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    Ultimate Daily. We test VAGtech's RS3. With an explosive, tuned five-pot and everyday practicality, this Sepang blue RS3 is a true all-rounder… Words & Photography Davy Lewis. RS3 VAGtech’s potent daily driver.

    One thing I’ve found from working in the UK car scene is that you tend to bump into the same faces over the years. It’s quite a small world really, so it’s to be expected, but I still love it when I meet an old contact from years back.

    I first met VAGtech’s, Jon Watts, back in 2005, when I worked on Redline magazine. He’d built a turbocharged Golf R32, which he let me drive for a road-test feature. It made around 400bhp and coming from a 150bhp Golf GTI, it blew me away. Unsurprisingly Jon became known as the go-to man for R32s, but when the first generation of RS3 was launched, he got into Audi’s premium Sportback – in a big way.

    With his own demo car making big power, and being used to constantly test and develop performance parts, it was a regular at events and track days. This extremely well-prepared RS3 was eventually sold to a customer, leaving Jon with a quandary: what to replace it with?

    Well, that was an easy one – a brand new RS3 8V.

    The Sepang blue Audi is Jon’s daily, but also a test bed for performance parts. Over a coffee, I asked him his thoughts on the tuning scene today.

    “I think it’s come a long way. The thing is, cars are so good from the factory, that you don’t need to go too far – a few well chosen upgrades and you can create something that’s plenty fast enough for the roads,” he says.

    The RS3 is a prime example of this. The potent 2.5 TFSI unit not only sounds fantastic, with that characteristic offnote warble, but it also makes strong power. Matched with the superb s-tronic transmission and quattro drive, it’s one of the best, all-round, practical, performance cars you’ll find. No wonder they’ve sold so well since launch in 2015.

    Jon’s own car has been treated to the kind of upgrades that his customers ask for, so it represents a real-world example of what can be achieved. I’ve been fortunate to drive several RS3s now and I have to say, they’re great fun. Jon’s car is no exception.

    Let’s kick off with the looks. There seem to be a lot of Nardo grey, white and black RS3s on the road, which is fine, as they’re all great colours. But I have to say it’s refreshing to see something else, and Sepang blue is a cracking hue. When the sun catches it, this thing really pings.

    The subtly aggressive styling of the #Sportback means it doesn’t scream ‘look at me’ like say a Mercedes A45 AMG, but it packs enough firepower to show the majority of cars a clean pair of heels. I spent some time trying to figure out why this particular RS3 looks so pleasing to the eye and then figured it out – it’s the wheels. The genuine #BBS CH-Rs look absolutely, bang on the money, tucked up in the arches courtesy of Bilstein B16 coilovers. It sits just right – not too high, not too low and the offset is spot on, too.

    Performance wise, even in stock fettle, the 2.5 TFSI unit brings plenty of grunt to the party. But with so much potential held in reserve, they can easily be persuaded to give more. As a #Revo dealer, Jon is beta testing Revo’s latest Stage 2 software. It’s still at the development stage, so no official figures are available, but it’s likely to be around the 420bhp mark.

    The RS3 already had the required hardware fitted – namely a larger front mount intercooler and full turbo back exhaust system – these were supplied by Forge Motorsport and Milltek Sport, respectively. With the restrictive primary cats removed and replaced with a much freer flowing Milltek Sport downpipe with sports cat, the RS3’s potential can be unleashed. Getting at it is another matter.

    To access the cats, you must first drop the sub frame. I actually watched the #VAGtech technicians do this before photographing the car. Fortunately, being a new car, everything came off easily and it was a pretty straightforward procedure. Again, Jon wanted to trial it on his own car before a customer asked for it, so he knew exactly what would be involved. You can see a full fitting guide next issue.

    The hardware and software upgrades have given the RS3 a harder edge. It now pulls more strongly, right across the rev range and delivers an explosive punch when you really mash the throttle. But this isn’t at the expense of drivability or comfort. The #Revo Stage 2 development setup allows you to exploit the potential of that 5-cylinder, but it retains its manners. Around town it’s docile and just like a stock car. It’s only when you ask it for more that its character changes. Be in no doubt, this RS3 is very quick. Launch control is ridiculous and guaranteed to make passengers feel a bit funny. So full fat hooligan mode is just the flick of your ankle away. Yet, this car is so refined and well put together that you can pootle about in it all day with no fuss or dramas.

    The only issue, as far as Jon is concerned, is that his daily commute isn’t quite long enough – a sure sign that you’re driving something a bit special.

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE / SPECIFICATION #Audi-RS3-8V #2016 / #Audi-RS3 / #Audi-A3-8V / #Audi-A3 / #Audi / #Audi-RS3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-Typ-8V / #Audi-RS3-Typ-8V / #Audi-RS3-VAGtech / #Audi-RS3-VAGtech-8V / #Bilstein / #Audi-RS3-Revo / #Audi-RS3-Revo-8V

    Engine 2.5 TFSI 5-cylinder, #Forge front mount intercooler, #Milltek non-res exhaust system from turbo back, #Revo-Stage-2 developement software
    Power Around 420bhp (currently running beta testing software)
    Transmission 7-speed s-tronic
    Brakes RS3 Stock
    Suspension #Bilstein-B16 coilovers
    Wheels 20in #BBS-CH-R wheels with 245/30 Yokohama tyres
    Interior Stock RS3
    Exterior Stock RS3 in Sepang blue
    Contacts and thanks #VAGtech www.vagtech.co.uk

    Top: Performance is very brisk! Above: Sports seats. Left: Half-Alcantara wheel is very nice. Right: Milltek cerakote tips. Below: 5-pot is one of the best engines around.

    “It delivers an explosive punch...”
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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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    SUPER SALOON
    We get to grips with Awesome’s latest project car, a booted Audi S3 that punches well above its weight and has the bite to match its monster bark... Awesome's 500bhp, Stage 3 S3 saloon is unleashed...
    S3 SALOON Awesome’s APR-tuned demo car.
    Words Jamie Arkle. Photography Paul Cowland.

    Automotive fashion is a funny and complex thing, and it often seems that there’s little logic in what is and isn’t cool. Want an example of this in action? Well how about the small, hatchback based saloon, a sector of the UK car market that’s recently enjoyed something of a resurgence, yet for many, many years has been in the doldrums. Utter the phrase ‘small saloon’ to folk of a certain age and the cars they’ll almost certainly call to mind could hardly be called automotive greats: the Ford Orion and the Vauxhall Belmont – not exactly a stellar lineup, we’re sure you’ll agree!

    So what’s brought about this sea change, this upswing in popularity? Well, we think credit should lie squarely with Audi, specifically the team that signed off the latest S3 saloon. We think even Audi itself could’ve been forgiven for being ever so slightly taken aback by the overwhelmingly positive reception this variant has had, and there’s little doubt that it’s set to be a fixture of the tuning scene for years to come, particularly if the guys at Awesome have anything to do with it.

    Awesome has been responsible for some of the most notable tuned VW Group cars in recent years, so when the Manchester based VAG gurus selected the new S3 saloon as the basis of their next demo car, well, we knew that the resulting car would be seriously special.

    “There were a number of cars under consideration when we opted to take on the S3,” recalls Mark Ash, Awesome’s Director “but I spotted one at APR at the start of 2016 and instantly fell in love with it, with the colour and the graphics pack. The decision as to which car we’d buy was made there and then.”

    Now it might sound like building a demo car is the simplest thing in the world, particularly for a VW Group specialist like Awesome with access to a wealth of aftermarket parts, but this isn’t strictly true. Granted, having ready access to big brake and coilover kits (more on those later) certainly speeds up the build process, but then that’s just the easy bit. No, for a company’s personal car to really earn its keep it needs to push boundaries in terms of tuning – and boy does Awesome’s S3 deliver in this respect. The team started off by buying a brand new S3 and wasted no time in getting back in touch with APR, a firm that Awesome actually beta test for, and a well known and trusted name within the scene.

    “This build was never about squeezing every last bit of power from the car as that would’ve made it too extreme, too focused and a far less enjoyable prospect to drive on the road,” explains Mark. “A big part of what we do at Awesome is carrying out balanced, considered tuning, providing kits that up the power and increase the performance in every aspect, yet don’t overly compromise the car in question.”

    See what we mean when we said demo car building is trickier than it sounds? The call to APR meant that it wasn’t long before one of its all new, Stage 3 tuning kits for the 2.0 TFSI was winging its way across the Atlantic to Manchester, a kit that’s since gone on to play a defining role in this particular S3. The kit includes a number of highly developed components, including a Stage 3 s-tronic tune, ECU tune, cast downpipe, carbon intake tract, front mounted intercooler with silicone hoses, fuel pump, and EFR7163 turbo system.

    Factor in the other supporting hardware that’s essential for an advanced build of this nature, namely the resonated exhaust from Milltek, and it becomes all too clear why the close working relationship between APR and Awesome has proved so valuable.

    “There were some niggles involved in the development of the kit, true, but nothing more than you’d expect of an advanced package of modifications like this,” Mark explains. “Again, that’s another key aspect of a car like this – we’d much rather bits went wrong during the development process.”

    The upshot of all this work and an in-depth development phase? A kit that’s been proven to boost the power generated by the EA888 to approximately 500bhp, a massive jump from the stock figure of 300bhp and enough to enable this diminutive saloon to see off any hot hatch you care to mention. It’s true what they say, power really is nothing without control – yes it’s a cliché, but then cliches have a habit of ringing true most of the time. Of course performance Audis and their iconic four-wheel drive drivetrains have always been well equipped in this respect, but that hasn’t prevented the team at Awesome from raiding their parts stash for a selection of uprated transmission goodies, namely a pair of uprated DQ250 DSG clutches. These are essential for enabling the S3 to ladle out its new found power to all four wheels in as even manner as possible, plus the OE hardware would no doubt have started to show the strain after a few hundred miles if left in situ.

    The S3’s chassis has also been given an overhaul, the stock suspension, wheels and brakes all having made way for far more capable aftermarket offerings from Racingline, Neuspeed and Vagbremtechnic respectively. The front brake kit in question features a pair of massive 8-piston Brembo calipers originally intended for the Audi R8/Lamborghini Gallardo (winning all potential pub boasts at a stroke), and was selected thanks to its relatively lightweight, capability and piston layout; all highly significant considerations on a 500bhp saloon like this. These now house Project Mu H16-03 brake pads, the firm’s competition grade offering and one known for its resistance to fade, high initial ‘bite’ and fantastic release characteristics.

    While hardly heavy, the OEM alloys were dumped in favour of a featherweight offering from Neuspeed, the RSE10. Not only do these look right at home peeking out from beneath the S3’s arches, they also tip the scales at just 21.5lb each, and therefore represent a significant reduction in unsprung weight – a true win-win scenario.

    It’s fitting that we conclude this feature by discussing how this particular S3 looks, and that’s best summed up in one word – aggressive. Imagine a pit bull chewing up a wasp while being goaded by an especially foolhardy postman, and you’re still only halfway there! Audi has to take some of the credit for this of course, but it’s hard to deny that the styling work put in by the boys from Awesome has helped lift its looks far and above those of the standard car.

    “The graphics package found on the original #APR car provided a lot of inspiration, but the livery our car now has is subtly different to APR’s, so it’s more of a homage.”

    The livery means that this car can’t help but stand out wherever it goes, but we’re particularly fond of the more subtle additions Awesome has seen to factor in, like the splitter, diffuser, rear spoiler and door mirrors, all constructed from high grade carbon fibre.

    So, what’s next? Well the life of a demo car is a hard one, so expect the S3 to be put to work drumming up support for the Stage 3 package (and much else) it now boasts, and there’s no denying that it represents the a great means of extracting massive power from #MQB platform cars with E888 engines. It means that though it might currently So there are almost certainly going to be further developments in the coming weeks and months – watch this space!

    TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #2017 / #Audi-S3-Saloon / #Audi-S3 / #Audi / #Audi-EA888 / #Audi-S3-Saloon-ARP / #Audi-S3-8V #Audi-A3-8V / #Audi-8V / #Audi-A3 / #Audi-S3-Saloon-8V / #Audi-S3-Saloon-ARP-8V / #Audi-S3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-Typ-8V / #Audi-S3-Saloon-Typ-8V

    Engine 2.0 #EA888 Gen 3 DOHC I4 16v, #APR-Stage-3 tuning package comprising #EFR7163 twin scroll turbocharger, APR Stage 3 #DSG tune, #APR-Stage-3-ECU tune, #APR Stage 3 cast downpipe, APR carbon intake system, APR Front Mount intercooler with APR silicone charge hoses, APR low pressure fuel pump, resonated Milltek downpipe-back exhaust system with active valves

    Transmission OEM Audi four-wheel drive system with front and rear differentials, #APR-DQ250 / #DSG clutches

    Chassis #Racingline coil springs and stock dampers, #Vagbremtechnic front brake kit comprising #Brembo 8 piston calipers, 32x362mm two-piece discs and Project Mu H16-03 competition grade pads, 19x8.5in Neuspeed RSE10 wheels in satin gunmetal with ET45 offset

    Interior Complete OEM Audi S3 interior

    Exterior 2015 Audi S3 saloon in Misano red, carbon fibre front splitter, carbon fibre rear diffuser, carbon fibre door mirror covers and carbon fibre boot spoiler

    Contact
    Email: sales@awesomegti.com
    Call: 0161 776 0777 www.awesomegti.com

    Top: It’s a real head turner out on the road.
    Above: Interior is nicely finished as standard.
    Left: 19in Neuspeed wheel and Vagbremtechnic brakes.
    Left: Shot inside Awesome’s HQ.
    Below: Tasty carbon trim.

    The APR turbocharger system

    The twin-scroll EFR7163 turbo forms a key part of the Stage 3 kit, so it’s well worth taking a closer look at its capabilities. APR has extracted as much as 520bhp from #MQB cars fitted with this kit and has seen 10-second quarter-mile times, yet this hasn’t come at the expense of everyday drivability. Indeed, cars fitted with this turbo setup have been shown to retain OEM-levels of lag, while at the same time being devoid of the compromises many would expect of an engine of this size and with this state of tune.

    “...increase the performance in every aspect ”

    “I spotted one at APR and instantly fell in love with it”
    • All mapped out. Interesting to read about the APR guys coming over from the US to map cars in the UK. I didn’t realise they made such an effort to ensAll mapped out. Interesting to read about the APR guys coming over from the US to map cars in the UK. I didn’t realise they made such an effort to ensure their software works exactly as is says, no matter where in the world the customer happens to live. Awesome’s Stage 3 S3 looks like a bit of a monster too – I’ve seen a couple of videos on Facebook where it looks properly quick. Do you plan to test this? Give me a call if you do – I’d love to ride shotgun!  More ...
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    RS3 SALOON 395bhp 5-pot, 0-62 in 4.1sec, 174mph powerhouse! Words Davy Lewis / Photography Audi AG

    NEW CAR NEWS
    It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for – the brand new RS3 saloon…

    NEW RS3 SALOON It’s here at last!

    The RS3 saloon is one of the most eagerly anticipated new cars from Audi. Not since the RS6 C6 has Audi offered a Renn Sport with a boot, and we think this one is long overdue. Given that sportbacks and estates are far more practical, you may expect there to be less of a demand for a saloon. But my Facebook feed has been full of renderings and eager discussion about this car for months, and now that it’s here, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve said it before, but performance Audi enthusiasts love a fast RS saloon.

    So, aside from the boot, what makes the RS3 saloon so different to the already well-received RS3 sportback? Well plenty, as it goes, starting with the new engine.

    It uses the same, revised five-cylinder engine fitted to the latest TT RS, which means it’s lighter, more efficient, and, of course, more powerful than the current RS3 sportback. Peak figures are 400hp (396bhp) and 480Nm, which should make for impressive performance. It should also deliver a sensational soundtrack that evokes emotions of Audis of old (add own Group B analogy).

    Audi claims the 0-62mph dash will take 4.1secs, which let’s be honest, is plenty quick. Not quite so headline grabbing as the TT RS perhaps (the Coupe takes just 3.7secs), but this is a larger, heavier car. And what’s four-tenths of a second between friends? I also suspect that this figure is a tad under optimistic, so as not to tread on the toes of the TT RS. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the RS3 saloon hits 62mph in under 4secs.

    Like the TT RS, the RS3 saloon can be de-limited to allow a top speed of 174mph, so its performance credentials are impeccable. So what about the rest?

    Well, it certainly hits the spot from an aesthetic perspective. Arguably the best angle is the front – the new angular headlights and grille look very striking, but it’s the new RS bumper with deep air intakes, which really makes an impact. Certainly in RS-specific Catalunya red, with black accents to the intakes, it looks terrific.

    The RS3 saloon runs a slightly wider (20mm) track than the regular S3, so the wheel arches have been subtly extended to accommodate this. It’s not the kind of blistered arch that fans of the B5 and B7 RS4 would applaud, and personally speaking I’d have liked a slightly more pronounced arch, but until I see the car in the metal, I’ll reserve final judgement.

    One thing that’s clearly very ‘RS’ is the rear end. The deep diffuser, which houses the trademark twin-oval tailpipes says RS very loudly. Which is fitting, as it’s sure to make a fantastic noise, courtesy of that fiery five-cylinder engine. The boot features a neat little lip spoiler and like a lady who’s been hitting the squat rack, it’s toned, muscular and guaranteed to draw many admiring glances.

    The outside is finished off with a set of 19in alloy wheels, which I suspect some will love, others not so much. They’re another of the angular spoked, diamond-cut family of wheels that Audi is rolling out (see what I did there?) with each new RS model. Now wheels are always going to be a very subjective thing, but these certainly suit the lines of this super-saloon. The five-spoke pattern is perfect for showing off the brakes, which also bear the RS legend. And, like its TT RS sibling, the RS3 saloon will be available to order with Audi’s stunningly effective, carbon ceramic brakes, as an optional extra.

    Inside, is as you would expect, extremely well appointed. The cabin architecture really is second to none and you’d be hard pushed to find better. The industry leading virtual cockpit (standard kit on the TT RS) is available as an option here, but you do get some nicely sculpted sports seats emblazoned with the RS logo. Some more aggressive super sports seats are optional. One thing the RS does without is the TT RS’ steering wheel. So you don’t get the satellite controls for the Dynamic drive settings or the engine start stop button, but it’s still a very nice, tactile wheel.

    The RS3 will also feature the latest in Audi connectivity, allowing drivers access intuitive and highly advanced functions such as Google Earth, Street View and much more, via the LTE module. The RS3 saloon is going to be a natural competitor to the M3 and AMG CLA45. On paper, it stacks up well against some this impressive opposition. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and see just how good this super-saloon really is. But if it’s anything like the new TT RS, Audi will have a another huge hit on their hands.


    SPECIFICATION #Audi-RS3-Saloon / #Audi-RS3 / #Audi-A3 / #Audi / #Audi-RS3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-8V / #Audi-RS3-Saloon-Typ-8V

    Engine 2.5 #TFSI 5-cylinder, Audi Valve Lift System, dual injection, aluminium crankcase, plasma coated cylinder barrels and main bearings, weighs 26kg less than previous model

    Drivetrain/Transmission New 7-speed #S-tronic dual clutch with revised driveline, gearshift and launch control, permanent quattro drive integrated into Audi Drive Select, redesigned and lightened multi-plate clutch located at rear axle for better weight distribution

    Power 400hp (396bhp) and 480Nm

    Performance 0-62mph 4.1secs, top speed 174mph (delimited)
    Price From £48,000 UK (estimate)
    On sale Early 2017 (estimate)

    RS3 saloon looks great in Catalunya red with gloss black details.
    Left: Cabin is a work of art Above: Optional virtual cockpit features RS mode Below: Diamond stitching is very neat.
    “the 0-62mph dash will take 4.1secs”
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    / #Audi-RS3 / #Audi-A3 / #Audi / #2016 / #Audi-RS3-HPerformance / #HPerformance / 2016 / #Audi-RS3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-8V / #Audi-RS3-HPerformance-Typ-8V /

    At Dan Haarmann's place deep in the West, the clocks tick the same as in the rest of the republic. Well, putting an almost brand new Audi-RS3 on the ground and replacing a few design keys from #Audi with his own, does require some bails. The modifying started in his teenage years, when Dan bumped his 4,6hp strong scooter up to 21 hp. Today is not much different, apart from a 300 percent power increase being a little harder than before. His goal is a .moderate' 440bhp at 640nm by „HPerformance" from Heilbronn, which should be good for 3,7sec 0-100 time.

    Definitely quick enough to get from A to B, but Dan is much more drawn to G for „GGROUNDED", because his crew and much more his passion runs under this name. In GGROUNDED he's .only' one of many crazy members, where physics don't matter and lowering comes first.
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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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    The Audi-S3 , along with the rest of the A3 range, has been given a significant refresh... #Audi-S3-8V / #Audi-A3-8V / #Audi-S3 / #Audi-A3 / #2016

    New headlights and grille bring S3 into line with new A4 family look.

    The entire A3 8V range has been updated in line with Audis recent technological advances. There’s a range of new engines, including a baby 1.0 3-cylinder unit, new 2.0 TFSI and hybrid e-tron. But the highlight is of course the hugely popular S3.

    Available as 3-door, Sportback and Saloon, the latest S3 benefits from an extra 10PS and 20Nm of torque, taking peak figures to an impressive 310PS and 400Nm on the S-tronic car.

    Styling wise, its single frame grille features sharper lines and is broader, and its headlights are flatter, with distinctive outer contours. The rear accentuates the width of the new A3 – with the horizontal illuminated graphics of the rear lights and the separation edge above the redesigned diffuser. Five new colours are also available – Ara blue, Cosmic blue, Nano grey, Tango red and Vegas yellow (pictured).

    LED headlights are standard on S and RS models, while the impressive Matrix LEDs are available as an option.

    The MMI radio Plus with electrically extended 7in diagonal monitor is standard equipment. MMI navigation (standard on SE Technik and above) and MMI navigation Plus with #MMI touch in conjunction with the Audi connect module bring many online functions into the car via the super-fast LTE standard. They include navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View traffic information in real time, as well as practical information on parking, destinations, news or the weather. The stunning #Audi-Virtual-Cockpit with 12.3in TFT screen can also be specified as an option.

    The S3 has always been a big seller for #Audi and this refreshed model should keep it right at the top of the desirability lists. The new A3 and S3 range will be available to order from May.
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    JEKYLL AND HYDE

    We get to grips with Milltek’s latest project car, an 2016 #Audi-RS3 that’s just as adept at pretending to be a Sport quattro as it is at tackling the morning commute! Words: Jarkle. Photography: Chris Wallbank.

    / #2016 / #Audi-RS3-Milltek / #Audi-RS3 / #Audi-A3 / #Audi-RS3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-8V / #Milltek / #Audi-RS3-Milltek-Typ-8V / #Audi / #Quattro / #Milltek-Sport

    Few car manufacturers can claim to have enjoyed quite a successful a start to the new century as Audi. Yes, the rallying exploits of the Quattro meant that by the ’90s the Ingolstadt concern was a household name, but it wasn’t quite on a par with its long-term rivals from Munich and Stuttgart. Its cars weren’t imbued with the degree of poise and performance that we now expect, and the brand itself wasn’t perceived as being anywhere near as cool as it now is. So what happened? Well, at some point after the millennium had ticked over, someone at Audi decided they’d had enough of playing second fiddle to the likes of BMW and Mercedes and decided to do something about it, starting with the A3. It may have been based on fairly everyday Golf mechanicals but the potential was plain to see. Add some special branding, a lot more power and Audi’s legendary Quattro drivetrain and what were they left with? The mighty RS3, that’s what.

    Over the last few years the RS3 really has come of age, to the point where it’s one of the most capable hot hatches on the market. Indeed, referring to this car merely as a ‘hot hatch’ is to do it something of a disservice; with 362bhp on tap, a dizzying array of technological wizardry to call on and the aforementioned 4x4 system, the latest RS3 is really more of a ‘ballistic hatch’. The only issue with the car now is how to make it better without compromising the core values already present, values that Audi worked so hard to build in the first place.

    Step forward Milltek – extraction gurus and the owners of the RS3 Sportback you see here. The last few months have seen this Glacier White example go from looking innocuous to downright malevolent, a transformation that’s made total when it burbles purposefully into life! “We’ve something of a reputation when it comes to messing around with fast Audis,” explains Milltek’s MD Steve Pound. “In fact we’ve owned and modified pretty much every high performance Audi of recent times and have always managed to get great results from them, so why change the formula?”

    The team were already in an advantageous position when they came to modifying the car then, and things only got better when they got to grips with its fantastic stock specification. Audi’s use of five-cylinder engines in its performance models is now something of a company calling card, and the RS3 is a case in point. The 2480cc lump fitted to the latest generation is one of Audi’s best to date – just as happy delivering the goods while powering round a track as it is pottering round Milltek’s locale – Derby city centre. Of course, the guys at #Milltek were never going to be satisfied leaving it as Audi intended, not when they had everything they could ever need to create an OE-beating exhaust system right there, just itching to be used.

    “A fresh demo car is a blank canvas, and the temptation to throw caution to the wind and go wild is always there, but we knew that carefully considered moderation was key with this one,” muses Steve. “We didn’t want to render it unpleasant to drive on the road by going too far.”


    The exquisite system now snaking its way from the back of the block, down the centre of the floorpan and out of the rear valance is the result of months of intensive research and development, and it’s one that Milltek is justifiably proud of. Making a roaring, snorting exhaust isn’t exactly difficult, but making one that manages to be both aggressive yet practical on a daily basis is a much trickier proposition! Closer inspection reveals a neat, turbo-back stainless steel system with a 200 cell high-flow cat and electronic valves integrated into the factory drive select system.

    Getting the latter to work with Audi’s own control unit was no small feat, and the fact that it works and functions so seamlessly should be proof not only of Milltek’s affinity with Ingolstadt’s finest, but also the benefits of having a design and production base rooted solely within the UK.

    Milltek’s innovative HollowTek construction methods have also been employed throughout and these lend the system a number of very distinct traits. The combination of reflection plates and varying lengths of solid and perforated internal tubing creates distinct chambers within the silencer, and these work to cancel resonant frequencies and to effectively eliminate drone at cruising speeds. The casings around the silencer are also unique to each application and help sculpt the acoustic chambers that give Milltek exhausts such a superb sound, while also allowing them to run smaller silencer boxes and achieve lower weight figures. HollowTek can even be used to build a beefier, deeper and more sporting sound on modern forced induction engines, while also enhancing the pops and crackles that make overrun such an entertaining aspect of modern modified car ownership.

    The RS3 was dispatched to the track the moment the new system was securely in place as it was the ideal proving ground for a car of this nature. The real key to Milltek’s success is the way in which its systems go about their work and the exhaust note that they emit – the latter being about as far removed from the deafening bellow that characterises cheaper, lower quality offerings as it’s possible to get. Exhaustive ontrack testing of the Milltek RS3 revealed that those countless hours spent developing the turbo-back setup had not been in vain, the system emitting a wonderfully balanced note and allowing the hard-charging five-pot to exhale freely and smoothly.

    The hard working car was then left in the capable hands of Revo, Milltek’s tuner of choice and a firm with an equally thorough knowledge of fast Audis and how to make them go even quicker. Boost, fuel and oxygen parameters were carefully managed and the power figure continued to rise, finally topping out at a deeply impressive 440bhp and 400lb ft of torque – not bad for a remap and an exhaust combination! One of the best things about choosing a system from a bespoke exhaust builder like Milltek is the almost endless scope for customisation that’s a part and parcel of the process. Prospective customers can select the full kit (the one that does such a sterling job on this RS3) or from a number of partial systems designed to accommodate the needs and specific tastes (or indeed, budgets) of Milltek’s extensive customer base. It’s also important to note that every new Milltek product receives the same comprehensive on-rack shakedown to ensure its reliability and suitability, and that all are then given a further tuning session to check that they meet strict UK road decibel limits. “That’s been one of the most enjoyable parts of building this particular Audi, actually,” smiles Steve. “Knowing that everything we did would eventually filter down to our wider range and that our customers would feel the benefit.”

    Milltek also made sure to address other areas of the car, with the chassis coming in for intense scrutiny. The factory wheels soon made way for 8.5x19 inch OZ Racing Ultraleggeras, a timeless wheel that looks right at home on pretty much anything you care to mention, while a custom set of Goodridge Phantom braided brake hoses were drawn up and fitted at the same time. The whole chassis was then carefully aligned to make sure that this RS3, now one of the best realised in the UK, was able to make the most of its new-found grunt.

    The end result of this comprehensive development programme? A remarkably balanced and well-realised car that can use every bit of its performance at any given time. The note pushed out by the Milltek system is nothing short of arresting and, because it’s been designed to work in conjunction with Audi’s own electronic valve control and resonance technology, it can be toggled to suit your mood and environment. Want to pay tribute to the Group B #Audi heroes of old? No problem, flick the switch and you’ll be doing the full Walter Rohrl within seconds. Had your fun and now need to collect the kids from school without incurring the wrath of the entire PTA? Again, no bother, readjust the system and you’ll be quietly burbling around in a manner that’s so subtle it borders on the spooky. If nothing else, Milltek’s RS3 proves that, in car terms at least, you really can have your cake and eat it too.

    CONTACT www.millteksport.com
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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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