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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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    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

    Call: 0161 776 0777

    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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    Notching it up! / #Audi-S3-Saloon / #Audi-S3 / #Audi-A3-Saloon / #Audi-S3-Sedan-8V / #Audi-A3-Saloon-8V / #Audi-A3-8V / #Audi-S3-8V / #Audi-S3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-8V / #Audi-S3-Saloon-Typ-8V / #Audi

    Our first drive of the highperformance #Audi-S3-Saloon on British roads proves its prodigious performance and handling, but also its tractability and practicality…

    Alongside the UK press launch of the new A3 Cabriolet, featured previously in these pages, we were also able to reacquaint ourselves with the very different dynamic ability of the new S3. Ironically, it was the Saloon version that we drove in the Spring sunshine of the New Forest while, only 24 hours later, we found ourselves cruising the Cabriolet S3 in the snowy wilderness of Sweden, but that’s another story…

    While the mostly narrow and winding country roads of southern Hampshire were perfect for piloting the A3 Cabriolet around in the sunshine, they hardly provided the ideal environment to fully explore the considerable capabilities of the high-performance S3. Indeed, opening it up on one rare occasion, on a particularly long clear traffic-free stretch, soon saw the speedo hurtling past the legal limit towards three-figure speeds before we reined it in.

    Hardly surprising, with more than twice the power of the 1.4 TFSI Cabriolet; propelled by the latest 300 PS version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged 16-valve four-cylinder TFSI engine, shared with Volkswagen’s new Golf R, the S3 clearly has the potential for prodigious performance. With the 6-speed twin-clutch S tronic auto transmission it is claimed to be capable of accelerating from 0-62 mph in just 4.9 seconds, with the 6-speed manual version only slightly slower at 5.3 seconds. The top speed of both is electronically limited to 155 mph. More relevant, though, is that the S3’s maximum power is developed at a modest 5500 rpm and holds up until 6200 rpm. Combined with considerable torque of 380 Nm between 1800 and 5500 rpm the power delivery is both broad and muscular, with no hint of lag, providing ready response throughout the rev range and pulling smoothly and strongly right up to the redline and just beyond. Needless to say, making a quick overtaking manoeuvre, or accelerating up to the speed of the traffic flow on the fast-moving A31 from virtual standstill on a short slip road was no problem at all.

    But while the local roads didn’t lend themselves to exploiting the full performance, they did highlight the S3’s flexibility, able to cruise comfortably along and pull away cleanly from relatively low speeds. Aided by features such as cruise control, energy recuperation and stop/start, that sort of tractability is also a recipe for good fuel efficiency. Audi claims a combined economy figure of 40.4 for the manual and 40.9 mpg for the S tronic which also coasts when the driver lifts off the throttle, when running in the efficiency mode in the Drive Select menu. Needless to say, we didn’t see those sort of numbers on the trip computer, but figures in the top twenties were very welcome considering the type of predominantly point and squirt driving.

    Fitted with 19-inch 5-twin-spoke Star alloys as standard, shod with 235/35 R19 Dunlop Sport Maxx on the cars we drove, the S3’s handling on lowered sports suspension (–25 mm) is very sharp and precise. With magnetic ride dampers as standard-fit, it can also be stiffened up further if required by switching Drive Select into the Sport mode. While this provides almost race car like handling on smooth main roads, hooking around roundabouts like a go-kart, we found this setting a bit too stiff and lively on some of the bumpy, choppy back roads.

    On the other hand, switching into Comfort mode also makes the steering feel far too loose for the kind of control you need when threading the S3 down narrow lanes. The answer is the Individual setting where you can mix and match the different parameters; with the suspension set on Comfort to soak up the undulations and the steering on Sport to add reassuring weight, the S3 simply flowed through the switchbacks, providing a real rollercoaster of a ride, both comfortable and controlled.

    Traction and braking are the S3’s other great fortés, with the latest generation of the electronically-controlled Haldex coupling four-wheel drive system shuffling power from front to rear and enabling the S3 to accelerate hard out of tight corners and to launch off the loose surface of a layby without wheelspin. With the traction and handling further enhanced by the torque vectoring via the ESC system, it provides very neutral, well balanced and agile handling, with barely a hint of understeer.

    The S3 was also very stable and controlled under braking for the tight bends and steep descents, the powerful 340 mm front and 310 mm rear vented discs, with big black S3-logo’d front callipers, more than up to the task of pulling up promptly without being snatchy at low speeds when crawling in heavy traffic.

    Considered overall, the S3 is the perfect all-rounder – capable of very high performance and almost race car like handling when driven in full Sport mode, but also civilised, tractable, economical and comfortable enough to serve as a full five-seater four-door family saloon. Indeed, the boot volume is actually larger than the load bay of the tailgated cars, with its capacity of 425 litres capable of absorbing 45 litres more luggage than the Sportback, and this can be increased still further by folding the split-folding rear seat backs forward. The boot lid also comes with remote-control opening from the key fob.

    Particularly so perhaps with the Glacier white car we tested, the S3 has an ambivalent dynamic identity that is fully reflected in its appearance, with just the right balance of aggressive styling and mature understatement.

    As well as the discreet S3 badges at front and rear, special distinguishing features are a front bumper with larger air intakes, the single-frame grille in platinum grey with horizontal twin chrome bars, Xenon plus headlights, LED running lights, mirror housings finished in matt aluminium, sill trims, a rear diffuser with two oval chrome tailpipes on each side, and the integrated boot-lid spoiler. Inside, aluminium sill trims and brushed matt aluminium inlays for the interior trim help set off the predominantly black interior with its embossed Fine Nappa leather heated front sports seats and flatbottomed three-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel.

    Priced at £33,240 for the manual and £34,720 for the S tronic model, the real cost equation will depend on how far you delve into the options list, with features like the MMI Navigation Plus, lane assist and a Bang & Olufsen 14-speaker surround sound system available to tot up the bill. Indeed, the 6-speed manual test car we drove was worth nearly £40,000 by the time you’d totted up all the options fitted, including the metallic paint at £525, Technology package £1795, panoramic sunroof at £950, Bang & Olufsen sound system at £750 and various other upgrades…

    Based on our experience of it so far, the S3 Saloon is a perfectly sensible and practical stylish four-door with a capacious boot, capable of potent performance and excellent driving dynamics along with reasonable fuel economy, but it will be interesting to see whether it can make its mark in a British market which traditionally tends to favour the tailgated cars. Ironically, though, its main sibling rival here in the UK may well be the forthcoming S3 Cabriolet, more of which in due course. We’ll be carrying out a comprehensive road test of the S3 Saloon shortly, for a full feature in Audi Driver.

    ‘The S3 Saloon is a perfectly sensible and practical stylish four-door with a capacious boot, capable of potent performance and excellent driving dynamics along with reasonable fuel economy...’

    The power delivery is both broad and muscular, with no hint of lag, providing ready response throughout the rev range...’

    Performance Notching it up – The S3 Saloon

    0-62 mph Top speed Combined economy CO2 emissions
    S3 Saloon 6-speed manual 5.3 sec 155 mph* 40.4mpg 162 g/km
    S3 Saloon 6-speed S tronic 4.9 sec 155 mph* 40.9 mpg 159 g/km
    * Top speed electronically limited

    S3 Saloon 2.0 TFSI 300 PS 6-speed manual £33,240
    S3 Saloon 2.0 TFSI 300 PS 6-speed S tronic £34,720
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    / #Audi-4-Rings-Ownership-Program / #Audi / #2016 / #Audi-4-Rings

    If you’re dreaming of driving down the road in a spanking brand new Audi, now is the perfect time to head on down to the PGA Cars Audi dealership near you.

    With the Audi 4 Rings Ownership Program, you can get drive home your new #Audi-S3 , #Audi-A5 or #Audi-Q5 with FREE periodic maintenance service and oil service for two years and FREE comprehensive insurance with acts of nature and personal accident coverage.

    You can also avail of #PGA Car’s financing program with zero percent (0%) interest and up to five (5) years to pay with FREE chattel mortgage fee. So, drop by the #PGA-Cars Audi showroom in Greenhills, Bonifacio Global City (BGC), or Alabang and enjoy the good life driving around in your new 3Audi S3, A5 or Q5!
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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,, #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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    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, TLC Detailing, APR, 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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    …and business in the back. With sensible smart looks and incredible performance, what’s not to like about the new Audi S3 saloon? We decided to see if we could find out. Words: David Kennedy Photos: Nick Williams / #2015 / #Audi-S3-Typ-8V / #Audi-A3-Typ-8V / #Audi /

    Spend a few days looking at any proper car forum out there and you will notice that any time a new hot hatch is discussed, there’s often a lot of negativity in the responses. You know the type of forums we’re talking about, the kind populated with people who take the business of motoring very seriously indeed, who enjoy a spirited Broad blast and every facet of performance driving… yet drive a bottom-spec Toyota Avensis company car and dream of an MX5 to practice ‘getting a dab of oppo’ on at the weekend. You’ll also find that every time a new hot hatch is launched, you’ll find some forum posts saying, with depressing inevitability, that hot hatches aren’t hot hatches anymore because they’re either; too expensive, too big, too fast, too heavy or all of the above with shouts of ‘there is no way a Golf should cost over £30k’ while failing to account for things like inflation or the fact that new cars are obviously more expensive than they were in 1995 or what have you.

    So with all that in mind, the new Audi S3 saloon is the kind of car that should drive the cliché-spouting car people on the internet angriest of all. One; it’s not even a hatch back, it’s a small saloon. Two; it’s expensive. The base car’s on-the-road price is £33,245 and the one we had in on test, with all its fancy options ticked off, added up to £40,085. Three; with 300bhp and 280lb ft of torque, coupled with a S-tronic ’box, Audi’s legendary quattro system and a 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds, it’s more of a big bruiser of a thing rather than the made-of-tinfoil and dancing-about-on-three-wheels-incorners hot hatches of the mid-’90s. But you know what we say? We reckon the S3 saloon could be the best of the 2014 VAG line-up we have had in on test (speak for yourself ~ Ed), which, if you’ve missed the last few issues, includes the Mk7 GTI, the Mk7 R and the SEAT Leon Cupra 280.

    Well, first of all, look at it. Sure, all modern cars look like their older and younger siblings, everyone knows that, and Audi is no different. But there is absolutely no denying you wouldn’t be pretty damn happy with yourself if you could see it on your driveway and call it yours. Save for the quad-exhausts, silver mirrors and bigger wheels, it doesn’t look any different from the normal A3 saloon.

    But should a hatchback be, well, an actual hatchback? We took a poll of our friends and colleagues over the week we had it and the majority of people digged the way the car looked with its little stumpy boot back there. Us? I loved the saloon looks (but then I bought a Bora once so I would) whereas Elliott firmly preferred the hatched version.

    Either way, the S3 saloon certainly doesn’t look like it’s anywhere near as fast as it is that’s for sure. With 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds for the S-tronic model and a top speed of 155mph (limited), it’s essentially exactly the same as the Golf R, another car that doesn’t look as quick as it is. The hot hatch market has grown up, people want power and performance without having to look like they just fell off a rally stage. Is that a shame? Yeah, of course. Who doesn’t like a car with some theatrics to it? But overall, most people would take a mix of sophistication, quality and performance over spoilers and aggressive shouty looks any day. When was the last time you saw a new Impreza after all?

    Finally, the S3’s interior. We don’t have much to say on that other than it’s just as good as you think it’s going to be. Designwise, the S3 trumps everything else in the #VAG stable, it just feels and looks more special. But then it should be, as a standard S3 costs just a grand and bit shy of the fullyspec’d- up Golf R. Throw all the options on and you’re looking at a £6k jump over the R. Worth it? Well, that’s not for us to decide – we couldn’t afford the options list let alone the car itself! We’ll say one thing though, we really didn’t want to give this one back when the press office came knocking…

    TECH DATA FILE 2015 #Audi-S3-Saloon / #Audi-S3 / #Audi-S3-Sedan / #Audi-A3 /

    ON-THE-ROAD PRICE: £33,245
    MISANO RED PEARL EFFECT: £525 (yes we know the car in the photos is white)
    PARADE RED DESIGN PACKAGE: £895 (again, not the same car in the shots)
    HOLD ASSIST: £90
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    Methanol injected monster. With a double injection of methanol, this #MKS-Performance-S3 is the most powerful K04 hybrid 8L we know of – who says you need a big turbo…? Words Davy Lewis. Photography Adrian Brannan.

    Everyone has their own way of doing things. From cooking your steak, to cleaning your car – you find a way that suits and you stick with it. And to a certain extent this extends to the world of performance tuning. There are many different ways to create more power and everyone has strong views on which is the best method.

    For a forced induction car, there’s no doubt that increasing turbo efficiency is the most effective way to increase power. However, there’s more to it than simply bolting on the largest turbo you can find on eBay. Turbocharged engines present a particular set of challenges for tuners. The bottom end needs to be strong enough to handle the extra boost; the cooling system must be uprated to deal with the high temperatures created by harnessing the spent exhaust gasses; and supporting upgrades all need consideration including fuelling, airflow and engine management.

    When Matt Shannon began tinkering with his S3, he had a very fixed idea of what he wanted to achieve. “I’d already owned a tuned Octavia VRS 4x4, which is basically the same car underneath,” he comments. Having a lot of experience with the ubiquitous 1.8 20v turbo unit, Matt decided to purchase an S3 to work on, although he admits, “I bought it behind my wife’s back.” Brave man.

    The original plan was to rebuild the engine so that it would make 500bhp with a big turbo. But, at the last minute, he changed his mind. “It’s harder to achieve good power with a K04 hybrid, than with a big turbo,” he says. Which is why this particular BAM unit runs dual methanol injection. “The largest port injects it immediately after the intercooler to keep the charge temps down, while the second injects it immediately before the throttle body. This helps to cool the cylinders and also increase the octane rating, as well as keeping the exhaust gas temps at a safe level. “It effectively ‘steam cleans’ the engine,” smiles Matt. Should the meth run out, the map reverts to its lower state of tune at 280bhp to prevent damage.

    An oil and gas engineer by trade, Matt has been building up MKS Tuning for a few years now. It was a part time job until redundancy gave him the push to go full time and the S3 has become his demo vehicle to showcase what can be achieved.

    The engine itself has been fully blue printed – a highly skilled method of measuring oil clearances to indicate how much life is left in vital components. The stock pistons were deemed good enough to use, but were fully refurbed with new shells etc. You can see the detailed engine spec in the spec box later on, but it’s a comprehensive build that ensures the S3 can take 500bhp if Matt wishes to fit a big turbo at some stage.

    Having done the entire build himself, the only outside help came in the form of the balancing (which requires highly expensive machinery) and the custom map. Badger5 took care of the map and have created a set up with five settings, from a low stressed 280bhp, right the way up to the full-fat 370bhp with methanol.

    To get the power down, Matt has done away with the dual mass flywheel and fitted a meaty Loba single mass kit. There’s also a rare Haldex Blue controller, which allows power to be adjusted front to rear as required. With sticky Yokohama Parada Spec 2s, this fierce S3 lays down its ample power very effectively. Key to this is the nature of the K04 hybrid, which spools up quickly, delivering a linear response, rather than the big bang associated with a big turbo. The great thing about this precision build is that it is very drivable; the turbo kicks in at 3000rpm, so there’s always power there when you want it.

    With the ability to hit 60mph from rest in around four seconds and some pretty lively in-gear acceleration, it’s easy to find yourself moving at a rapid rate of knots in this S3. Matt has wisely fitted some hefty stoppers in the form of D2 six-pots which clamp down on 356mm discs. Tucked up behind the timeless Rota Grids in a beefy 9.5x18, they do an admirable job of standing this S3 on its nose.

    Now, it would have been easy to strip the interior and save weight, further improving the performance of this hard-charging S3, but Matt wanted to retain its usability. Inside it’s all very nice with stock electric, leather Recaros and Bose audio – so stripping it was never an option. There are some additions though. A Liquigauge unit has been mounted in the driver’s side air vent. This offers a multitude of functions, from checking essential EGT, boost and other data, to reading fault codes – there’s even a performance timer incorporated.

    Pop the tailgate and you’ll find the plumbing and tank for the methanol injection kit, plus a battery. Both had to be relocated with an already tight engine bay, but sit neatly in the spare wheel well.

    Outside, apart from the MKS company logos and the cut outs to the front bumper to maximise airflow, you’d think this was just another lightly tuned S3, possibly making 260bhp with a remap and performance exhaust. But once that needle hits 3000rpm, you’d realise it has serious potential – enough to keep up with a B7 RS4 and leave stock Evos wondering what just happened. As Matt says, it would have been straightforward to bolt on a large turbo, strip it out and create a big boosting monster. But that’s not the point. For him, this build was about doing things differently. Creating a powerful, but usable road car that retains its original character. The fact it still has the original 122k-mile block and uses a K04 hybrid makes it all the sweeter. It goes to show what a proper engineer’s approach to engine building can achieve.

    SPECIFICATION #Audi-S3-8L / #Audi-S3 / #Audi-S3-MKS-Performance / #Audi-A3-8L / #Audi-A3

    ENGINE: 1.8 20v turbo BAM with full #MKS-Performance rebuild and motorsport blue print, #Badger5 custom map, 5 map selectable programme, 370bhp & 364lb/ft max with power ranging down to 280bhp min, #Supertech Nitrate inlet and Inconel exhaust valves with HD springs and single grove collets, #BADGER5 V2.2 80mm turbo intake pipe with BMC induction filter and heat shield, BADGER5 V2 high-flow cast manifold with large port mod, BEACHBUGGY TURBO Stage 4 Hybrid K04 turbo also with B5 large port mod in hotside, AEB large port cylinder head, Supertech Nitrate inlet and Inconel exhaust valves with HD springs and single grove collets, 600x300x76mm Toyo sport type B front mount intercooler, Pipewerx 3in down pipe and custom 5in sports cat, #Milltek cat back exhaust, Devilsown dual port 100% methanol injection with solenoid upgrade and inline pressure gauge, DO3 injector post front mount intercooler and DO1 injector pre throttle body, 550cc Bosch injectors, IE Tuscan rods (rifle drilled), #ACL big end shells and #Mahle main shells, #ARP main and head stud kit, OEM pistons but new rings still at 81.5mm bore, full Forge coolant hose kit, Forge 008 DV, Draft45designs oil catch can with custom catch can system, N249 valve delete.

    TRANSMISSION: Loba stage 2 single-mass flywheel kit, ECS metal clutch bleeder (must have for smf kit), #Haldex blue controller.

    BRAKES: D2 356mm 6-pot brakes with drilled rotors

    SUSPENSION: AP coilovers, adjustable rear control arms for camber control.

    WHEELS AND TYRES: Rota Grid Drift, 9.5x18in, Yokohama Parada Spec 2 rubber.

    EXTERIOR: 2x genuine #Audi front wings inc. bumper respray, cut out front bumper, black Audi badges, MKS graphics.

    INTERIOR: Liquigauge (obd data screen) in D/S air vent, batt relocation to the boot, Devilsown 2.25gal race baffled meth tank in boot, boost, oil and meth pressure gauge’s with meth injection kill switch.

    TUNING CONTACTS: MKS Performance Badger5

    Top: This S3 can shift Above: Would make a cool necklace for petrolheads!
    Left: Liquigauge is neatly mounted Below Left: Go Go Juice aka methanol injection!
    “The ability to hit 60mph from rest in around 4 seconds”
    Above: D2 6-pots right: Battery and methanol tank in the spare wheel well.
    Right Heat management is taken seriously Below: 1.8T look immaculate.
    Above: 9.5in wide Rotas look great.
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    Audi S3 8P 460bhp big-turbo S3. This S3 may look like many other show cars on air-ride, but underneath, there’s a potent 2.0 TFSI that’s packing a big GTX35 turbo capable of over 600bhp…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    BRAKES #Brembo 6-pot calipers up front

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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