Case Study | Audi S3 (8P)

PERON and our engineering partners have a long-standing expertise with the Audi S3 (8P), a classic hot hatch that can rival almost any car on the road. Our team are masters of the EA113 engine as we've been tuning this platform since 2005 across a range of applications. This extensive experience is why customers trust us to take their vehicles to the next level. Our commitment to pushing the boundaries of performance and drivability ensures each upgrade meets the highest standards of engineering excellence. This case study showcases our ability to transform the Audi S3 (8P) into a high-performance machine that excels in both everyday usability and spirited driving.

Collection | Audi S3 (8P)

The Brief

Our mission was to optimise the TFSI engine in this Audi S3, providing multiple power levels to suit different performance preferences. We aimed to create a daily driver that excelled on the road, ensuring daily driver usability with weekend warrior power. This transformation would be achieved through selected hardware upgrades and our world-class BOSCH MED9 ECU tuning alongside TVS TCU tuning. We felt confident in achieving the desired results by leaning on Nortech Performance for hardware engineering solutions, our partners TVS Engineering for their mastery of the DSG gearbox tuning and conversions, as well as NickK for extensive experience in ECU calibration, especially with this platform. Leveraging our expertise and advanced tuning capabilities, we set out to elevate the vehicle’s performance and drivability to meet the highest standards.

Our Results

We set this Audi 8P S3 up to be the ultimate TFSI daily driver with remarkable results. The car now boasts a maximum horsepower of 707 hp on the highest of 4 boost settings. Each boost setting is tailored to offer a balance between power and drivability, ensuring that the car remains versatile and enjoyable for everyday use while delivering exceptional performance when needed. What makes this all the more impressive is the fact that this vehicle is still running the factory ECU with 4 DI injectors on pump fuel.

The boost levels required to reach these power levels are relatively low due to the high efficiency of turbo system, fuel system and engine.

Race Boost
~2.5 bar on 99RON pump fuel plus water methanol

High Boost
~2.2 bar on 99RON pump fuel plus water methanol

Medium Boost
~2.0 bar on 99RON pump fuel

Low Boost
~1.5 bar on 99RON pump fuel

Fuel System Upgrades

The fuel system for the PQ35 platform requires significant upgrades when aiming for big power. Innovative thinking is essential when working with the factory Direct Injection (DI) system. While adding port injection with an aluminium intake manifold is an option, it introduces complexity and suffers from intake heat soak in traffic. Instead, we retained the stock plastic intake manifold with DI and the factory ECU, an efficient solution that maintains drivability and reliability. This comprehensive fuel system upgrade supports the high power output while ensuring reliability and consistent performance under demanding conditions. The Nortech Performance fuel system includes:

  • Brushless Fuel Pump and Controller: Integrated into an OE-type basket.
  • Extra Lift Pump: Ensures the basket remains full of fuel under extreme conditions.
  • Billet Lid with -08 Fittings: Allows for external, serviceable in-line fuel filter
  • Billet HPFP Adaptor: Maximum efficiency by maintaining a -08 line from fuel tank to engine.

New Intercooler and Oil Catch Can System

Through our in-house engineering division, Nortech Performance, we developed a new, highly efficient intercooler featuring a Garrett core. This advanced cooling solution, along with larger aluminium piping, effectively manages the increased heat generated by higher boost levels. The upgraded intercooler system is a necessary step beyond the usual upgrades due to the power levels of this build.

Additionally, we designed a more efficient oil breather system to maintain engine performance. The system separates and captures oil vapours from the crankcase, preventing them from contaminating the intake system which reduces the risk of detonation. It also lowers crank case pressure which improves piston ring sealing and combustion efficiency. The combination of the high-performance intercooler and oil catch can system ensures the engine operates at optimal temperatures and maintains peak performance under demanding conditions.

Engine Control Unit Calibration (ECU)

With almost 20 years of expertise calibrating the Bosch MED9 ECU, we were well-equipped to take this S3's performance to the next level while utilising the factory Direct Injection system. Our comprehensive ECU calibration process involved meticulous adjustments to various engine parameters to optimise power delivery, reliability and overall drivability, using high-speed data acquisition and decades of experience. Our calibration of the fuel delivery, ignition timing and air flow strategies allowed us to provide the desired power levels across different boost settings, ensuring flexibility and performance.

Maintaining excellent driveability with good cold start and warm-up characteristics was a key focus. This ensures the car remains adaptable and easy to drive in all conditions. The improved efficiency of the fuel, intercooler, and breather systems allowed us to optimise the calibration for impressive power outputs while maintaining reliability. The NickK calibration brings it all together, delivering smiles whether you're cruising down the boulevard or racing up the strip.

Transmission Overhaul

The DQ250 is absolutely fine for lower power builds in the 525 hp range. However, for this particular high-power application, we opted for a DQ500 conversion due to the high power levels required. This customer chose to upgrade to a DQ500 with custom TVS Stage 4 TCU software. The DQ500 Conversion Kit, coupled with a reinforced flywheel and TVS Performance Race Clutch, ensures that the transmission can reliably handle the increased power and torque.

The Stage 4 TVS DSG tune offers numerous benefits to optimise performance and drivability. Key features include unique shifting strategies for ultra-smooth gear changes, improved clutch cooling, and enhanced thermomanagement. Performance options such as raised torque limiters, increased clutch pressure, and faster shift speeds significantly boost acceleration and responsiveness. Additionally, the tune includes advanced launch control capabilities with customisable settings, allowing for quicker, more controlled starts off the line.

Limits of the Platform

We consider this Audi 8P S3 to be at the limit of what is possible for this platform while running pump fuel and maintaining street-friendly characteristics. The current setup achieves impressive performance without compromising drivability, making it a superb daily driver.

While we can push the power to over 900hp with different injection, a larger turbo, and ethanol, this shifts the car away from its pleasant street manners and towards a more race-oriented vehicle. Such modifications would sacrifice the usability and comfort.

If a race car is what's required, and driving comfort is not a consideration, then there is always more power and speed available. Based on our experience, we believe this particular S3 represents the pinnacle of what is possible with regards to performance, while still maintaining the comforts of a daily driven vehicle.

Contact PERON Performance

With years of experience across a wide range of applications, PERON Automotive is at the forefront of VAG tuning. Our approach is characterised by a narrow and deep focus on these platforms, combined with an unwavering obsession for excellence. Leveraging our advanced research and development centre, complete with an in-house dyno, we lead, validate, and support the performance aftermarket.

Partnering with the global best in ECU/TCU tuning and performance hardware, including our in-house Nortech Performance division, we deliver comprehensive tuning solutions that are proven both in our facilities and on the track. Contact PERON to discuss your upgrade path and learn more about how we can transform your vehicle.

Tuning Advisor