Once again, I've been involved in a small street race (about 30 km in 11 mins at 11:00pm) just the other day (I know that I'll end up on a tree top one day, but can't help it). The other cars were a BMW 328Ci and an Audi A4 1.8TQ Sports Edition both driven by friends of mine. Although it all went well for everybody I should warn all potential S3 driver/owner wannabees.
The S3 has huge tendency to understeer both in wet and dry tracks, especially in sharp U-Bends. This could be related to my tyres, which are Pirelli P6000, but I would rather relate it to weight distribution. Also similar to TT, panic braking in high speed corners makes you feel quite scary as the back of the car sways gently in both directions. If you are not an experienced, moreover an educated driver and want to push hard, you definitely need ESP. All new S3's come with ESP fitted, but if you go for second hand, I strongly recommend you to wait until you find one with ESP.
'00 Black S3
03-28-2000, 03:12 AM
"Once again I've been involved in a small street race". :) I bet you go out looking for these races! :) I know I would if I had a car like yours. Anyway, what was the outcome of the race?
Re: Understeer, the car is probably setup that way on purpose I would have thought? Plus, it goes back to what you were saying ages ago, about it mainly being FWD with the electronic "brain" in the car switching to 4WD drive when *it* thinks it should. (?)
Maybe, after your brake upgrade, you should go for fully adjustable suspension front and rear. ;) Okay, that may be bit expensive.
Another thought, (hey, I'm doing well, 3 thoughts in a row :) ) this Haldex system. My understanding is that it's basically a computer controlling some clutch plates which take drive to the back wheels (simplistic view). If its a computer, it can be reprogrammed. Could it possibly be reprogrammed so that the car will have permanent 4 wheel drive? Something to think/enquire about.
'99.5 A3 1.8T MS Silver
03-28-2000, 10:23 AM
Yeah, I can relate to all that you say when driving the FWD A3 too. The car always feels quite nose heavy and the turn in is not fantastic but if you push through the understeer there is plenty of grip to be had. I think that the lift off oversteer issue and braking mid corner oversteer is very mild on the A3 - although I have come from driving a Saxo VTR which would slew sideways and spin like a top with the slightest provocation. Whilst this was fun when you were in the mood it caught me out once (tired, not paying attention, small slip on ice - no real damage luckily) it is frankly dangerous in an emergency situation and as you correctly point out, ESP is now on hand in many cars to help out. I think, though, that if switchable ESP is an option on the S3, surely the handling should be made inherently more oversteery so that when you are driving hard and thinking about it (with ESP off) the experience is better and for the times when you are cruising just switch it back on again.
Unfortunaley many A3s are bought by a more sedate driver that cars like a Saxo, 106GTI, 306GTI6 etc and as audi discovered with the TT, the average driver cannot cope in extreme situations.
Have you driven a TT, Ravenx? I have and I thought the handling was much better with regards to understeer than the A3 - hence the TT recall probbably?
03-28-2000, 01:36 PM
"spin like a top" :)
Sounds like you spun the saxo a few times. Do tell us more. :)
I agree the A3, does understeer quite a bit, especially on damp, greasy roundabouts, when you boot it too early, or go in to fast. But its *so* controllable, I love it. Not like the Astra 2.016v Sport I used to have, that was a car that was quicker than the official spec, but it hand terrible understeer problems, wet and dry. But the A3 in the dry, I'd say you'd really have push it some to push it wide, certainly to get an "ohhh-****!!" situation.
I agree also on your A3 lift-off oversteer point. Very mild, only experienced it when deliberately provoking the car on wet roundabouts.
'99.5 A3 1.8T MS Silver
03-28-2000, 01:37 PM
I was thinking of the same thing today. Reprograming Haldex to make it work like a permanent 4wheel drive system. Can it be done? Maybe. I have contacted Haldex before and got a reply (about the problems in TT and how these affect the S3). I'll contact them again and ask this.
I really don't like changing OEM parts of any caqr, but I have to upgrade the brakes. About suspension upgrade I have to think a lot (but this car needs stiffer suspension). The new TT parts might do the trick too.
And finally about the result of the race, I have won by a small margin (sth. like 15 seconds) as usual ;) If I don't look for a street race, it manages to find me somehow.
'00 Black S3
03-28-2000, 01:41 PM
We like the same cars, we are bound to think the same things!
Glad you won the race. Is this a regular thing in Turkey? :)
03-28-2000, 01:50 PM
Turkey is a country of extremely rich and extremely poor. No middle class. You see Ferrari's, Porsche's everywhere and they even take on the traffic cops. A friend of mine who drives a Ferrari F355 Spyder has been seen chased by a traffic cop who drives a Ford Escort. They told me that he waited for the cop to get close then he accelerated a little and made some gap, then waited for him again and so on. In the end he just drove off and there's nothing the cop can do about it.
You can also find all sorts of modified Peugeot 106 and 306 GTi's and they race almost everyday, everywhere. I like to play with them sometimes ;)
By the way my steering has started to make some strange noise today, I'll take my car to the dealer tomorrow. I hope it's nothing serious.
'00 Black S3
03-28-2000, 01:56 PM
...but it was one of the first cars imported and personally I didn't like it much (as a drivers car). I think S3 communicates much more with the driver and that's why I chose it. I'd like to drive an after recall TT to see if there's a major improvement.
'00 Black S3
03-29-2000, 12:09 AM
Had some fun of my own last night, with a Saab Aero. Audi still rules.
I have to disagree with some of your points, I have experienced some understeer but not to a great extent and oversteer is available.
Panic braking into high speed corners is going to unsettle any car.
The S3 is not perfect but it's the best Audi has to offer the enthusiastic driver.
As for tyres get some Bridgestone Potenza S02.
The ammount of grip is amazing.
03-29-2000, 04:27 AM
Have you checked your tire pressure? Besides that the back sway of the car can play an advantage? Just make sure you are ready to react fast both with the steering wheel and gas!! Just put the foot to the metal and go for it!!!!
03-29-2000, 08:41 AM
Play with tire pressure. I agree with David... that's just how
the A3 handles. Higher tire pressures can help but there's
a drawback... my front tires won't last more than 6..7K miles
at 2.1..2.3 bar. You should recall as well that tire pressure
varies with temperature and with variations of more than 5
degrees Celsius from the setup temperature, you'll notice
changes in handling. This will happen specially during the
night where tempeartures can fall 10 degrees or more.
Temperatures above the setup temperature will make
you loose grip. Can even make the car more unstable than
it already is... Another important thing is getting the best
tires money can buy... like the Bridgestone Potenza SO2 Pole
Position or the Dunlop SP8000. I have the SP8000E... LOUSY
TIRES... they squeal and have no grip on wet!
'99 A3 1.8TS
03-29-2000, 10:15 AM
I have Michelin Pilot tyres on my A3 1.8T, they are not bad and I certainly hold michelin in high opinion having played with different tyres on different cars.
Trouble is, 4 tyres are very expensive to 'try out' - any info as to what is good/bad in the tyre world for A3/S3??? Info appreciated.
03-29-2000, 10:49 AM
Can I apply for citizenship for Turkey? It sounds like heaven!!
03-29-2000, 12:14 PM
03-30-2000, 07:14 AM
My A3 also has Michelin Pilots. Which I think are a really good all-round (no pun intended) tyre. Good in the wet and in the dry.
The Astra Mk3 I had a few years ago, which was a company car, had them and they were great. But mid-lease 2 of the tyres needed to be changed. The company had some sort of deal with Dunlop, which meant they could provide 4 similar spec Dunlops for the price of 2 Michelins. Much to my anger and frustration, Dunlop Sp3000's were fitted. And they were rubbish. No were near as good as the Michelins.
But, no idea which tyres are supposed to be the "best".
03-30-2000, 07:58 AM
...which are crap. I want to go for Michelin Pilot Sport, but paying 1100 uk pounds for 4 tyres seems too much for a car with only 2900km on the clock. Today I had to buy a new P6000, because one of them had a small balloon on the side.
Now, do you understand why I hate this city. The roads are full with f#*!ing holes and no matter how careful you drive you can't escape them all.
'00 Black S3
03-31-2000, 12:00 AM
After a puncture and unable to get the Bridgestone Potenza RE040. I had 2 Bridgestone S02's put on the front.
They are very impressive, you can feel the extra grip, don't seem noisy, ride is unaffected, very impressed.
I don't know what wear rate is like as they have only done 500miles.