The 8V S3 was an absolute gamechanger for Audi, released in 2012, it came with 300ps and quattro all-wheel drive. This was 35 bhp up on it’s predecessor. It was upgraded to 310ps in 2016-2018 and then unfortunately, due to legislation and the addition of a petrol particulate filter, was downgraded back to 300ps for 2018-2021. It has since been replaced by the 8Y S3 which doesn’t come with any meaningful increase in power (just back up to 310). It did come with a nice overhaul of the interior though.
Another stand out evolution of the S3 is that later in it’s life the 8V S3 was available as a saloon, no matter which you’ve got, check out our visual and performance upgrades to make it even better…
The EA888 in the S3 is a fantastic engine also shared with the Golf R, and Mk3 Cupra and has incredible tuning potential, as documented, with people being able to achieve 600bhp from the block. A stage 1 remap/ ecu tune is the most popular modification we install on client sites and drastically changes the behavior of the car as soon as it leaves Progressive Parts.
Installing a stage 1 OnlyRevo remap on your S3 will take your S3 from 300-310ps to 360-375ps and uncover up to an additional 100nm of Torque so pretty significant performance gains.
Progressive Parts are a Revo Authorised Dealer.
If you’re looking for a less permanent solution to increased power and want something that’s plug&play then invest in a Burger Motorsport JB4 made specifically for EA888 Gen 3 MQB vehicles. Pair this with the additional wireless phone kit, and you’ll be able to switch maps on the fly, meaning you can go from efficiency mode to maximum power, taking you to an additional 45 bhp and 55nm of torque. As you do more modifications, the JB4 can be tweaked to help you extract more power from the mods too.
- Burger Motorsports JB4 EA888 Gen3 MQB - Mk7 Golf R/GTI, S3 8V/TTS, Mk3 Cupra Tuning Box (Group 1&2)
- Burger Motorsports JB4 Bluetooth Wireless Phone/Tablet Connect Kit Rev 3.7 (Pinned Power Wire) £139.00
Despite being fantastic stock, the DSG can put extra power down even better when it is upgraded. A gearbox remap is something we’d recommend installing on any S3 that isn’t stock. You’ll get faster shifts and better and more consistent launch control. It’ll also protect your clutch. If you go for a TCU software upgrade alongside any engine remap you can enjoy additional savings.
Pedal Thottle Tuner
Significantly improve throttle response, reducing lag and delivering smoother acceleration, all while giving additional security protection for your vehicle.
S3 Induction kit/ Performance air intake
The induction kit tends to be the first modification S3 owners purchase to install themselves, as long as you’re handy with a set of spanners and have the space most induction kits are straightforward to install. Unfortunately, the factory intake is actually pretty restrictive and holds the engine back from its maximum performance.
- VAGSport High Flow Performance Panel Filter MQB 2.0 TSI Engines - VS-PF427 £49.99
- VAGSport High Flow Intake Package 1.8T/2.0T MQB EA888 Gen.3 Engines £229.97 – £339.91
- Racingline R600 Air Intake Package for MQB Golf Mk7/S3 8V/Octavia/Leon Mk3 £635.23 – £666.43
- Ramair Jetstream Air Induction Kit – 2.0 TSI EA888 Gen 3 MQB - JSK-121 £178.49 – £209.99
- APR Carbon Fibre Open Intake System - MQB 1.8T/2.0T EA888 Gen.3 - CI100040 £506.03
Another highly cost-effective mod to install on your S3 is a decat downpipe or res delete, for the price it might even be the best mod, or you’ll at least think so every time you start it or downshift.
- VAGSport Audi S3 8V 2012+ Resonator Delete Pipe Kit (inc. GPF models) £139.99
- Scorpion VW Golf MK7 R (14-18) & Audi S3 2.0T 8V Sportback/Saloon (13-18) Downpipe with De-cat - SVAGC005
- Milltek Audi S3 8V.2 FL, Mk7.5 Golf R (inc. Estate), Leon Cupra 300 ST (GPF Only) (19-21) Downpipe and De-cat (Fits Milltek Catback) - SSXVW511
Performance Exhaust system
If you’ve got the budget for an aftermarket exhaust, it’ll take your car even further. It’ll release additional performance, give you a much better audible experience AND they usually weigh less than the OEM exhaust that came on the car from factory, meaning you’ll be able to go a little faster too.
- Milltek Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Quattro Sportback (13-17) Cat-Back Exhaust - Race System- Resonated- Cerakote Black Oval Tips - SSXAU549
- Scorpion Volkswagen Golf Mk7 R (14-17)/S3 8V Non-Resonated Cat-Back System With No Valves - Ascari 90mm Tips - SVWS044CF
- XForce Audi S3 Hatch (2013-2017) 3" Cat Back System with Varex Muffler & Smartbox Controller £1,651.20
- Milltek Audi S3 2.0 TFSI Quattro Sportback (13-17) Cat-Back Exhaust - Non-Resonated- Polished Round Tips - SSXAU416
If you are giving your S3 additional power, and you’re going to be pressing on over consistent periods of time, we’d highly recommend installing an aftermarket intercooler – you’ll actually need to install one if you want to go stage 2 and beyond to help keep temps in check
- Revo Intercooler Kit MQB 1.8/2.0 TSI EA888 Gen.3 Engines (Optional Boost Hoses) £718.80 – £1,138.80
- AIRTEC Motorsport Intercooler Upgrade - MQB Mk7 Golf R, S3 8V, Cupra 280/290/300 £624.75 – £892.45
- Racingline MQB Intercooler System Golf R, S3/TTS, Leon Cupra and Octavia - VWR14G700 £811.20
- do88 MQB Performance Intercooler 1.8/2.0TSI Mk7 Golf/S3 8V/TTS/MK3 Cupra/Octavia VRS - ICM-300 £649.98
- Wagner Tuning MQB Intercooler Kit 2.0 TSI Mk7 Golf R/GTI, S3/TTS, Cupra - 200001048 £890.00
If you’re going to push the power of your S3, you need to up the braking power of the car, especially if you’re looking to get better track times in it. We’d also recommend if it you’re using your vehicle for fast road use to ensure you are as safe as you can be.
- VAGSport Full Front & Rear Brake Package - MQB 340mm/310mm (Tri-Slot Design) £762.90 – £813.71
- Revo Big Brake Kit MQB Mk7 Golf R/GTI, S3 8V/TTS/Mk3 Cupra - Mono 6 £2,862.00
- FCP4425H - Ferodo Racing DS2500 Front Brake Pad £213.52
- VBT 340mm Direct Replacement J-Shaped Hook/Grooved Front Brake Discs £245.99
- Racingline RP700 Performance Upgraded Front Brake Pads - 340x30mm Disc - VWR670006 £156.00
- Racingline Stage 3+ Carbon-Ceramic Big Brake Kit - VWR651000 £6,864.00
Are you looking to make your car not only handle better but also look much better parked up? Lowering spacers can do just that. You’ll get less body roll on fast corners but also your car will have a much more aggressive stance, although there will be a small reduction in ride quality.
- Racingline Sport Lowering Springs Audi S3/RS3 (8V) Sportback/Saloon - VWR3130RS £243.36
- Eibach A3/S3/RS3 (8V) & RS3 (8Y) Pro-Kit Lowering Springs (15mm) - E10-15-021-13-22
Unfortunately, like many manufacturers, Audi wheels tend to sit quite deep in the arches which if you’re driving a modified car can stick out like a sore thumb. Install aftermarket spacers to help fill out those arches and give the wheels a flush appearance next to the body of the car.
One of the few problems with the S3 is that to non car enthusiasts it can just look like a motorway muncher 2.0 diesel. Installing an aftermarket body kit will allow you to actually have some presence on the road. Your S3 will look meaner, and you’ll smile every time you look at it.
- Maxton Design Front Splitter V3 Audi S3 8V Facelift (2016-2020) - AU-S3-3F-FD3 £131.95 – £179.95
- Rieger Audi S3 (8V) 3/5 Door Hatch Rear Diffuser - Gloss Black (2017+) - 00088181 £198.00
- Maxton Design Rear Valance Audi S3 8V Saloon Facelift (2016-2020) - AU-S3-3F-S-RS1 £144.95 – £167.95
- Rieger Audi A3 S-line & S3 Front Splitter - Gloss Black (2016+) - 00088162 £229.00
- Maxton Design Side Skirts Diffusers V2 Audi S3 Sedan 8V Facelift (2016-2020) - AU-S3-3F-S-SD2 £131.95 – £179.95
- Maxton Design Spoiler Cap Audi S3 8V Sportback - AU-S3-3-CAP1 £101.95 – £124.95
The most irritating thing about the interior of the Audi S3 is the plastic shifter paddles, installing these aftermarket ones will have you wanting to manually change gears, rather than just allowing the DSG to do it automatically.
If you’ve modified your car and want to keep an eye on information like oil temps, installing an aftermarket gauge will allow you to keep an eye on any sensitive information – especially important if you are on track.