Those of a certain age will remember watching BBC sports coverage as the Group B 5-cylinder Audi S1 UR quattro hammered tiny country lanes and gravel mountain passes into submission early on a Saturday morning. The edge-of-adhesion images, with precision drivers like Walter Röhrl, were enough to make us go as weak at the knees as 12 pints of Super T, but it was the noise that really tipped most of us over the edge.
That gnarly, off beat, woosh-tiiisshh cacophony has stayed with many a petrolhead over the years, not least 28-year-old Matt Andrew whose turbocharged four ring addiction has become a very rapid reality following just two years of owning his 2007 offering. “I’d owned a couple of modified Pugs prior to getting my first Audi, a 2.0 TDi. I’d always wanted an Audi after the previous two French cars, but when it came time to sell the oil burner I knew I wanted something with a little more poke,” Matt revealed.
Having already retrofitted a few tasty Audi extras to his Turbo diesel, the S3 was the only natural progression, it ticked all the right boxes. “A lot of people you will ask say I take far too long to make my mind up, and that’s where the innovation through indecision thing comes into play,” a philosophical Matt muses.
As part of the Buxton-centric Peak VAG club Matt’s mates never leave off with the banter, so this car was always going to be special. But he’s a modest chap who doesn’t like to blow his own trumpet – he leaves that to the small matter of 365bhp, a home brew air-ride install and some 9.5×19-inch Bentley Continental GT split rims.
Dropped on its arse courtesy of Air Lift struts and AccuAir e-Level digital management, with three preset remote controllable levels, the car looks absolutely demonic from the front. In fact we’d go so far as to say the bags totally transformed C8 MDA from incredibly desirable to oh-my-god-anyone- need-a-kidney? status. The front splitter now kisses the tarmac and that custom-made RS6-style Black Optics grille contrasts perfectly with the pristine Ibis white paintwork.
“My mate Jules then suggested the Bentley rims after having them on his A3 and the Air Lift air-ride just came about quite naturally really, especially given the lanes round my way that made the KW V3 coilovers feel rather hard.”
Matt’s clearly a bit tasty with the spanners as he’s done the vast majority of the work himself, including fitting a replacement engine that was needed after he melted piston number one during the cold spell last year. Now though, the high pressure injection 2.0T FSI lump is in fine fettle thanks to an ITG induction kit, Revo Stage 2+ switchable SPS remap and a full Milltek turbo back exhaust system. “I ran it like that for a while before deciding that I needed more.”
Now because the latest S3 comes with the high efficiency K04 turbo and larger intercooler direct from the factory, all Matt needed was uprated Autotech fuel pump internals to unleash the massive potential of this engine. How about 365bhp and 370 lbs/ ft? Not bad for relatively simple bolt on mods. We suspect most motorists only get to see the shortened plate recess and 2010 tailgate and 2009 rear valance that was skillfully sorted out by Tim at True Paintworks.
As Matt parks his posterior in a colour-coded interior that benefits from Recaro buckets he bought for his old A3, it’s hard to take your eyes off the new wave bodywork that benefits from facelift Audi 8P parts all over. It’s the classy, subtle, effortlessness like this that transforms this car and makes it punch well above its weight. We can’t get enough.
TECH SPEC AUDI S3
2.0T FSI, K04 turbo, ITG intake; Milltek turbo back exhaust; Revo Stage 2+ with SPS switchable map; autotech fuel pump; RS4 fuel pressure regulator; forged valve; uprated Sachs clutch; modified engine bay cover; 365bhp 370 lbs/ft torque. CHASSIS AccuAir e-Level air-ride; AccuAir 5-gallon tank; Viair compressors x2; air lift struts; H&R uprated ARBs; Bentley Continental split rim GT rims 19×9 Falken 452s 215/35×19.
Ibis White; modified RS6 Black Optics grille; 2010 tailgate with shortened plate recess; 2009 Facelift rear valance; 2011 Facelift taillights,; de-wipered; 2011 B Pillars; Lamin-X tint on headlights.
RS6 flat bottom wheel; S3 bucket seats exterior colour coded seat backs; MJ Interiors leather parcel shelf, leather knee rests; various interior trim colour coded; TT vents; LED interior light pack; light/rain sensor; privacy glass; front centre armrest; auto dimming/folding mirrors.
Bose sound system; CD changer; SDS voice recognition; Alpine iPod kit, RNS-E satnav, Bluetooth prep.