So has changed and evolved, the Audi S3 from its inception: do we get behind the wheel of the history!

Audi S3 is the compact sports Audi. Yes, we also have the beastly Audi RS3 367 HP, but the standard is in my opinion the nice and balanced Audi S3. It is offered in bodywork three-door, Sportback, Sedan and Cabrio, but on this occasion we opted for a traditional Sportback five-door. The reason is simple: we will deal with the first Audi S3 produced by Audi. An opportunity that I must thank my friend Jose Mile, proud owner of a pristine Audi S3 8L first-generation.

How was born the Audi S3? We go back to the year 1999

The Audi S3 8L has all the tables to become a future classic. It is a model full of history.

Audi has launched in 1996 the Audi A3 first generation – known internally as 8L. He was a true sales success, and arguably inaugurated the segment of the compact premium, today one of the most profitable on the market. In 1999, Audi released the new S3. It was the sports version of the Audi S3, premiering a name which since then has been very present in the minds of the fans of the sports car. It was a car revolutionary: it was one of the first compact sport with all-wheel drive.


Until the year 1999, the compact sports were the exclusive property of Volkswagen and its the Golf GTI and VR6. The little launch Audi the S3 was SEAT, which launched its Leon Cupra, but that is another story – I recommend you to pass by this special if what you want are SEAT sport. In the first generation the Audi S3 was only available with three-door body and manual gearbox of six relationships, coupled to an engine 1.8 20VT, a solid propellant turbocharged, five valves per cylinder.

225 HP of power and 280 Nm of torque for a curb weight of 1.420 kilograms.

In 1999, the engine developed 210 BHP of power, but after the slight facelift in 2001, evolved up to 225 HP – engine-known by its internal code BAM. With respect to the APY/AMK above, the thruster of 225 HP had a camshaft with variable timing – already released in the 1.8 20VT AMK – and a new turbocharger KKK K04. In addition, the intercooler was reinforced, as well as its manual gearbox. The system Haldex all-wheel-drive permanent also received a software upgrade.

audi-s3-comparativa-64-mdmit is Not possible to understand the Audi S3 of the first generation without its system quattro all-wheel-drive. It is one of its signs of identity. A system type Haldex, which works as a front-wheel drive until it detects loss of traction up front and sends power to the rear-wheel drive. It is a Haldex first generation, but very effective and with an improved tunability in the S3 engine BAM. It was a fast car: did the 0 to 100 km/h in 6,6 seconds, reaching a top speed of a respectable 243 km/h.

In his time, thanks to its all-wheel drive quattro, it was one of the compact sports market’s most efficient.

Audi S3 8L was more clearly differentiated from the range A3 to the current Audi S3, and is part of its appeal. Both your body as its tracks were widened, and the series had some beautiful wheels Avus 17 inch. Its standard equipment was plentiful, with sports seats Recaro, instrumentation and steering wheel specific. Extra juicy, like a Bose stereo system or rims of RSTT 18 inch put the finishing touches to a cake offered in eye-catching colors, never seen before in the Audi.


The pristine Audi S3 8L BAM of Joseph Mile

My friend Jose Mile has allowed us to photograph and test your Audi S3 for this comparison. It is one of the last models made, in the year 2003. Joseph bought about two years ago, and since that is your owner has done almost 100,000 miles. The car currently has about 220,000 kilometers, but is located in a mechanical state enviable. Aesthetically it is strictly in series, with the exception of a few new mirrors for the side mirrors, and a few stickers on the rear of the car. Mechanically yes there are some surprises.

The inside is in perfect condition, with Recaro seats trimmed in Alcantara gray and a team of premium sound signed Bose, original home.

I don’t know anyone who cares more for your car than Jose Mile. Respects neatly the time of warming up of the engine, and let the turbo sit for a few minutes before you turn off the engine, as well as let the turbo are lubricated properly before starting the ride. It is possibly one of the Audi S3, best maintained, and recently has done the tappets on a preventative basis. The motor has perfect compression, and all its internal components are original. Never has been or will be reprogrammed beyond their 225 HP of power.

audi-s3-comparativa-52-mdmAt the level of the gear train itself has a few goodies. adjustable shocks Bilstein Sprint, with springs Vogtland. Train braking is also not of series: mounted brake discs-drilled and Brembo four-piston callipers on the front axle. These tweezers feature in your interior with pads Ferodo DS2500, practically out of competition. A compound of excellent bite, but that needs to reach a good temperature to adequately respond to it. At the time of this test, it was shod with winter tires.

Our Audi S3 Sportback S tronic test

In the configuration chosen by Audi is a machine, very elegant and balanced, calling attention only to the discerning.

next, the Audi S3 Sportback press appears to have a special ship. 13 years of evolution are noted and a lot. But the essence is the same: you still have a system Haldex all-wheel-drive, a turbocharged four-cylinder and the same halo premium of its predecessors. The current Audi S3 are 300 HP from an engine 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder engine, but perhaps more impressed by your enormous torque: 380 Nm between 1,800 rpm and 5,500 rpm. Thanks to its gearbox S tronic dual-clutch, its performance amazed the more painted.

audi-s3-comparativa-44-mdmAccelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in only 5.0 seconds, while its tip is self-limited to 250 km/h. Its empty weight is 1,520 pounds, a figure even praiseworthy taking into account that a car is more of length, width, and equipped, and mounted a gearbox dual-clutch six relations. His older brother – the Audi RS3 Sportback – mounts of series in a box S tronic seven relations, which would have seated a wonder this S3. But not get ahead of ourselves to the events, and see what equipment he had for our unit.

Personally, I stay before with an Audi S3 a Audi RS3, significantly more expensive and not very dynamic upper or prestacionalmente.

Aesthetically our unit tests was painted in a beautiful Blue color Sepang pearly effect, in addition of road wheels on the Wing of 19 inches, an extra 2.870 euros. Other extras include a sound system, Bang & Olufsen, adaptive cruise control with signal read or the adjustable suspension Audi Magnetic Ride. The price of the testing unit with all its extras is around 60,000 euros. The comparison is fair, as we are dealing with two units commonly known as “full-equip”.


The wheel of history

Joseph I passes the baton, and opens the door of his car, which is already booted and at the optimum temperature of service. I get behind the wheel and I adjust to your sports seat. Everything is in its place, and the layout of the controls is not surprising. Although there is 13 years difference between the two cars, note that they are family. The riding position is low, and the seats hold my body to perfection. Engrano first, and we set off. Engine 1.8 20VT purr soft, with a slight background hiss.

The driving experience is more visceral, more full of feelings than in the new Audi S3.

the direction of The Audi S3 8L is hydraulic, and his touch is heavy in low-speed manoeuvring – turn to arm. It is a car without driving modes or settings of the suspension: it is sporty by default. The throttle response is more direct than expected, and your engine has a push very strong if we are standing in the background. Strong, but not explosive. It could even be said that it has a progressive nature, pushing fairly linear up to 5.900 rpm, where it reaches its 225 HP of maximum power.

audi-s3-comparativa-40-mdmExpected an engine more raw, more noisy, more lag in the entry of the turbo. Only a defendant hiss fills the cabin under acceleration intense. Its gearbox is direct, with a touch mechanic and tours something more long the account in your lever. What is certain is that with the exception of the small cracks and sounds that flood a car of a certain age and mileage, their feelings are very current – and shows the state care of the unit. Even though it has 75 HP less than an Audi S3 today, you should not be losing respect.

In some moments I’ve missed something more of feedback from the steering, but a car is responsive and noble.

Is a fast car, and we have to take into account that his system of all-wheel drive quattro is less refined than the current Audi S3. It is slower in the transfer of power to the rear axle, and must be careful when you open the throttle in the full curve, as can cause a strong understeer if we are abrupt. The step by a curve of this unit is superior thanks to the modifications in the running gear, while the winter tires limited, in part, the lateral grip. Separate mention deserves the bite of the Brembo brakes aftermarket.

audi-s3-comparativa-47-mdmAfter this experience, old-school, the new Audi S3 Sportback looks like a spaceship. A car is much more docile in the day-to-day, but it is able to transform into a Mr. Hyde devourer of asphalt if we put the Audi Drive Select mode Dynamic. This duality does not exist in the compact sports of yesteryear, and divides the fans of the car. Personally, I’d rather not have concessions to comfort, but I recognize the practicality of the S3 Sportback is as high as that of an Audi A3 Sportback with 1.6 engine TDI.

Today a compact sporty a car is much more versatile, much more practical, and with the possibility of being used as a first car.

finished S3 8L were excellent in their time and maintain the type today, but can do little to excellence of the current S3, itself a leader in finishes on the segment in their standard versions. Inserts in aluminum, leather for excellent touch, an instrumentation very clear… there is no place to complaints in the interior of this compact sports. Outside, a car is more discreet than the Audi S3 8L. Is not widened, and only a few details – like the four queues of exhaust – give clues about its nature.

audi-s3-comparativa-37-mdmTo dynamic level, a world of distance separates these two Audi S3. The thrust of the recent 2.0 TFSI is simply devastating, and its sound – although, in part, is channeled through the speakers of the cabin – it is stunning. The cornering is sensational, cosmic, and it is possible thanks to the work of the system Haldex last generation. We do not perceive that is giving it power, but the result of his work: opening a gas to fund in full support with the 8L would have finished subvirando against a wall.

I miss one-sixth longer, or maybe a seventh relationship. At 120 km/h filmed at 2.750 rpm, whereby the fuel consumption of the car.

In the S3 8V we are coming out of the curve, catapulted towards the next bend. Despite equipping the brakes of series – of a lesser caliber than those of an RS3 – its stopping power is impressive, being at the height S3 of Joseph Milla and his team of braking racing. Where evolution is undeniable is in the effectiveness of your gearbox dual-clutch. In combination with the maximum torque after the steering wheel is converted into allied essential for a sporty ride thanks to its instant change of gear.

Audi S3, this is what they do 13 years of evolution. Soon in motor. #audi #audis3 #quattro #motor #brothers #noturbonoparty

A picture published by Sergio Alvarez (@sergioalvarez88)

Although it is a car that does not lose composure, I like that the Audi S3 continues to have the touch rebellious, to the point badass that other Audi’s have lost. Has a motor tight, juicy, with the power and the front of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution of the past, and if we cause it, we can play with the grip of your rear axle. If we want to behave badly, the Audi S3 Sportback will help us to be bad, but will not let us exceed. Even with the electronic aids switched off is not a car that we go to play tricks.

is Consistent with its past?

The Audi S3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI is consistent with your past, and look back to be able to continue to lead forward.

Difficult decision. The new Audi S3 Sportback – which has just received two days ago an increase of 10 BHP of power and a slight upgrade aesthetics – is a portent of the dynamics, with a performance that removed the hiccups and a tune-up, spectacular. Benefits from the latest advances in systems Haldex all-wheel-drive, has a suspension with adjustable hardness and is almost as fast as a Porsche 911 some years ago. At the same time, it is a comfortable car, with a huge equipment of the character premium. In a word: versatile.

audi-s3-comparativa-22-mdmHas character, and differs sufficiently compact as the SEAT Leon Cupra, to go no further. However, and as is evident, the feelings that it transmits are not as analog as the Audi S3 of the first generation – even with a chassis much more effective. The aesthetic evolution of the Audi makes it seem to the first S3 a car out of date, small, in front of the new Audi S3. But it is not possible to understand the current S3 without knowing its past, its history, first hand. The best thing is that the S3 8V is consistent with her past.

Active mode, Dynamic, turn off the radio and get ready for your road favorite of curves. Your driving posture, touch, heavy steering, its cornering planted, their sound, the thrust progressive and forceful of its turbocharged engine… the Audi S3 does not turns its back on its past but it has been modernized so as not to lose the honored position achieved by its predecessor. I hope you’ve enjoyed this reading as much as we are reporting our experience on board these two machines.