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Supercharged 3.2 VR6’d 2001 Audi S3

What is the price of obscurity?

Here we have a 2001 Audi S3. While the S3 has been a relatively recent addition to the US Audi lineup to bolster affordable performance options and compete against Merc’s CLA and BMW’s 2-series, the model has a long history that dates back to the nomenclature change for Audi. The first A3 was launched alongside the then-new A4, and while the visual similarities were strong, the two models shared little. That’s because the A3 was based heavily on the Mk.4 Golf platform with transverse mounted engines. Just like the original Audi 50, though, the A3’s arrival predated the Mk.4 Golf by a year.

As I’ve already covered in previous articles, while the U.S. had to wait until the 2004 launch of the Golf R32 to get all-wheel drive performance, Europe had enjoyed Golfs with four wheels driven since 1986. So it was a relative cinch to stick the Haldex-based all-wheel drive system into the A3 chassis where, like the TT, it would be called “quattro”. And just like the TT, a high performance variant of the 1.8T would be included and become the S3 in 1999.

Again, some of the styling cues were shared with the big-brother S4, including 17? Avus wheels and deeper, smooth bumper covers. The S3 was the first model to utilize the ‘door blades’ that would become signature S bits soon after. Performance was about what you’d expect from a near twin of the TT – meaning, virtually identical. But what you did get was slightly more subtle styling and slightly more practicality, with a bit more storage space and a roomier cabin. Despite the relatively negligible gains, because the 8L S3 never came here, they’re a bit of a hot commodity when they do arrive. This particular example is not only in the US, but it’s now powered by an R32-sourced 3.2 VR6.

2001 Audi S3 on eBay

From the seller:

The vehicle is equipped with a 2004 Volkswagen R32 drivetrain total refreshed with all new seals and gaskets And has been fitted with a vortex supercharger,and a custom 6-2-1 header,vehicle makes around 400 hp. This vehicle is a very fun car to drive, vehicle handling is kept in check with Fortune auto coilovers, front and rear upgraded swaybars And links Front and rear adjustable, rear adjustable camber arms fitted on the vehicle, custom skid plate under front end, CAE, short shifter, everything works in the vehicle, heat AC power, steering power windows, and sunroof, the interior has been removed, and the upholstery in suede the car is an immaculate condition the vehicle has on the engine and trans setup 10k miles less than on the cluster , the car was repainted with Bmw paint and is in immaculate shape. The brakes has been upgraded six piston calipers in the front and upgraded rotors in the rear also has steel braided brake lines and upgraded fuel system, you cannot ask for a better built car. The vehicle runs and drives perfectly. No issues at all need to sell the vehicle because I have too many cars and I just opened my own shop.

I do have a few questions about how this car is legally here, since the Federalization process is not very cheap. Neither is this car though, at $45k. Condition appears to be acceptable for a 23-year-old Audi, but it’s not outstanding. What you’re buying here are the mods, which are highlighted by the motor swap.

With a supercharged 3.2 VR6, power should be pretty crazy – the seller claims 400 horsepower, which is completely believable based upon other kits. Brakes, suspension, and wheels were also upgraded, so there’s a host of supporting mods. I would guess that if you add up the bills for all these parts and labor it comes out to far more than the current asking price. Still, I’m not sure this is my dream Audi, and there are a host of cars I’d rather have for $45k personally. But if you want to stand apart at a show, this one will do the trick – presuming the Feds don’t find you.

-Carter

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