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As consumer tastes constantly change and evolve throughout time, new segments in the automotive world have recently emerged and have risen in popularity.

Currently, one of the fastest growing new segments is the compact luxury sport sedan class of vehicles. Sales have been booming for cars such as the Mercedes-Benz CLA, and even BMW is planning to add fierce competition with their upcoming 1-Series Sedan. Audi’s newest foray into the market, the 8V Audi A3 and high-performance Audi 8V S3 sedans have also been no exception; both have earned high critical acclaim and quickly become among the best selling cars in the category.

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As it is with everything in life, there is always room for improvement. As good as the 8V Audi A3/S3 chassis cars are, they are nowhere close to their full potential. With numerous mods becoming more and more available for the platform, and factoring in the array of tuning options on the 1.8T and 2.0T motors that power these vehicles, the possibilities are simply endless. Here are five of the best mods we here at ModBargains believe you need in order for you to get the most this platform has to offer. These cosmetic and performance enhancements can be sure to drastically up your A3 or S3’s style and help your car achieve the maximum gains it deserves.

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In the next few paragraphs, we’ll be getting into the Best Mods for 8V Audi A3 & 8V S3, in terms both veterans and newbie enthusiasts can understand.

1. WHEELS

WHEELS MAKE THE GREATEST DIFFERENCE

8V Audi S3 on 19×8.5 ET35 Square Hyper Silver VMR Wheels V804

Wheels can often make or break a car’s styling. No build is complete without a new set of wheels, and even just adding a fresh new set of wheels can have a dramatic effect on your car’s appearance. In fact, it arguably makes the biggest difference out of any other exterior mod. The base model A3’s, in particular, come with rather bland looking 17’s which cheapen the look of an otherwise sharp, modern, and elegant exterior design. As such, it is important to choose the right wheels with the right design to go with your car, but thankfully there are a plethora of great looking options for the A3/S3.

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We also offer special pricing on wheel/tire packages, as a set of sticky new tires substantially improve s handling as well as grip on even the most demanding of roads. Our expert technicians mount and then balance the wheels using state of the art equipment, such as our Hunter Road Force balancer, and can either ship them right to your door ready for installation or simply install them here at our shop.Audi_8V_S3_HRE_FF01_CustomAnthracite_img001

HRE FF01 Custom Anthracite by HRE 19×8.5 ET47 245/30-19 Tires on 8V Audi S3 (RyanA3’s via Fourtitude)

No list of Audi wheels would be complete without HRE wheels. Their new lightweight Flow Form lineup sets the bar when it comes to strength, and sheer quality. The FF01’s, as seen on RyanA3’s Audi S3 on Fourtitude, look absolutely fantastic in our opinion. The 19×8.5 +47 offsets and the 245/30/19 tires are a perfect match and a perfect fit.

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Audi A3 on HRE FF15 19×8.5 ET47 (Sq) Liquid Silver / Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires 235/35-19

While the FF series wheels may be lower priced than HRE’s traditional offerings, there is no compromise whatsoever.

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Audi A3 on HRE FF15 19×8.5 ET47 (Sq) Liquid Silver / Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires 235/35-19

The FF01 and FF15 both pack the same quality and style HRE is renowned for, just at a lower price of admission than their traditional multi-piece wheels. The handsome design compliments nearly any bodystyle.

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HRE FF15 Tarmac on 8V Audi S3 on Air Suspension

HRE also offers a 2nd flow form option, their 15-spoke HRE FF15 wheels for Audi, seen here in Tarmac black, gives your S3 that classic DTM look that’s perfect for an Audi.

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VMR V710 Hyper Silver 19×8.5 ET45 on 8V Audi S3 (pic Courtesy Bronquito on Audi-Sport.net)

VMR Wheels have historically always been a great option for Audis, and the A3/S3 is no exception. The 19×8.5 ET45 VMR V710’s pictured here on this S3, for example, fit perfectly and flow with the natural lines of the car.

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VMR V710 18×8.5 Gunmetal Wheels on 8V Audi A3

The gunmetal finish works well on the car too – the V710 is available in Gunmetal, Hyper Silver and Matte Black – and the V710 is now available in flow form as well – the V710FF for Audi is available exclusively in Matte Graphite finish.

 

VMR Wheels V804 Hyper Silver 19×8.5 ET35 (sq) on 8V Audi S3

VMR V804’s pictured on the S3 above in 19s, instead provides for a classy, yet aggressive look and increase performance as well; these wheels are lightweight as they are made from the latest in flow forged technology.

8V Audi S3 on 19×8.5 ET35 Square Hyper Silver VMR Wheels V804

The sharp lines go well with the car.

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VMR V810 Matte Black Wheels with Snow Tires on 8V Audi A3 via @NicksCarBlog & Fourtitude

VMR V810s are another handsome choice from VMR and also boast flow form construction and a classic motorsports look.

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fifteen52 Tarmac Rally White 19×8.5 ET45 on Bilstein Coilovers for 8V Audi A3

Fifteen52, famous for its influence on the stance community also offers fitments for the 8V, like the fifteen52 Tarmac Wheels for Audi seen in Rally White on fifteen52’s Bilstein Coilover-equipped S3.

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fifteen52 Tarmac Rally White 19×8.5 ET45 on Bilstein Coilovers for 8V Audi A3

There’s tons of room for style with the 5×112 fitment and fifteen52’s bring style in spades.

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Rotiform SPF Silver Machined Face Wheels on Audi 8V A3 Sportback

Rotiform, well-known for its prowess in design, has become somewhat of a household name within the European car enthusiast community. From the NUE’s, BLQ’s, to the SPF’s, their modern, chic, and classy line-up can be applied to nearly any vehicle all the while looking even more stunning on cars like this A3 pictured here.

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Audi 8V S3 on Rotiform IND-T Black Machined Face Wheels

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Audi 8V S3 on Rotiform IND-T Black Machined Face Wheels

These Rotiform IND-T wheels give the car a completely new look that helps bring out the modern edges and design elements Audi put into place, and the machined finish gives the car that “techno-chic” look Audi strives for with its current design language.

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Audi 8V S3 on Rotiform IND-T Black Machined Face Wheels

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Rotiform TMB Black Machined Face Wheels on 8V Audi S3

Moreover, the all of Rotiform’s offerings are offered in several different finishes ranging from silver to matte black.

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Rotiform TMB Black Machined Face Wheels on 8V Audi S3

The cast TMB’s finished in black/machined with dark tint, for instance, give a nice contrast to the white body of this S3 and give it that sporty touch.

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Avant Garde M590 Satin Silver Wheels on 8V Audi A3

Avant Garde makes several options that are a perfect fit for the 8V A3/S3 as well. The M590 is a wheel that has always looked great on vehicles such as the B8 A4, and they look just as great on this Ibis White A3. Audi_8V_A3_Avant_Garde_M590_19x95_img002

Avant Garde M590 Satin Silver Wheels on 8V Audi A3

These 19×8.5 ET40 M590’s on 235/35/19 tires look phenomenal, especially when you look at how this car would have looked like stock from factory.

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8V Audi A3 Sedan on Avant Garde M220 Machine Silver Wheels

The Avant Garde M220 offers the classic mesh wheel with a polished lip that’s perfect for an old-school build.

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8V Audi A3 on Custom Gold Buillon Avant Garde M540 Wheels

Want more mesh? Step it up and lose the lip with a set of Avant Garde M540s, available specifically for 5×112 fitments.

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Audi_8V_S3_Avant_Garde_M580_Satin_Silver_19x95et40_img005 Avant Garde M580 on 8V Audi S3

The M580 offers a deep set concave look with a split 5-spoke look.  From the M580’s, M540’s, to the M220’s, you just can’t go wrong with a set of Avant Garde Wheels.

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8V Audi S3 on Vossen CVT Wheels on ST Suspensions Coilovers

Into the directional wheel look? Scope out a set of Vossen CVT Directional wheels for Audi A3. These wheels always face forwards so the left and ride side wheels actually are mirrored instead of all 4 wheel faces “twisting” the same way. This creates a unique look.

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8V Audi S3 on Vossen CVT Wheels

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8V Audi S3 on Vossen CVT Wheels

The directional look is one of the current popular trends in tuning and is only continuing to gain popularity, so we expect to see many more directional fitments.

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After seeing all those, why would you choose to stay looking like this?

From Forgestar, Klutch, Niche, TSW, MRR, and so much more, the seemingly endless array of options available might seem daunting at first. However, our Mod Experts are always here to help narrow down the choices and get you fitted with the right design, offsets, size, width, and tires that suit your needs to get your car rolling in style; just give us a call at714-582-3330, chat with our experts directly online at ModBargains.com, or simply stop by the ModAuto shop here in Southern California at any time during business hours (8-5 M-F/9-5 S). No matter the budget, we can help tailor to your needs to put the finishing touches on any build.

2. SUSPENSION

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VMR V709 Wheels 19×8.5 ET45 on 8V Audi S3 on H&R Springs w/10mm H&R Spacer

After installing a new set of wheels, you might be wondering why the car suddenly looks like it is on stilts. “Wheel gap”, as many call it, can sometimes be more pronounced whenever a new set of wheels are put on especially if the new wheels are a larger size. However, it is rather simple to solve this issue. There are a few ways, as well, so we’ll start with the simplest.

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8V Audi A3 Sedan on Eibach Pro-Kit Springs for Audi A3

Drop your car with Lowering Springs.

Lowering springs are a great way to go if you’re looking for a straightforward, low-cost solution – low cost meaning in terms of the actual part itself. Springs, such as those from Eibach, Vogtland and H&R, are quality products and are a great way to give your car a subtle drop.

Offering a drop of .8in front and .8in rear, Vogtland Sport Springs for Audi 8V A3/S3 offers a sportier ride than stock while retaining the stock comfort level as much as is possible, making these an excellent choice for a daily driver.

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Audi 8V S3 on H&R Sport Springs

The H&R Sport Springs seen here, for example, will drop your car around an inch making the car still practical for everyday use yet giving your car a much better stance.

 

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However, we must mention that while lowering springs may cost much less up front, in the long run they can end up costing more than initially expected.

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As the shorter springs were never designed to be used in conjunction with OEM shocks, OEM shocks are prone to premature wear and tear especially if there are over 50k miles on the OEM shocks at the time of installation. Although we do offer Bilstein replacement shocks for many applications, when factoring in installation costs, and the added cost of new shocks, the cost difference between that and the next option we’ll be discussing next becomes minimal.
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COILOVERS:

We here at ModBargains love coilovers for many reasons, and many of us have installed them on our very own cars. The added benefits of having height adjustability, meaning that you can raise or lower the car to your liking, as well as the fact that they improve handling while maintaining longevity due to the specially designed spring/shock bodies make them a no-brainer.

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If ride-quality is a concern, there are even options available that are specifically made to ensure that the car rides as smooth as ever such as the H&R Street Performance series coilovers.

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8V Audi S3 on Vossen CVT Wheels on ST Suspensions Coilovers

ST Suspension Coilovers for 8V Audi A3 are a great way to go if you’re price-conscious and want a good bang for your buck that is no doubt an all-around solid performer.

Other coilovers, such as the Bilstein PSS10’s, have adjustable shock absorbers as well which means that you have full control over dampening and stiffness. This means that you can fine-tune the suspension to your needs – whether you track your car on VIR or just use your car to cruise long distances there is a setting for you.

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8V Audi A3 on Solo-Werks Coilovers for Audi A3/S3 on Fifteen52 Wheels

A newcomer to the market that packs a hell of a punch for the price are Solo-Werks Coilovers for 8V Audi S3, offering a ton of bang for the buck. Offered by former KW suspension engineers as a quality, no-frills affordable set of coilovers for enthusiasts, these fixed-damping coilovers are a hard bargain to beat.

And of course, there’s always KW Coilovers.

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There is no doubt that the 8V A3/S3 look their best with a drop, and the added handling benefits of adding coilovers makes them one of the top absolute must-have mods. If you have any questions regarding suspension or any other tuning options for your A3 or S3, don’t hesitate to contact us as our Mod Experts know the ins and outs. Our specialized technicians can also install suspension components here at our shop with precision – all at competitive prices without compromising on quality.

3. EXHAUST

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Make your engine sing with a new exhaust.

A new exhaust system not only makes your car sound great, but the beefier exhaust components often add a nice flare to the rear end of your car. Many of the best-regarded brands already make exhaust systems for the 8V platform. In addition, exhaust systems also help your car make power gains and also ensures maximum efficiency when it comes to making power.

AWE Tuning has been working specially on Audis and other VWAG brands such as Porsche for many years now and it is no surprise that their offerings for the A3/S3 are top-notch, with almost unparalleled quality. They also offer an array of systems that can be tailored to your specific wants and needs. The AWE S3 Track Edition exhaust, for instance, offers an unmistakable tone that can be sure to make your car heard.

AWE Switchpath Exhaust for the Audi S3 (AWE also offer a Touring Exhaust for 8V Audi A3) on the other hand combines both dynamics of the touring and track lineups by using a valved system that ensures that your car is quiet and comfortable while cruising but unleashes an aggressive tone as soon as you hit the throttle. Both systems are available with an arrangement of finishes as well and it’s no surprise that they have been a favorite among our customers.

You can also combine these systems with an AWE Tuning Downpipe for Audi S3 (sorry California guys), which will bring out the most in your exhaust. Whether you have the 1.8T or 2.0T, AWE has a solution for you.
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Magnaflow also makes a phenomenal system, with the Magnaflow cat-back exhaust for Audi A3 2.0T Quattro, which is made out of 100% high grade stainless steel for longevity and also bolts right up to your factory mounting points and is specifically engineered for ultimate compatibility – and the sound isn’t bad either.
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AUDI S3 Sedan Quattro type 8V 2014 REMUS-13Our friends at Remus Exhaust also have developed a great sounding system for the S3 – the Remus Sport Exhaust for the Audi S3. Offering the most “German” sound of the systems we’ve mentioned here, the Remus Sport Exhaust for the S3 enhances flow and gives the car a more authoritative sound.

 

 

 

S3 Sport Carbon TipsAvailable with these handsome Black tips as an option, the Remus Sport Exhaust for the S3 looks as good as it sounds.
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AUDI S3 Sedan Quattro type 8V 2014 REMUS-4
And of course, with enhanced flow, there’s more power to be had.
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The car saw a gain of around 6 horsepower and 15 nm of torque on their dyno with just their exhaust system.

As always, however, exhaust systems are all subjective in the sense that every single person has a different build objective. From AWE to Remus, exhaust systems all have their own unique tones that some people will inevitably prefer over others. Either way, the only subjective way you can go wrong with an exhaust is if you don’t upgrade the exhaust at all in the first place. After all, you miss out on power gains and of course, it is only through an exhaust that one of the five senses can be satisfied; the auditory sense.

POWER

Unleash the potential with performance bolt-ons

Every single Audi A3/S3 sold in North America comes to our shores fitted with turbocharged motors, and as such it would be nearly criminal not to give your car some extra oomph – performance gains can be achieved very easily with forced induction motors! The 1.8T and the 2.0T’s that power these cars also happen to have a big enthusiast following, which means aftermarket support is nothing short of amazing.

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An upgraded intake, such as the AWE Tuning S-Flo Intake, maximizes efficiency and replaces the restrictive stock intake to draw in the colder, denser, fresher air your engine desires. Though it is a simple bolt on, this one improves throttle response and provides gains of up to 9HP and 14TQ!

The OEM diverter valve is another part that we recommend replacing. As it is made of plastic and rubber components, they are simply not made to handle the extra power you may be planning on adding to your car. As diverter valve failure is relatively common when it comes to modified vehicles, we recommend upgrading the DV to something like the Forge Blow-Off Valve Kit, to ensure peace of mind.

A new intercooler like the Wagner Tuning Intercooler for Audi S3 will also ensure that your car’s engine runs cooler, thus running more efficiently to deliver the most power. Whether you are driving the car on a hot track day or just driving to work on the highway, it keeps incoming air cool. It allows for consistency when it comes to making maximum power.

These are just some of the numerous motor mods you can do to your Audi A3/S3, and this is barely even skimming the surface. In essence, these motors can be built to your imagination; anything from mild to wild is possible.

5. FINISH IT OFF

Add the finishing touches

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Finishing touches are indeed what complete a car. After all, it’s often the small things in life that matter most.

Adding parts such as the Neuspeed Rear Sway Bar will allow you to fine-tune the handling of your car even more and also improve the feel of your car around corners.

Exterior enhancements for 8V Audi A3 such as the RS3 style grille give a subtle, yet aggressive change that is sure to add that unique flair you’re looking for. However, the A3/S3 is still a new platform and new products continue to be added. As support for the car continues to grow, and as popularity rises, there is no doubt that this car has the potential to become one of the most mod-friendly Audis to date.

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We hope that our guide will help you and also you give ideas on your modding endeavors. If you have any questions regarding any modification you’d like to get done on your 8V Audi A3 or S3, our team of Modification Experts will be more than happy to help out with their expertise, experience, and enthusiasm. That is, after all, what makes us do what we do and what we strive for every day.

Give us a call at 714-582-3330, live chat us directly on ModBargains.com, or stop by our showroom/installation facility in La Habra, CA right off Lambert and Harbor Road.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing your builds.

 

Story by Kevin S. Lee in Collaboration with Nick Gregson

 

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