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Best Performance Mods for an Audi S3

November 26, 2018

Best Performance Mods for an Audi S3

Hero Image Credit: gumtree.com

Thinking of cranking up the performance of your Audi S3? Well, you’re certainly not alone. The Audi S3 certainly has a lot of untapped performance potential, and more and more Audi S3 owners are attempting to harness that potential.

The 8V Audi S3 is an excellent piece of automotive engineering. It features a 292-horsepower 2.0-litre turbocharged TFSI® four-cylinder engine, quattro® all-wheel drive, a 7-speed S tronic® dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a well-honed chassis. According to Audi, it requires just 4.8 seconds to sprint from zero to 100 km/h, and it also achieves a top speed of 249 km/h (155 mph). These are great statistics, but with the right choice of performance mods, it is possible to improve even these impressive stats significantly.

The good news is that over the last decade, compact luxury sport sedans/hatchbacks like the Audi S3 sedan/hatchback have become more and more popular. Unsurprisingly, as the sales numbers for these pricey sports cars have gone up, their aftermarket support has also grown considerably. It is now infinitely easier to get performance mods for an Audi S3 than it was just several years ago.

Here are some of the best performance mods for the Audi S3:

Engine Tune

One of the best ways to crank up the power in the Audi S3 is tuning its ECU. The Audi S3 is known to respond really well to ECU tuning, so even a basic tune can deliver a good amount of additional output. An engine tune is also going to help the engine harness the additional output that your other performance mods are going to facilitate, so getting an engine tune is really important if you are serious about enhancing your car’s performance.

When getting a tune, you could go to your local established auto shop to get a custom dyno tune for your car, or you could buy a stage 1, stage 2, or stage 3 tune package. Whether you opt for a stage 1, stage 2, or stage 3 tune really depends on your performance aspirations for your Audi S3.

If you are just looking to crank up the car’s output a bit while adding some bolt-on performance mods, then you should just get a stage 1 tune for your car. However, if you are looking to significantly enhance your car’s performance while doing some radical performance mods, you can opt for a stage 2 tune. A stage 3 tune is even more extreme; it’s largely meant for full-on motorsport duty, so opting for this option could make your car virtually unusable on the street.

Cold Air Intake

Another must-have performance mod is a cold air intake. Feeding more air into a forced induction engine like that of the Audi S3 is a sure way of increasing its output. Depending on the type of air intake that you purchase, you could see output gains of up to 10 horsepower with just that intake installed. A cold air intake is also sure to enhance fuel efficiency. 

Best Performance Mods for an Audi S3 Cold Air Intake

Image Credit: gta5-mods.com

Exhaust System

Getting an aftermarket exhaust system for your Audi S3 is also sure to improve power output and improve fuel efficiency, due to easier elimination of exhaust gases. This will, in turn, free up airflow in the engine, resulting in the production of more power.

An aftermarket exhaust system is also going to make your car sound great. The beefier the exhaust system that you choose, the deeper and louder your exhaust note is going to get. With the Audi S3, you could opt for a turbo-back exhaust system or a catback exhaust system. A turbo-back exhaust system replaces the stock exhaust system right from the turbocharger.

If you still intend to drive your S3 on the streets, then the turbo-back exhaust system will need to have a new high flow catalytic converter; the ones that don’t have a catalytic converter can only be used on the track. A catback exhaust system, on the other hand, is set up from the stock catalytic converter backward. As you would expect, turbo-back exhaust systems deliver more power and much louder exhaust sounds.   


The Audi S3’s stock intercooler serves it well. It does a great job of cooling incoming air, and, as a result, the Audi S3’s engine rarely overheats, even when pushed to its limits. However, the stock intercooler may not be able to cope with the additional output that will come with the performance mods that you are going to install in your Audi S3. As a result, it may be prone to heat soak, when you start cranking up your car’s performance. Therefore, it would be wise to also consider getting an aftermarket front mount intercooler, as you set up your other performance mods.    


You cannot go wrong with a new suspension setup for an Audi S3 if you are really looking to enhance its performance. There are two main suspension upgrade options: lowering springs or coilovers.

Lowering springs are great for when you are on a budget. They don’t cost much, and they can drop your car’s ride height by up to an inch. This can help you to get rid of that annoying wheel gap, without compromising the car’s ride quality. Most aftermarket lowering springs also offer higher spring rates, so they deliver sharper, more responsive handling.

However, it is important to note that your Audi S3’s OEM shocks are likely to wear out faster with lowering springs because they were not designed to function with such aftermarket springs. As a result, you may find yourself having to replace your car’s shocks with aftermarket shocks before long. Therefore, when you think about it, lowering springs isn’t necessarily the more cost-effective option, in the long run.

The second option is coilovers. Coilovers are definitely pricier than lowering springs, but they combine both the spring and the shock, so you won’t have to fork out more suspension money any time soon. Coilovers are also great because they offer height adjustability, meaning you can adjust your car’s ride height at will.       

Best Performance Mods for an Audi S3 Suspension

Image Credit: autocentrum.pl

At AusBody Works, we can help you get all these performance mods set up for your car. Reach out today, and we’ll be happy to connect you with reputable Australian aftermarket parts vendors.

Once you are done installing performance mods on your Audi S3, you should also consider making it look the part. AusBody Works is proud to offer a wide range of body kits for the Audi S3, which can be ordered separately or as a full package.

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