RE: Audi S3: PH Buying Guide

RE: Audi S3: PH Buying Guide

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Discussion

big_rob_sydney

2,358 posts

139 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
quotequote all
I always thought the S3 was the equivalent of a WRX, and the RS was like the STI.

That was back in the old days. These days, the world has well and truly left the Subaru behind, sadly.

But in context of THIS car, I'd still rather the Japanese cars. Either a Subaru, or a Mitsubishi. Simpler cars, easier and cheaper to maintain, and more involving to drive. I'm no fan of Audi, either back then, or today.

rtz62

1,764 posts

100 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
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bangerhoarder said:
Much of the buying advice applied to the Mk1 TT applies to these. They are competent cars, but there's lots to go wrong!

I had a 1999 model. It had been thoroughly modded and abused by a previous owner, but it was so painfully cheap, with a year's ticket, that I couldn't turn it down. It had AP coilovers (made it too low and too stiff, but never bothered to adjust them), a bonkers remap, some Forge goodies like a DV relocator and 3" TIP, and looked mean in Santorin Blue with dark grey wheels. It was an animal, and I think mine had the blue Haldex controller as it was fairly easy to get the back end to step out. Extremely competent in the snow and ice, even on fat 18" wheels.

The sills on these can rust, badly, under the plastic covers. Getting these off isn't that easy, and there may be horrors hidden underneath. If running on the cheap, these can be patched to be strong but ugly, as the covers hide the sins. They can also rust behind the door spats at the bottom of the door, and these often come off in pieces and are hard to replace.

Boost leaks are painfully common. Go through every high pressure pipe, and check the clips on the pipework from turbo to ICs to manifold. Mine had the N249 bypassed with the DV running from vacuum alone - a common mod and makes no great difference to performance, but removes some pipework. Coilpacks are weak, though I replaced one which turned out to be a dying sparkplug.

The dashpod is a known weakness with all of these mk4 based cars - if it's just the DIS that's playing up you can live with it but the faults can affect the other gauges too, so beware. The interior is fairly solid and some of the options like a sunroof, contrast seats etc are nice. The ashtray is weak and can give up, flopping about. Expect creaks from the dashboard.

The suspension is put under some fair amount of stress as standard, and knocking ARB drop links, top mounts, ARB bushes etc are common. Not too expensive to sort, nor hard to work on. Changing the Haldex filter and oil is a bit of a pig though, and the parts cost more than you'd think.

I would love another, but it'd need to be more looked after than mine (which recouped every penny I spent on it when selling, including tyres) so I'd be very wary of the budget ones!
There's more real info in the above than in this PH 'Buyers Guide'!!

Personally never liked the earlier version, somehow the front looked boring and, for some unknown reason, every time I see/saw one it looked kind of..blind? And unresolved, but the face-lift gave it a real 'face' imho

As an aside, I was at a garage in Chesterfield a couple of years ago who told me that they had a customer who owned one with a reputed 600bhp...wonder if anyone on here knows of it?

Edited by rtz62 on Wednesday 17th October 11:33

s m

17,820 posts

148 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
quotequote all
big_rob_sydney said:
I always thought the S3 was the equivalent of a WRX, and the RS was like the STI.

That was back in the old days. These days, the world has well and truly left the Subaru behind, sadly.

But in context of THIS car, I'd still rather the Japanese cars. Either a Subaru, or a Mitsubishi. Simpler cars, easier and cheaper to maintain, and more involving to drive. I'm no fan of Audi, either back then, or today.
I remember when EVO mag first came out they did a big test of many of the performance 4wd cars past and present - article about 30 pages all in

The 210bhp S3 was included and did pretty well
They liked it so much it made the final cut to Wales

Got pipped into 3rd place by the Impreza RB5 and Lancer EVO

These days the 911s would walk the result!!!






nickfrog

10,173 posts

162 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
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g7jhp said:
Great grip in the wet though
When I replaced mine with a Boxster I remember how surprised I was how much more traction the mid engine car had compared to the S3. And how much more lateral grip, although that was a bit more expected.

rtz62

1,764 posts

100 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
quotequote all
Off topic but looking at that road test, how did a Nissan GTR end up over half a second slower than a less-powerful, laggy and understeering-on-the-limit Quattro 20V (and Ive had a Quattro so know about those traits)?

rossub

2,245 posts

135 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
quotequote all
rtz62 said:
Off topic but looking at that road test, how did a Nissan GTR end up over half a second slower than a less-powerful, laggy and understeering-on-the-limit Quattro 20V (and Ive had a Quattro so know about those traits)?
Noticed that too. What is going on with those GTR times?!

daveco

3,701 posts

152 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
quotequote all
rossub said:
rtz62 said:
Off topic but looking at that road test, how did a Nissan GTR end up over half a second slower than a less-powerful, laggy and understeering-on-the-limit Quattro 20V (and Ive had a Quattro so know about those traits)?
Noticed that too. What is going on with those GTR times?!
And an Escort Cosworth being faster than most of the pack seems...interesting!

greenarrow

1,712 posts

62 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
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daveco said:
rossub said:
rtz62 said:
Off topic but looking at that road test, how did a Nissan GTR end up over half a second slower than a less-powerful, laggy and understeering-on-the-limit Quattro 20V (and Ive had a Quattro so know about those traits)?
Noticed that too. What is going on with those GTR times?!
And an Escort Cosworth being faster than most of the pack seems...interesting!
I remember this issue well and as I recall, the Skyline was a handful on what was a Wet surface. The older Quattro and Escort, softer set up I would guess - worked better in the rain. A similar thing happened in an EVO article in recent times, where a Nissan GTR struggled in the wet vs a Mercedes AMG45.

No doubt had this been a dry lap the R34 would've walked it.

You have to say that the S3 did quite well.


Edited by greenarrow on Wednesday 17th October 16:00

asimmalik

40 posts

139 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
quotequote all
Anybody either driven or owned one of these and a 306 GTi6/Rallye, be interesting to hear any comparisons. I vaguely remember a magazine review of the Rallye against the S3 when it was new.

Edited by asimmalik on Wednesday 17th October 17:10

Mintbird

373 posts

46 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
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The original S3 is now a true modern classic.

No it isnt

JonDerz

69 posts

72 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
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rtz62 said:
As an aside, I was at a garage in Chesterfield a couple of years ago who told me that they had a customer who owned one with a reputed 600bhp...wonder if anyone on here knows of it
Yep I know it, JBS right? I looked at it when it was nearing completion as my car was being built at the same time and I had a good relationship with the guys there. GT35 if memory serves me right. Mine was 420 bhp. I know several genuine 600 bhp builds, there’s two on Audi sport, tuffty and goubo, both built by badger5.

s m

17,820 posts

148 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
quotequote all
rossub said:
rtz62 said:
Off topic but looking at that road test, how did a Nissan GTR end up over half a second slower than a less-powerful, laggy and understeering-on-the-limit Quattro 20V (and Ive had a Quattro so know about those traits)?
Noticed that too. What is going on with those GTR times?!



GTRs just a bit too unwieldy on the track layout according to above

anarki

492 posts

81 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
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Had a 51 reg one 7 years ago and kept it for 4 years.

It was on 85k miles when I bought it and I part ex'd it at 105k miles.

In those 4 years it went through:

2 coil packs - cylinder 1 and 3
Rear coil springs, one of which snapped in 2 separate places
Clutch started to slip after I had it remapped, so replaced with an uprated Sachs one.
The main intake hose to the turbo split - I replaced all the hoses with silicon items.
Xenon headlight washers stopped working

Nothing catastrophic but all annoying nonetheless.

I don't pander for another one but am fond of them. They drive well but aren't special enough in my opinion. Capable but bland in a way.

Ahbefive

11,651 posts

117 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
quotequote all
Average at best. Cheap car for the money though but purchase price can easily be eclipsed by the repair costs.

Welshbeef

37,541 posts

143 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
quotequote all
s m said:



GTRs just a bit too unwieldy on the track layout according to above
So many diesels are now vastly quicker than a Nissan GtR to 100mph 12.5 seconds how engineering has moved the game on.

Lol at the 18.5 seconds to 100mph that wasn’t that quick when it came out - a Fiat Coupe 20 V Turbo was 14.2 seconds the S3 4.3 seconds slower is night and day

Ved

3,822 posts

120 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
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Great little cars but it’s a stretch to say it’s a modern classic.

oceanview

1,042 posts

76 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
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Back in 2002, my brother bought a new S3 (225BHP) in a lovely grey colour. At the time I had an Impreza Turbo (uk spec).

The S3 was, as you would expect, much more solidly built and a real quality car- the engine was also strong- though not as characterful as the Impreza. But where the S3 was a real let down was the steering- it was so wooden and lacking in feel, particularly compared to the Subaru.


Still a great car but, like the Subaru, no doubt hard to find a decent unmolested one now!

rtz62

1,764 posts

100 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
quotequote all
JonDerz said:
rtz62 said:
As an aside, I was at a garage in Chesterfield a couple of years ago who told me that they had a customer who owned one with a reputed 600bhp...wonder if anyone on here knows of it
Yep I know it, JBS right? I looked at it when it was nearing completion as my car was being built at the same time and I had a good relationship with the guys there. GT35 if memory serves me right. Mine was 420 bhp. I know several genuine 600 bhp builds, there’s two on Audi sport, tuffty and goubo, both built by badger5.
I do believe you’re right my friend.
JBS is in Chesterfield, fairly near me so that would fit in with you’re suggestion.
420bhp in one of these would be epic, 600bhp...I don’t know what is above epic; frightening?
I did drive a friends S4 that was running over 400bhp and that monstered the roads around Matlock. The owner subsequently built an engine based on the Audi 2.5 (?) Turbo diesel block which he was hoping would be 600bhp+ but I’m not sure if he sold it mid-build.

HardtopManual

1,232 posts

111 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
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“Modern classic”

Why?

schmalex

12,959 posts

151 months

Wednesday 17th October 2018
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So much better than the heavy, farty sounding stbox the current S3 has turned into