wants to know how much you’ve got), it’s the real world drivability that’s key to every TTE set up. The hardware is only part of the puzzle, however. Without well-developed ECU software, you’ll never get near to the full potential of an after market turbo set up.

    Renowned US tuners, APR, recognized this, and developed software calibrated especially for the TTE420 kit. A huge number of man hours went into the map, which has been created to deliver great power, but more importantly, excellent drivability. So when Dan Svarups, the owner of this subtle looking S3, was looking to harness the potential of his TTE420, he headed to APR UK to see what they could do for him.

    “I had an 8L S3 before this but wanted the newer model,” says Dan. Having spotted the immaculate Imola yellow 8P, he knew it was the car for him. “The owner had really looked after it as it was an ex-show car.” The 2007 S3 had everything he wanted, so it was almost perfect.

    Dan drove it for a couple of months before starting to look at engine tuning. “Over the next six to nine months I did the intake, exhaust and had a Stage 2 map applied,” recalls Dan. It made a big difference to the performance of the 2.0 TFSI. Next came Stage 2+ (335bhp), which entailed a fuel system upgrade. “I did all of the work myself, before taking the S3 to its first track day,” he says.


    The testing Oulton Park circuit was the perfect place to really see what the upgrades could do and the S3 didn’t disappoint. “It was one of the fastest cars on the day,” smiles Dan. “One of the guys from PistonHeads, who was testing a Caterham 360R and couldn’t get past me, came up to me and said, ‘That car is rapid!’”

    It was around this time that the TTE420 turbo kit was released and an offer came up to buy a kit for the S3. The uprated blower was duly fitted by VAG Technik, before a map was added. Unfortunately, the car didn’t run as well as Dan had hoped and peak power was down to around 380bhp – a good 40bhp lower than predicted. At this stage, Dan spoke to Awesome. It turned out they had a brand new map, calibrated specifically for the TTE420 set up and his would be the first car in the UK to take advantage of it. So the S3 was dropped off at Awesome’s Manchester HQ…

    “When I picked up the car, it was like night and day,” laughs Dan. It was unbelievably fast – in fact it was f***** violent when you put your foot down, he continues. “The power comes in about 3,500rpm, with full 2bar of boost – but put your foot down, in any gear, and it just pulls.” In fact it goes so well that Dan is looking into improving the brakes. But like the rest of this stock looking S3, they’ll need to be stealthy so as not to give the game away.

    The interior has also been left untouched, save for a neat little Prosport boost gauge that’s housed in one of the central air vents. It’s this OEM+ focus that I really like about this S3. On the face of it, you have a great looking car that most people would view as a fairly quick car. And it can be driven in a very civilized manner thanks to the welldeveloped APR map. But when you drop the hammer to unleash the potential of the TTE420 kit, it becomes an animal. It’s this Jekyl and Hyde nature that Dan loves about the S3 – the fact that it totally surprises people at the traffic lights – and can also offer big thrills on track. With track days booked at Spa and the Nürburgring, this summer, plus a session at our own VAG Tuner Live event on 10 July at Donington, this bright idea is set to surprise even more people.

    Top: One not so mellow yellow S3...

    Left: Boost gauge comes in handy.

    Top right: Uprated brakes are next on the list Below: Stock interior is all good.
    Above: Revo intake is a great upgrade on the 2.0 TFSI.
    “The APR map has harnessed the potential of the #TTE420-kit

    SPECIFICATION #2007 / #Audi-S3-8P / #Audi-A3-8P / #Audi-8P / #Audi / #Audi-A3 / #Audi-S3 / #TTE420-hybrid-turbo

    Engine 2.0 TFSI, #TTE420 hybrid turbo, #APR-420 software, #Milltek cat back exhaust, #Pipewerx 3in downpipe and decat, #Revo cold air intake, #Airtec stage 2 intercooler, CTS turbo outlet pipe, CTS throttle pipe, #Autotech HPFP, DW65v LPFP, 155bar FPRV

    Power 423bhp and 437lb/ft
    Transmission 6-speed manual with uprated clutch
    Brakes S3 with uprated discs and pads
    Suspension #H&R ARBs, #H&R springs
    Wheels Stock S3
    Interior Stock S3, leather sports sets, flat bottom steering wheel, #Prosport boost gauge in air vent
    Exterior S3 three door in Imola yellow

    Contacts and thanks Mark and the team at Awesome/APR, www.goapr.co.uk, #VAG-Technik in Eccles, Dave Gregson for all the help, and missus Kat for putting up with me and helping to wax it for the shoot

    “When I picked the car up it was like night and day... it was incredibly fast”
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    UNDER THE RADAR S3 8V 380bhp sleeper

    From Imola yellow daily driver, to matt grey stealth bomber; this 380bhp S3 has packs an unexpected punch… Words Davy Lewis. Photography Dave Jack.

    I have a confession to make: I like yellow cars. There’s something about the bright hue that just does it for me – especially when it’s freshly polished on a bright sunny day (not that this happens much in the UK). I almost bought an Imola yellow B5 S4 avant a few months back, which I neither needed, nor could really justify – but it was the fact it was yellow that had me sorely tempted.

    So, why on earth am I banging on about yellow, when the car you here is clearly, grey? Well, I’ll let you into a little secret: this S3 was once yellow (technically still is, it’s just hidden under an immaculately well applied 3M wrap).

    “I fancied a change from yellow and the matt grey appealed as it’s subtle and understated – the complete opposite to how it was originally,” says owner Richard Steele. It’s refreshing to see someone wrap their car in this way – many do it the other way round – adding bright vinyl to a black or grey car.

    “Prior to the S3 I had a slightly modified A3 Black Edition. I loved everything about the car, until I test drove an S3 and had to have one!” says Richard. With his heart set on an 8P, he set about searching for the perfect car. He quickly found the Imola yellow example, which ticked (almost) all the boxes – it was a Black Edition with DSG and sat nav – the only things missing were the wing back Recaros.

    “My goal with the S3 was to give it RS3-inspired looks and performance as this is the car I ultimately hoped to own eventually; at the time I wasn’t really in a position to afford an RS,” recalls Richard.

    The upgrades began slowly at first with a Stage 1 remap, some new wheels, and lowering springs. But it wasn’t long before things progressed somewhat…

    Richard continues, “After about a year of ownership I ended up with a 380bhp, mini monster that would give most big fish a run for their money. The 0-60 was recorded on a Racelogic box at 3.7-seconds. It’s fair to say that with launch control, it went like a stabbed rat!” he laughs. With relatively simple engine upgrades, it’s testament to just how good the S3’s 2.0 TFSI unit is, that it can be persuaded to make almost 400bhp and deliver supercar levels of acceleration.


    An APR Stage 2+ map is key to the power, which has been calibrated to work with the full Milltek turbo-back exhaust system with de-cat. With the restrictive cat and downpipes replaced, there’s so much more potential in these cars. A Loba high-pressure pump gets the super unleaded in fast, while a CTS carbon intake takes care of feeding cool air to the engine. With 380bhp and 559Nm, this is one rapid S3. Any more than this would require turbo and supporting upgrades, but for bolt-on tuning on OE engine and turbo, it’s certainly effective.

    Part of the appeal with this particular S3 was the fact it had an S-tronic box. The stock unit offers fast shifts – but these can be ramped up further still with a gearbox map. Ecotune have livened things up so that Richard can hold onto gears for longer; take advantage of faster, crisper shifts and, of course, use the launch control function – which was key to the blistering 0-60mph time he achieved.

    When it comes to wraps, the matt grey look always seems to work well, especially when teamed up with some gloss black details. The window surrounds and rear badges are all gloss, as well as the RS-style honeycomb grille and air intakes in the front bumper. It all looks very classy. But there’s a nod to the OEM paintwork with the bright yellow brake calipers and S3 badges.

    Wheel choice is something that’s very personal and even slight differences in offset or design can have a big impact on the overall look of a car. In this case, Richard has stayed true to his OEM roots and gone for a set of 8x18in multi-spokes from an A4 DTM. They look like they were made for the 8P; subtle, classy and offering plenty of room to show off the bright yellow brakes (with some 3mm spacers added). Incidentally, the calipers are RS3 units, painted to match the original Imola yellow paintwork – but they look just as at home alongside this matt grey wrap. These high-spec OEM brakes also do a grand job of hauling this 380bhp 8P down from big speeds.

    The final chassis tweak came in the form of the suspension. Not wanting to go for uncompromising coilovers, Richard fitted some quality H&R sports springs which bring the ride height down nicely, which not only looks much better also tightens up the handling. With less pitch and roll, the S3 feels more planted through turns, allowing more spirited progress to be made. Thankfully there’s plenty of grip from the quattro drive system, powering Goodyear Eagle F1s at each corner.

    Inside, this immaculate S3 is already well equipped with a flat-bottom wheel, Bose audio and sat nav, but that hasn’t stopped Richard putting a personal touch on it. Some neat yellow stitching has been added to the wheels and the gear gaiter – another nod to this car’s Imola yellow roots.

    A large part of the fun for Richard, like many others, is being able to meet a network of like minded Audi enthusiasts. “I’ve made good friends with local enthusiasts,” he says, “they all had a part to play in the build; we always help one another with tuning each other’s cars and sharing advice/opinions. It’s this aspect of the build I’ve enjoyed the most.”



    With the S3 pretty much where Richard wants it; that is, a credible RS3-chaser; he’s decided it’s time for a change... “Just as I was getting to the stage where I was happy with the build, a perfectly spec’d and priced Daytona grey RS3 came along, so I ended up parting with my beloved S3. The RS3 build is currently underway and should hopefully be featuring in #Drive-My in the near future,” he adds with a smile. We hope so!

    SPECIFICATION #Audi-S3-8P / #2011 / #Audi-A3-8P / #Audi-S3 / #Audi / #Audi-A3 /

    Engine 2.0 #TFSI 4-cylinder turbo, #CTS-Turbo cold air intake and heat shield, #Loba high pressure fuel pump, turbo back full decat non-res #Milltek exhaust system, #APR stage 2+ map.

    Power 380bhp and 559Nm.

    Transmission 6-speed #S-tronic with #Ecotune custom map.

    Brakes Custom RS3 front calipers, TT RS front discs, #HEL braided lines, stock S3 rears.

    Suspension #H&R sports springs.

    Wheels and tyres 8x18in #Audi A4 #DTM wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 225/40R18 and 3mm spacers at the front.

    Exterior #3M matt dark grey vinyl wrap by TLC Detailing, custom S3 badges, RS3-style grille, sticky vinyl personalised number plate, gloss black trim, APR badge.

    Interior Recaro bucket seats, custom steering wheel with yellow interior stitching to match.

    Tuning contacts/thanks Ecotune www.ecotune-scotland.co.uk, TLC Detailing www.tlcdetailing.co.uk, APR www.goapr.co.uk, Dave Jack at Space 21 Photography for the photoshoot

    Top: Fast but stealthy Below: More cheeky yellow details
    “With launch control, it went like a stabbed rat!”

    Below left: Yellow stitching is neat Bottom More yellow on the RS3 brakes.

    “I ended up with a 380bhp, mini monster”

    Above: Grey wrap looks classy on this 8P S3.
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    REVO A3 Savage, Stage 4 2.0 TFSI / REVO A3 TRACK CAR

    HEAVY HITTER
    Revo Technik prove that a regular A3 2.0 TFSI can be taken to Stage 4, to create a reliable and seriously fun track car. Words Davy Lewis. Photography AJ Walker.

    Those of you who have been with us from the start, may recall we introduced Revo’s stock looking A3 in our Projects section back in issue 001. The silver, three-door 2.0 TFSI quattro was pretty unremarkable, and looked a bit lost amongst some big-power RS models. But, I had a sneaking suspicion that this humble A3 was going to become something rather special...

    the #Revo-Technik always run a fleet of the latest Audis, which are central to their development work (it just so happens they’re also great fun – perks of the job I guess!). But with access to a 550bhp S7, 400bhp S3 saloon, a 470bhp S5, and an SQ5, plus plenty of other cool cars, what on earth made them buy a #2005 A3?

    “Whilst all our cars are developed to perform, our demo fleet has always consisted of the latest and greatest Audis. There’s a high value in them and we’ve always been precious about who drives them,” says MD, Mark Yates. “We wanted to build a car all our staff could have a go in; something not so elitist that a wider audience could relate to but, more importantly, something that could showcase the potential of Revo products on what could be classed as an underdog platform.”

    It would give them something on which to demonstrate their range of tuning products, and prove that a regular Audi, like an A3 2.0 TFSI, could be tuned to Stage 4 to create a reliable and fun car. An 8P A3 made sense on many levels. For starters they’re a lot cheaper than an S3 – you can pick one up from around £4k as opposed to £10k+ for a decent, early S3. Okay, it makes do with 197bhp compared with the S3’s 261bhp, but with plans to rebuild the engine with a big turbo anyway, that wasn’t an issue. It’s a quattro, so there’s no problem with traction. And there are plenty around. “We always planned to strip it back to a bare shell so we could fit a multi-point roll cage,” says Revo’s Kev Hall, “So luxuries like electric leather seats, Bose audio and the other S3 goodies would’ve been wasted on this car.”


    The build itself has taken the best part of a year. That’s mainly because the guys have been so busy taking the company forward – there simply weren’t enough hours in the day to work on the A3, too. But, over the last couple of months, it’s really started to come together. It is however very different to how it began.

    The 2005 2.0 TFSI quattro was picked up for around £4,500. It had a decent spec, with leather seats etc, which were soon removed. The engine came out and the stripped out car was sent off to have a full FIA-approved roll cage fitted. The only interior bits left were the main part of the dash and some of the centre console. Everything else had been removed, including the surprisingly heavy sound deadening. The beauty of working in the vibrant #UK #VAG tuning scene was that Revo had no shortage of top line partners to turn to for upgrades.


    While the rolling shell was being worked on, the guys got busy with the engine build. Having initially planned to create a blog to show people how to take a stock car like this all the way to Stage 4 or 5, they realised the turbo on the 100k-miler was in poor shape. So they jumped straight to a Stage 3 K04 setup and then on to Stage 4 with the GTX3071.

    The engine was rebuilt using forged internals to prepare for its life of hard track use. This would also allow some big boost to be applied without the rods and pistons trying to make a bid for freedom from the block. You can see the detailed spec on the final page of the feature, but the focus has been on creating decent power while maintaining reliability. Keeping the charge temps down was a vital part of this, so the large Revo front mount intercooler plays a pivotal role in things. It reduces inlet temps by up to 35 percent.

    For the large GTX3071 to do its job effectively, the exhaust needed upgrading. Scorpion came to the rescue with a 3in turboback system. With the all important downpipe now far less restrictive, the 2.0 TFSI could breath more effectively. The system currently runs two boxes to keep the noise as low as possible to avoid failing any circuit noise tests. A down-turned tailpipe also helps to filter the sound more effectively.

    Peak power figures are great and it’s the thing people always get hung up about, but a big peak power figure is largely useless if it’s only accessible in the outer reaches of the powerband. So Revo have developed their Stage 4 software to offer bundles of usable torque throughout the rev range. Being fully in control of everything the engine is capable of doing, lets them get the most out of the car. It may be a track machine, but as it’s road legal and the setup is so flexible, you could still pop to the shops in it – if you really wanted to. As most Revo customers want tuning solutions for their road cars, it had to be this way.

    Our man, Adam Walker, road shotgun for some fast laps around Bedford Autodrome and called me straight afterwards to say it’s one of the quickest cars he’s been out in. Considering he spends his time shooting RS6s and the like, often with over 700bhp, this is impressive. Of course part of the reason this thing feels so rapid is the no compromise way it does its job. You can hammer it into a turn, braking incredibly late – then turn in and get back on the power to exit in rapid fashion. The grip is immense and you can really feel the g-forces at work as the A3 does its thing. It’s here that you’re glad of the Cobra seats and harnesses, which prevent passengers from eating the dashboard and allow the driver to stay firmly supported through some rapid changes of direction.


    Inside, all creature comforts have been removed. But then this was always intended to be an out-and-out track car. As you’d expect, with no sound deadening or trim to insulate you from the vibration and noise, plus those polycarbonate windows, it is quite lively inside – especially when you provoke that 480whp lump! With the glass removed, along with all of the interior trim, I’d estimate that well over 150kg has been saved, although bear in mind a fair amount has also been added with the installation of the multipoint roll cage.

    The main part of the dash has been left in tact, although it has been cut to allow the cage to be properly fitted (no dash dodger efforts here!) The centre console now featured a custom panel which houses a smattering of gauges from Demon Tweeks. These include essential engine health monitors such as EGT, air fuel ratio and oil temp.


    A competent chassis is a basic prerequisite for any track car. You can have all the power in the world, but if you can’t use it effectively because the brakes, suspension and tyres aren’t up to the job, then it’s pointless.

    The Bilstein Clubsport coilovers provide a multitude of adjustability for both bump and rebound (as well as height of course) to get the perfect set up for track. For a car with less weight and the possibility of running slicks at some stage, the Clubsports allow all of these variables to be taken into consideration. With adjustable top mounts, the camber can also be fine tuned to get the front end dialled in. Some negative camber is key to this A3’s keen turn in which also offers staggering levels of grip. This is due in part to the Wavetrack differential which helps to maintain traction, even in the tight turns. Eibach provided uprated anti-roll bars front and rear, which really do come into their own on track. This thing has practically no pitch or body roll, thanks to this highly effective set up. The next chassis upgrade was a set of Powerflex Black Series poly bushes. On a ten year old car, the stock bushes are bound to be past their best, leading to play in suspension and steering components. The Black Series kit has been developed for track and firms everything up. This gives a very tight and direct feel to the handling.


    When it came to the outside, Revo wanted a more aggressive look – but it had to be functional. The RS3-style front bumper certainly does the trick, and together with the honeycomb grille also helps airflow to the engine. With Revo’s own light weight 8x19in RV019 wheels fitted, the front arches would have needed some work, plus the RS3-style front bumper was designed to fit wide arches, so a set of fatter arches were also added. The car is essentially finished now. All that’s left to do is find some time and decent weather to go and lay down some performance times.


    Of course, you don’t have to go to the extent that Revo has with their stunning creation. You could use some of the upgrades to create a highly competent and fun road car that can also be used for the odd track thrash. And with A3 2.0 TFSIs starting at around £3k, building an S3-beater needn’t brake the bank either. Just go and see team Revo...


    SPECIFICATION #Audi-A3-2.0TFSI-Quattro / #2005 / #Audi-A3 / #Audi / #Audi-A3 / #Garrett / #Audi-A3-8P / #Quattro / #Audi-A3-2.0TFSI-Quattro-8P / #REVO-A3-Savage / #Revo /


    Engine 2.0 TFSI, #Garrett-GTX3071R , #Revo built engine using #Carrillo rods and pistons, #Scorpion turbo-back exhaust with down turned tailpipe, Revo Intake kit, Revo runner flap delete kit, #HPFP and upgraded RS4 injectors, TT RS low pressure fuel pump, TT RS fuel pump ECU, Revo catch can kit, Revo boost tap kit, Revo throttle pipe, Revo engine mounts, #Forge-Motorsport silicone hose kit, Revo FMIC, #NGK Spark plugs BKR8EIX, AEM water/meth injection.

    Power 480-485bhp (at the wheels) and 550-580Nm

    Suspension #Bilstein Clubsport coilovers, #Eibach ARBs front and rear, Powerflex Black Series bushes, Wavetrack LSD, uprated clutch and flywheel.

    Brakes Revo/Alcon big brake kit Wheels and Tyres Revo RV019 alloys in gloss black with Dunlop Sportmaxx.

    Interior Fully stripped out, including sound deadening, with only top of dash remaining, Custom Cages FIA/MSA-spec welded-in roll cage, bespoke Cobra Suzuka Pro GT seats, bespoke Cobra harness and pad kit, flocked door cards with red door pulls, gauges (boost/EGT/OT/AFR) in custom flocked panel, fire extinguisher kit, Sparco steering wheel, battery, DV+ supplied by #Demon-Tweeks , AEM water meth kit.

    Exterior RS3 style front bumper and grille, RS3 style rear bumper with gloss black rear diffuser, Plastics4Performance polycarbonate side and rear windows, custom gloss red wrap with Revo graphics, black Audi rings, Revo badge, rear wiper delete, gloss black rear spoiler.

    Thanks Revo’s master tech/racecar engineer Kev Brown for building the beast. Our partners/suppliers: Bilstein, Cobra, Demontweeks, Dunlop, Eibach, Forge, Meguiars, Powerflex, Scorpion, Wavetrack and special thanks to Revo MD Mark Yates for instigating the project and driving it with his enthusiasm and wealth of motorsport knowledge.

    Top Revo’s Paul Farenden was test pilot for the shoot.

    Top: Only the dash remains inside Above right: Cobra seats and harnesses with Revo branding Facing page: The 2.0 TFSI is running Stage 4 and over 480bhp at the wheels.

    Facing page top Revo RV019 wheels and big brakes Left: Fully committed on track at Bedford Above: Final checks before the track session Above right: The FIA multi-point roll cage.

    Top: The Revo A3 is a monster on track.


    BEDFORD AUTODROME

    Huge thanks to Bedford Autodrome, Motorsport Vision and also MSV Trackdays for allowing us to shoot the A3 at one of their events. If you haven’t been, Bedford is a fantastic venue with a huge amount of run off, allowing you to really push your car to the limit. MSV Trackdays run events at many circuits, which is a great way to spend a day. Head to www.msvt.co.uk.
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    EVOLUTION OF THE SPECIES / #2015

    Audi S3 8P 460bhp big-turbo S3. This S3 may look like many other show cars on air-ride, but underneath, there’s a potent 2.0 TFSI that’s packing a big GTX35 turbo capable of over 600bhp…

    Regular readers may know that we launched AudiTuner at Autosport International back in January. The NECbased event attracts the very cream of the motorsport industry with all the major teams and parts suppliers in attendance. For anyone with petrol running through their veins it’s a fantastic place to spend some time. Our stand was opposite the guys at Shark Performance, one of the UK’s most respected VAG tuning companies who specialise ECU recalibrations (that’s remapping to the layman). Chatting to MD Ben Wardle, he told us to go and have a look at an S3 that was parked up behind his stand, “But make sure you look under the bonnet,” he said. We duly did, and were a tad confused.

    On the face of it, here was an RS3 – we saw it front on to begin with. But we quickly realised it was an S3, with an RS front on it. Fair enough, looks pretty effective. A closer look revealed a set of large Bentley wheels. Now, no disrespect to those guys who choose to fit Bentley rims – they do come off a £100k car after all – but they tend to be fitted to show cars that don’t have big engines. Nothing wrong in that either; it’s just we like a bit of performance here at AudiTuner. The fact the S3 was on air-ride confirmed our suspicions that it may be an S/RS3 replica that probably had a wheezy 1.6 TDI under the bonnet. How wrong we were.

    As soon as the owner, Josh, opened the bonnet we were greeted with a serious looking 2.0 TFSI. There was a nifty looking exhaust manifold, large external waste gate, uprated fuelling and what appeared to be a rather large snail hiding towards the back of the bay. Hmm, we thought, interesting.

    It turns out that this fully built S3 lump is packing some top line upgrades and a dirty great GTX35 turbo, capable of running over 600bhp. We were intrigued; what’s an engine with 600+bhp potential doing in a show car on air-ride and Bentley rims? A good question!

    “I originally bought the S3 totally standard,” explains Josh. “Within two weeks I’d had it remapped, fitted an uprated exhaust and few other bits to get it to 360bhp,” he smiles. It went okay too, as anyone that’s got a 360bhp S3 will confirm. However, Josh wanted more. Trouble was, his insurance was having none of it and insisted he build up some no-claims before he could increase power. With his performance fun curtailed (for the time being at least), he looked at other ways to enjoy his Audi.

    This manifested itself in the air-ride system “Fitted by my dad, Andrew,” says Josh, the Bentley rims and the RS3 front end. Now before anyone says it, yes, we know it’s not a genuine RS3. But the front bumper and wings are genuine RS3 items, which is why the badge has been left on the grille. The rear arches have been pulled and had some metal added to increase their girth to match the front RS arches. It’s all been neatly done but isn’t over the top.



    A further motivation for the OEM+ upgrades is the fact that Josh runs a VAG breakers, Motors in Motion, which also do high-end cars, so he has a ready supply of cool kit to choose from. Josh has also done the majority of the work himself. This includes building the fully forged engine, ready to accept a large whalop of boost. Before the big turbo was fitted, Josh spent time uprating the rest of the 2.0 engine to ensure it was bullet proof.


    As you’d expect, the GT35 takes a bit of waking up, but once it gets into its stride, it’s savage. “The turbo doesn’t spool up until around 4,000rpm, but then it comes in with a bang,” laughs Josh. This may not be to everyone’s taste, but there’s no denying it’s a lot of fun when that turbo kicks in and all four wheels struggle to contain the violence. “I took it down the strip at GTI International and it was still wheel spinning as I changed up to fourth gear.” The intense nature of the power delivery is something that josh enjoys and it’s given him the inspiration for the next step.

    “I’m removing the air-ride to replace it with Bilstein coilovers,” he says. A set of lightweight Team Dynamics alloys are also planned, along with a set of sticky Toyo R888R tyres. The final addition aimed at improving the traction, especially when the full fat 600bhp is unleashed, will be a Haldex controller. With all of these traction enhancing measures in place, he should have a fighting chance of taming that vicious power delivery. Of course, he could fit a smaller turbo, but that wouldn’t be as much fun! But he plans to go further still.

    “I’m going to completely strip the interior and fit two bucket seats and a roll cage,” confirms Josh. With the full power harnessed, plus significant weight savings, and the work on increasing traction – this S3 should be a bit of a monster when it reaches its next incarnation. We’ll be there to see it.

    SPECIFICATION #Audi-S3-8P / #Audi-S3 / #Audi-A3-8P / #Audi-A3 / #Audi

    ENGINE 2.0 TFSI, baffled sump, 1.8 turbo oil pump conversion, #ZRP billet crankshaft, ZRP H beam forged con rods, #Wossner forged 83.5mm pistons, block rebored from 82mm to 83.5mm, Ferra +2 valves, double valve springs and ti retainers, #ARP studded head bolts, main bolts and big end bolts, #Garrett-GTX3582r / #Garrett dual ball bearing turbo, #Turbotek exhaust manifold, Tial blue 44mm external wastegate, #Bosch secondary injectors, RS4 fuel pressure valve, APR low pressure fuelling system , #Loba high pressure fuel pump, stainless steel fuel lines, AEM secondary injector controller, HE Performance stage 3 intake manifold, iTG intake filter, custom intake pipe work, maf sensor delete, custom intercooler pipe work, #Wagner intercooler, full silicone hose setup, GFB re circulation valve, R8 coil packs, #Forge oil catch tank, #Milltek non res back box, custom 3.5in down pipe with decat and centre section pipe, heat wrapped, screamer pipe in down pipe

    POWER 460bhp (dyno’d) with 600+bhp potential when fully mapped

    TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual, #Sachs solid flywheel, paddle clutch and pressure plate, #Forge quick shifter 2 piece, solid shifter cables, upgraded bearings

    BRAKES #Brembo 6-pot calipers up front

    SUSPENSION #Air-Lift Performance double bellow front dampers with 14 stage dampening, front camber adjuster plates, Performance series rear dampers with 14 stage dampening, double bellow rear bags, #AccuAir management system with #AccuAir-E-Level control

    WHEELS AND TYRES Bentley Continental 20in Mulliner split rims, custom painted

    INTERIOR Full custom re-leathered RS4 bucket seats including rears, Audi navigation gloss black head unit, rear air boot build, gauges mounted in centre air vents, boost controller fitted in drivers air vent, A-pillar gauge pod, Turbo smart e-boost 2 controller, Innovate Motorsports EGT gauge and sensor, vacuum/boost and shift light gauge plus AFR gauge

    EXTERIOR Rear archers pulled 1 inch each side, genuine RS3 front bumper with gloss black grilles. Genuine RS3 carbon front wings

    TUNING contacts Huge thanks to my dad, Andrew, he’s been there helping me all the way through and some things like the full air install he did for me. Also thanks to Graham at Retford Auto Refinishers for the body work and arches and fin ally to Ben Wardle, boss of at Shark Performance for the mapping, also Mark Batty at Shark for all his help www.sharkperformance. co.uk

    Left: Front end looks mean Above: Air-vent mounted gauge.

    “As you’d expect, the GT35 takes a bit of waking up”

    Top: Fully built 2.0 features a GT3582r turbo Above: Boost controller.

    Right: Exterior upgrades are all OEM+ Bottom: Brembo 6-pots sit behind the posh rims.

    “It was still wheel spinning as I changed up to fourth...”

    Above: Milltek system also features a custom 3.5in downpipe Left: The air-ride.
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