Modified Audi S3
Kevin Bousell’s modified Audi S3
With a custom paint job, a healthy dose of extra boost and plenty of suspension know-how thrown into the mix, 26-year-old Kevin Bousell has produced a DIY built S3 that’s second to none. If you want a far superior performance version of Audi’s original without the hairdresser image of the TT, look no further.
“When I left college I served my apprenticeship at Vauxhall and had a Corsa SRi that I messed about with a bit. Managed to get 130bhp out of it and put a lot of time and effort into it, but what I really wanted next was something rear wheel or four wheel drive,” Kev explained. “I’d narrowed it down to either an Impreza or an S3 but the Scooby’s drab interior put me off.” So in February 2008, Kev dropped some cash on his 2000-reg, 72,000-mile, full Audi service history example and hasn’t looked back since. “I wanted to keep it standard and immaculate, but that soon changed.”
When his mate at work, Ian Clements, got an E46 M3 a friendly modified rivalry quickly developed. Some 18-inch BBS LM replicas followed, along with some -35mm H&R lowering springs and a Custom Code stage 1 remap for around 265bhp. Yet the full potential of the S3 was still some way off.
“Doing as much of the work myself as possible was really important, but when I stripped third gear on the ‘box everything changed.” Hitting the ground running, with the facilities at Haven garage in Pevensey at his disposal, Kev put the car on the ramps and switched the original plastic side-mount intercoolers for a huge frontmount item from eBay, along with some custom made inlet pipework, new adjustable Forge rear control arms, TT alloy front strut brace and thicker H+R anti-roll bars.
S3s are renowned for their soft spring rates direct from factory, so Kev also slotted some AP height and damping adjustable coilovers under the arches for the ultimate in turn in and responsiveness.
Next up was bodywork. The doors were stripped down and welded from the inside to get rid of the upper door and rear three quarter mouldings, the front bumper treated to a swift skim of filler for a seamless lower half and the front grille was given the all black treatment. While he was at it a set of 2001-on facelift spec headlights and tail lights were drafted in and the rear bumper treated to deft touch of filler to smooth it out nicely on the rump. The posterior has also neatly been flushed with the omission of the rear wiper and a touch of de-locking, while the nimbus grey sections break up the pearl based liquid yellow Renault colour perfectly.
Rounding out such a complete package is left to a set of BBS Speedline rims painstainkingly detailed by Kev’s own hands, “I spent two weeks just sanding them all down ready for the paint.”
The Falken rubber is put through its paces as well, with 293bhp now on tap courtesy of a stage 2 AMD Technik remap and a Badger 5 intake pipe that Kev rates highly, the grippy bolsters of some Carisma trimmed double diamond stitched Nappa leather Recaros are vital because this car balances show and go perfectly.