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November 26, 2018
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So, you’ve owned your Audi S3 for a few months (or years), and, as much as you hate to admit it, you’re starting to get bored with it. If this describes you, then it is time to think about tuning your Audi S3.
Without a doubt, the Audi S3 is an awesome sport sedan/hatchback. It has a nimble, well-honed chassis, a sport-tuned suspension system, and a fiery, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. But, it still has the potential to reach even higher levels of performance.
With the right tunes or mods, you can see a significant improvement in the way your Audi S3 handles and accelerates. Here are the top tuning ideas for your Audi S3:
The 8V Audi S3 comes fitted with 18-inch, 5-arm dynamic-design alloy wheels and 225/40 R18 summer performance tyres. This wheel-tyre combination works well for the Audi S3. The wheels are not too heavy, and the tyres offer sufficient road grip when you want to push the car to its limits. However, if you are thinking of cranking up the performance of your car, you are going to need a better wheel/tyre setup.
For the wheels, it’s wise to go lighter. Lighter wheels mean less up-sprung weight, so your suspension system won’t have to work as hard as before. Therefore, you’ll be assured of better handling with lighter wheels. In addition to being lighter, your aftermarket wheels should also be wider, to facilitate more road grip. With wider wheels, the extra horsepower can effectively be put down on the road.
You also can’t go wrong with high-performance tyres that have softer, stickier rubber compounds. If you try tracing a straight line on a hard surface using a soft pencil eraser and a hard pencil eraser, the soft eraser is sure to move with more resistance, because it will stick more to the hard surface as you move it along. The hard eraser will just slip across the surface, with much less resistance. The same applies to your tyres. Softer, stickier tyres will do a better job of sticking to the road. Once you have them, you’ll have much less skidding or wheel slippage on account of the additional horsepower.
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Brakes should also be at the top of your list of mods for your Audi S3. The stock brakes on the 8V Audi S3 consist of 13.4-inch front/12.2-inch rear ventilated disc brakes. With these brakes, the Audi S3 requires 46 metres to come to a stop from 112 km/h (70 mph). While this braking distance is impressive, you can get even better braking distance if you install braking kits with larger rotors and pads.
You should also consider replacing the stock rubber brake lines with stainless steel brake lines. When braking hard, the stock rubber brake lines tend to flex, resulting in a squishy braking feel.
High-temperature brake fluid for your brake system is another smart move, especially if you intend to drive your tuned S3 on nearby tracks. When you drive on a track, you drive at much higher speeds, and, as a result, your brakes work much harder to bring the car to a stop. Because of this, regular brake fluid tends to evaporate much faster when you drive on the track. High-performance brake fluid, on the other hand, has a much higher boiling point, so it can hold its own when the brakes get really heated up on track days.
The best way to improve the handling and driving dynamics of your S3 is by upgrading its suspension setup. The S3 also looks really good when you get rid of the stock wheel gap.
With the right set of wheels and tyres, a slammed S3 can make an awesome show car. However, it is important to note that Audi already has a really good suspension setup in place in the S3. Performance/handling has always been Audi’s specialty.
Therefore, you should make sure that the aftermarket suspension setup you get will be a true upgrade on the stock setup; not all aftermarket suspension setups for the S3 are worth the money. Do some research and talk to experienced Audi auto technicians before you buy suspension mods for your car.
There are three ways to go, when it comes to suspension upgrades for the Audi S3: lowering springs, coilovers, or air suspension:
Lowering springs – this is the most cost-effective option (or so it appears to be). Lowering springs utilise the stock struts and shocks, and they can lower the car’s ride height by 1 to 2 inches. Many lowering springs also have higher spring rates, so they can also improve handling. However, most times, people who install lowering springs on their cars soon have to purchase new aftermarket shocks, because the stock shocks wear out quickly with lowering springs.
Coilovers – these are pricier. They combine springs and shocks, so you won’t have to worry about replacing other shocks if you choose them. Coilovers are also great because they are available in customisable options. For example, there are height-adjustable coilovers, as well as dampening-adjustable coilovers. There are also coilovers that offer both height adjustability and dampening adjustability.
Air suspension – an air suspension system also enables you to adjust the height of the car at will, mostly by just pushing a button. Its setup is extensive and expensive, involving the installation of an air tank with air compressors, as well as special bags and struts that will lift or lower the car when you want them to. An air suspension assures you of great ride quality, but it is not recommended for cars intended for track use or racing.
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Getting your S3’s ECU tuned is also sure to significantly improve its performance. There are flash tuning brands that claim increases in output of 50 horsepower and beyond on the Audi S3, with just a stage 1 tune.
The good thing is that there are many worthwhile flash tune options out there for the Audi S3. Whether you go for a stage 1 or stage 2 tune really depends on your tuning aspirations for the car. If you intend to get a stage 2 tune in the long run, you might as well just get it now, as it will save you the cost of upgrading your tune. However, going for a stage 2 tune is going to mean making some serious performance modifications, like getting an aftermarket intercooler and a high-flow cold air intake, for starters.
An induction kit is another must-have mod if you are seriously looking to improve the performance of your Audi S3. For your car’s engine to produce more horsepower, it needs to have more air flowing into it, in order to enrich the air-fuel mixes in its combustion chambers.
An induction kit is designed to make that possible. It forces cooler, denser air into the engine. This may facilitate increases in output of up to 20 horsepower. An induction kit is comprised of a high-volume air filter, an air-intake box, a cold air feed pipe, and air inlet tubing.
After you are done with performance mods, a facelift for your car is the next step. The Audi S3 looks really good with a custom body kit, which also has practical applications. A custom body kit will improve the aerodynamics of the car, and, in doing so, improve the car’s performance, while also enhancing safety. We at AusBody Works have sourced the most reputable Audi S3 body kit vendors, so rest assured that you’ll get superior quality body kits from us.