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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

    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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    TUNED CAR TEST: Words Davy Lewis / Photography AJ Walker & Davy Lewis

    DRIVEN: REVO RS3 We test the 420bhp RS
    With 425hp, Revo’s RS3 promises strong performance – but does it deliver? We headed to an airfield to find out…
    DRIVEN: REVO RS3 We drive Revo’s demo car…

    There’s something about Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground that always gives me a little shiver of excitement. I’ve been coming here for over 16 years – testing everything from brakes and suspension, through to top speed runs – and it’s always good to be back. The Leicestershire airfield provides the opportunity to really push a car – to see what it can do, and find where its limits are. It’s for this reason that Revo has a base here.

    Revo’s Training and Development Centre gives them amble opportunity to test their latest upgrades – both software and hardware. From brutal launches to lay down 0-60mph times, to more ‘real world in-gear acceleration and a multitude of other tests to ensure that each new product comes to market fully developed and ready to improve the performance and drivability of the customer’s car. As part of their ongoing tuning program, Revo runs a fleet of development cars, many of which happen to be Audis. I’ve driven their S7, S3 saloon, S1 and SQ5, but the current car of the moment is a very smart, white RS3. This five-cylinder Sportback has been with them for around 12 months and features the latest performance upgrades available. The plan is to spend some time in the car to see how it compares to a stock RS3.

    Let’s kick off with the looks. The first items you’ll notice are the wheels – they’re a set of gloss black RV019 alloys. Revo launched their first wheel last year and it’s been well received – especially on MQBplatform cars. Teamed up with a set of Revo’s own performance springs, it lends the RS3 an altogether more purposeful look, with definite hints at motorsport. Wrapped in Dunlops, they reduce the unsprung rotational mass (which should translate to a keener handling feel) and offer prodigious grip (handy with 425hp on tap).

    Staying with the chassis, peeking out from behind the RV019s is a set of uprated discs. The RS3 calipers do an admirable job of stopping this feisty five-pot, but as many RS3 owners have discovered, the stock discs can capitulate under sustained hard use.

    This is due to the fact the cooling veins are not ‘sided’ so the air enters from the correct direction on one side to cool them, but on the other it does not, which can lead to premature wear – especially if used hard. Revo has developed ‘sided’ discs which offer maximum cooling potential for both sides. Developed in association with leading braking specialists, Alcon, it addresses an issue with stock RS3s.

    And so to the ‘go-fast’ bits… Much has been written about the RS3’s ability to punch above its weight. That characterful 2.5 TFSI engine is a powerful and sonorous unit, which delivers strong performance straight out of the box. However, should you wish to unlock even more potential, then Revo has developed Stage 1 software for the Audi. This car also features a freer flowing performance exhaust (which also happens to sound fantastic), and brand new prototype carbon fibre inlet system. All told it delivers 425hp and 428lb/ft – a pretty healthy increase over stock. Revo’s own testing has produced a strong set of performance figures too: 0-60mph in 3.55secs and 0-100mph in just 8.37secs. Numbers on paper are one thing, but as Revo themselves advocate, it’s the driving experience that really matters – how a car behaves on the road – it’s drivability and the way the power is delivered that matters.

    With the RS3 nicely warmed up, I take it for a slow sighting lap of the short course at Bruntingthorpe. There’s a selection of commercial vehicles all testing today, as well as the police practising their motorway stopping procedure. It actually feels a bit naughty to sit so close to a couple of traffic patrol cars, as I rev the RS3 before belting off the line like a scalded cat.

    Once launch control is engaged (select Dynamic and switch off the TC), it’s a simple case of left foot on the brake, dial in the revs, before coming off the brake and letting the car do its thing.

    As I sidestep the brake there’s an almighty howl from the five-cylinder lump as the revs hit 4,000rpm and there’s a violet shove as the quattro drive bites. There’s some wheel spin (it’s the middle of November and the concrete surface offers minimal grip), but the RS3’s electronics, aided by that extra slug of power and torque, courtesy of Revo, translates to epic forward thrust. It feels blisteringly quick (bear in mind I arrived in an RS7 Performance) and it doesn’t let up. As I hurtle past the bemused looking coppers, the RS3 feels relentless. The power just keeps on coming and we’re well into three figures, before I begin to ease off and apply the brakes for the right-hander approaching. As I switch from Sport to Drive (to reign in the shriek from that exhaust as we pass the noise testing microphone), I have time to gather my thoughts.

    The first thing to note is that this thing is bloody rapid off the line. I’ve experienced launch control on several stock RS3s and this is significantly quicker. Revo claim a 0-60mph time of 3.55secs and while we’re not about to match that on this cold morning, I don’t doubt it for a second. The second thing is just how well matched the extra power seems to the car. It all feels very OEM – linear, tractable and totally in harmony with the rest of the car. But it isn’t just the off the line heroics that impresses. The in-gear punch is ferocious – which is perfect for the kind of real world situations where you’d use it – overtaking for example.

    Prod the throttle in pretty much any gear and you’ll be treated to a wall of torque (in second and third it’s epic), but there’s plenty of punch in fifth and even sixth too. The seven-speed S-tronic box is very well matched to the RS3 and copes well with the rather immense strain placed on it by hard use. Backing off the throttle is rewarded with a crescendo of pops and crackles, which is one of the best noises ever.

    Today’s test is mainly to get a feel for how the car handles the extra power, particularly in the real world, ‘straightline squirt’ scenarios. That said, I’m still able to chuck it around a few turns, which illustrates the taught handling. There’s less roll and pitch than with a stock RS3 and the whole thing feels tighter and more focused.

    This really is the kind of fast Audi that you could live with every day. It’s got the best of both worlds: the refinement and class you’d expect from a premium model, but with the potential to induce a stupid grin when the roads open up, or you’re lucky enough to be on a track. It’s a real split personality: one minute a sensible (dare I say) grown up hot hatch, the next, a ferocious, raucous little monster that evokes memories of Group B rally cars.

    Once we’ve finished testing and have the shots in the bag, I give the RS7 Performance a couple of laps of the proving ground. Even though it’s packing the mighty 4.0 TFSI twin turbo with 597bhp, the RS3 is quicker off the line. The RS7 is a wonderful thing (I’d have one in a heartbeat), but with the options it’s a £100k+ car; it’s also rather large. At around half the price and with significantly less weight to lug around, the Revo-tuned RS3 would leave its hefty big brother behind on twisty UK roads. No doubt about it. I think that shows just how good this thing is – a resoundingly positive outcome for Revo’s RS3 package then. But there’s more to come. The team is working on their Stage 2 package, which will unleash yet more power – to be released next year. If this thing is anything to go by, it’s going to be rather exciting.

    SPECIFICATION #2017-Audi-RS3-8V / #Audi-RS3-8V / #Audi-RS3 / #Audi-A3-8V / #Audi-8V / #Revo-RS3-8V / #Audi-RS3-Revo-8V / #Audi-RS3-Revo / #Audi / #2017 / #Revo

    Engine 2.5 #TFSI 5-cylinder, prototype #Revo-carbon-fibre-intake-system , #Revo-performance-exhaust , #Revo-Stage-1-ECU-software
    Power 425hp and 428lb/ft
    Performance 0-60mph: 3.55secs 0-100mph: 8.37secs
    Transmission 7-speed #S-tronic
    Brakes Revo RS3-specific left and right sided disc upgrade
    Suspension Revo performance springs
    Wheels Revo RV019 alloys in gloss black
    Interior Stock RS3 with super sports seats
    Exterior Glacier white with Revo badges at rear and on front wings, Revo graphics along bottom of doors
    Contacts Revo, thanks to Dan Edwards for arranging the shoot and braving a freezing airfield

    Some fast laps on an airfield showed just how capable Revo’s RS3 is.
    Left: Uprated Revo discs are sided, 1.2kg lighter per side and allow better cooling.
    Above: Carbon intake is still in development, but we’ll have full details and prices soon.

    “Backing off the throttle is rewarded with a crescendo of pops and bangs...”

    “The in-gear punch is ferocious...”


    As with all of Revo’s performance products, the upgrades fitted to this RS3 can be purchased separately from any of Revo’s wide network of dealers. However, the whole lot can also be fitted in a drive in, drive out package, which will see your RS3 transformed. Here’s what it will cost:

    Stage 1 software: £718
    Carbon fibre intake: TBC
    Brake discs: £898
    RV019 alloys: £1198
    Performance springs: £178
    Revo badges: £30
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    RS3 SALOON 395bhp 5-pot, 0-62 in 4.1sec, 174mph powerhouse! Words Davy Lewis / Photography Audi AG

    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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    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.

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    TUNED CAR TEST: DTUK PERFORMANCE RS3 New tuning box delivers a 3.5sec 0-60!.. Words & Photography Davy Lewis.

    / #2016 #Audi-RS3 / #Audi-RS3 / #Audi-A3 / #Audi-RS3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-8V / #Dtuk-Performance / #Audi-RS3-Dtuk-Performance / #Audi-RS3-Dtuk-Performance-Typ-8V /

    We test the first tuning box that works with the RS3’s new SENT digital sensors and the car nails a 3.5sec 0-60mph!

    The latest RS3 is one of my current favourite Audis. The combination of that stonking 2.5 five-pot turbo, subtly aggressive looks, and solid, sure-footed handling makes it a very desirable car. The fact they’re flying out of the showrooms, with many people still awaiting delivery of theirs, says it all.

    In factory tune, the 367ps (362bhp) and 465Nm RS is a rapid car, but there’s so much more potential. DTUK Performance have been quick to offer a tuning box that promises to deliver a harder punch without affecting your warranty. We spent the day with them to find out what it can do.

    New technology

    The #DTUK-MP-T-Multi-Protocol SENT Tuning System has been developed by German tuning box manufacturers, DTE, at the request of #DTUK . The 8V RS3, along with several other high-end cars (including the RS6/RS7 Performance), uses the new generation #SENT sensor technology, which uses a single signal to transmit information.

    Existing boxes were incompatible with this system. DTUK are the first to offer this multi-protocol SENT solution, which is likely to become the industry standard. It means that customers will be able to use one box to switch between cars with different sensors (once they’ve updated to the specific program for their particular model). As with all DTUK products, fitting is simple with the unit sitting neatly under the bonnet. Once it’s connected to the required sensors, you’re ready to go.

    The beauty of a tuning box is that it will not flag up a Td1 code when dealer diagnostics are put on a car. So for lease cars, or those concerned about invalidating warranties, they make a lot of sense. You simply unplug and remove the unit and it leaves no trace. The German-made unit is TUV approved and manufactured to a very high standard.

    The test
    We drove the RS3 on a selection of fast A roads and twisty country lanes so that we could get a good feel for it, before and after fitting the tuning box. Being December, the temperature was cold and the roads were rather damp. We also had access to a tarmac surfaced, off-road section where we could test the launch control function.

    With the car nicely warmed up and the tuning box switched off, the RS3 feels strong. It pulls from low in the rev range and the slick S-tronic box means you can make very rapid progress with almost seamless gear changes. Although this car doesn’t have the optional sports exhaust, the noise is still fantastic. There’s no doubt about it, the RS3 is a fantastic car in stock trim. In fact, I do begin to wonder how it can be improved upon, especially after testing the launch control function. After stopping to switch the tuning box on, we make our way back out onto the road. The effect is instantaneous. The engine takes on an altogether angrier note and it feels like a restriction had been removed from the car.

    Nail the throttle – in any gear – and there’s just a surge of power as the S-tronic box kicks down and propels you forward. From a rolling 20mph start, the car just takes off, launching forward, with a fantastic howl from the five-pot lump. Even though it’s greasy, the quattro digs into the road and there’s no fuss or drama; just lots of usable power. It really does feel like everything has been tuned up a notch. It’s hard to describe, but imagine going from an S3 to an RS3 and you’re not a million miles away.

    With launch control engaged, the extra grunt is even more apparent. The acceleration is incredible – all four wheels scrabble for grip, but then it hooks up and we’re off. The wheel writhes slightly as it finds traction, but both power and grip are very impressive. I tried it as driver and passenger and have to say that as a passenger, it made me feel slightly light headed, such is the brutal force of it. A V-Box verified 0-60mph time of 3.5secs is staggering. Don’t forget that this is a Stage 1 tuning box, on a car with no other upgrades. Not so long ago, that kind of acceleration was the preserve of £100+k supercars. This is a refined, practical five-door hatch (okay, Sportback) that you can drive every day without it missing a beat. But when you add the tuning box and drop the hammer, it becomes an animal.

    Although the peak power figures are impressive 414ps (408bhp) and 530Nm (an extra 47ps and 65 Nm), it’s the mid range punch and the way the engine pulls that really makes you smile. I reckon an RS6 would struggle to keep up with the smaller, lighter RS3 on twisty country roads.

    In my opinion, this is how the RS3 should have come from of the factory. If you’re lucky enough to own one of these stunning cars, then you owe it to yourself to try a DTUK Performance tuning box. It’s a simple plug and play upgrade that won’t affect your warranty and, at £699, it is very reasonably priced. For anyone looking for a Stage 1 upgrade, it comes highly recommended.

    DTUK MP-T Multi-Protocol SENT
    Tuning System
    Price: £699

    Why is a new type of tuning system needed?

    Starting with a selection of MY2016 engines from premium manufacturers, such as Audi and Porsche, some engines are going to move to utilising a sensor technology that is incompatible with existing tuning module technologies. The SENT range of digital sensors uses a single signal to transmit a variety of information in a concise effective manner.

    What is SENT?

    SENT stands for Single Edge Nibble Transmission. A form of digital data transmission that can pack a 32-bit signal in to a single line from an engine sensor to the vehicle ECU. Effectively, transmitting much more information than a traditional analogue sensor.

    So, it’s just a new type of wiring loom? No, it’s much more than that. Until now, tuning systems have only had to cope with one type of technology. Whether common rail, injectors or boost, etc. all existing sensors used for tuning have been analogue so systems have only ever needed to control a variety of analogue signals. DTUK’s partners in Germany, DTE Systems, have worked around the clock to develop the MP-T Tuning System in order to optimise the technology and create a system that can handle multiple inputs from engines that utilise a variety of traditional analogue and digital SENT sensors. However, the TUV-approved MP-T still benefits from all the marketleading features as well as the newly developed Adaptive Sensor System which constantly monitors engine RPM in order to adapt and ‘load-balance’ the tune and Engine Protect+ which adds additional safety functions to safeguard the ECU.

    What do you get?

    All MP-T systems are provided with vehicle specific looms featuring Original Equipment (OE) connectors for ease of fitment in a matter of minutes, meaning that the system can be removed at any time. Full colour fitting instructions provide detailed images of the install and where needed cable routing information is also provided. Three individual tuning maps, specific to your vehicle, are placed into the memory of the system prior to despatch. The reason behind this is that every vehicle is different and every driver has their own unique style. By providing 3 different options DTUK are confident that at least one of the maps will suit both the driver and their vehicle.

    Is the MP-T warranty friendly?

    Like all #DTUK systems, the MP-T is a warranty safe tuning option and doesn’t leave a trace when fully removed.
    The DTUK Performance fleet includes a Golf R and Octavia Vrs.

    This RS3 has had the badge delete option for the ultimate in stealth.

    The tuning box is well made, uses OEM connectors and sits neatly in the engine bay.

    “A V-Box-verified 0-60mph time of 3.5sec is staggering”
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    FIRST IN LINE Words Davy Lewis / Photography #ABT-Sportsline / #Audi

    ABT Sportsline are always one of the first to market with tuning upgrades for new Audis; this kit for the latest RS3 is another corker…

    The IT revolution means that we’re all now able to achieve things faster than we could ever have imagined, even ten years ago. From doing your weekly shop online, to buying parts for your car; it’s only a click of a mouse or swipe of a smart phone away. This of course presents its own challenges. Who hasn’t said something they probably shouldn’t have on social media after a couple of beers? And don’t get me started on inebriated eBay purchases…

    But, in general, the techno revolution is a very good thing. Tuning companies were some of the first to tale advantage of this wave of new tech. From expert CAD to create new hardware, through to simply being able to sell products on line to a worldwide audience; tuners have certainly made the most of it.

    With shorter lead times to produce new products and tuning solutions, aftermarket specialists can release new tuning parts faster than ever.

    Although not an official tuning partner, ABT are very close to Audi and are often first in line with hot new upgrades. This latest kit for the fantastic new RS3 is the first we’ve seen.

    The Mk2 RS3 has only been on sale for a short while, but already its powerful engine and sure-footed quattro drivetrain is gaining The IT revolution means that we’re all now able to achieve things faster than we could ever have imagined, even ten years ago. From doing your weekly shop online, to buying parts for your car; it’s only a click of a mouse or swipe of a smart phone away. This of course presents its own challenges. Who hasn’t said something they probably shouldn’t have on social media after a couple of beers? And don’t get me started on inebriated eBay purchases…

    But, in general, the techno revolution is a very good thing. Tuning companies were some of the first to tale advantage of this wave of new tech. From expert CAD to create new hardware, through to simply being able to sell products on line to a worldwide audience; tuners have certainly made the most of it.

    With shorter lead times to produce new products and tuning solutions, aftermarket specialists can release new tuning parts faster than ever.

    Although not an official tuning partner, ABT are very close to Audi and are often first in line with hot new upgrades. This latest kit for the fantastic new RS3 is the first we’ve seen.

    The Mk2 RS3 has only been on sale for a short while, but already its powerful engine and sure-footed quattro drivetrain is gaining huge traction (pun intended) with Audi enthusiasts. There’s no doubting its credentials – even in factory trim. However, that glorious five-pot is just begging to be liberated to create more power and a correspondingly sonorous howl from the 2.5 TFSI lump.

    ABT have delivered just that with their ABT Power New Generation ECU control unit. This system intercepts the signal from the ECU to the engine, tells it to ‘liven itself up’ and delivers a healthy increase to 430hp and 530Nm – impressive figures for a plug n play system. It’s undetectable by the main dealer (so long as you remove it of course!) and offered with ABT’s extensive warranty. As tuning options go, it’s one of the safest bets. Consequently, this doesn’t come cheap, but you are getting a lot more than a tuning box or remap.

    Not content with 430hp, ABT are in the process of developing their Power S system, which will give even more grunt. With supporting upgrades, we’d expect bhp it to be in the high 400s. There’s no doubt that tuners are going to be working hard to produce new kit for the RS3. It’s going to a big car for Audi and the take up will be huge. Our friends at QS Tuning have recently taken delivery and will be developing upgrades for it over the coming months, so there’s lots to come. Watch this space.

    Top RS3 looks ready for action Above: Interior is very well kitted out.

    Left 2.5 5-cylinder is a dream Below: ABT alloys are very classy.

    SPECIFICATION #2015 #Audi-RS3-ABT / #Audi-RS3 / #Audi-A3 / #Audi-RS3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-8V

    ENGINE: 2.5 TFSI 5-cyl, ABT Power New Generation control unit, ABT performance exhaust system with quad tailpipes in Black
    POWER; 430hp, 530Nm
    TRANSMISSION: #S-tronic
    WHEELS AND TYRES: 9x19in ABT ER alloys with Continental tyres 235/35
    EXTERIOR: Stock RS3
    INTERIOR: ABT floor mats, LED entrance lights with #ABT logo
    TUNING CONTACTS: ABT Sportsline Richter Sport (UK)
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