The thing about starting with a somewhat basic car like our silver Audi A3 is that visual changes have so much more of an effect. Upgrading wheels and suspension on an Audi S or RS model and you’ll make a change. Make the same upgrades to a run-of-the-mill A-car and, well, you trigger a revolution.
There’s no doubt that a change in a car’s stance and also a change in wheels have some of the best bang for the buck when it comes to visual improvement. Given this, these seemed like the best place to start in the upgrading of our Project OE A3.
Coilover Suspension from H&R
Our A3 arrived just days before H20 International. As a pre-emptive strike, we’d gone ahead and placed an order for H&R’s new Peformance Coilover Kit for the A3 quattro sedan (part# 28851-10).
H&R coilover kits have long been respected as a solid suspension choice for those looking to upgrade their suspension, even moreso when a fair degree of flexibility is desired when it comes to ride height. This kit is good for anywhere from a 1.5” to 2.5” drop.
While not slammed, we definitely wanted to lower our car. Further, a lower setting at shows like H20i is desirable, while daily use or even more clearance for Pennsylvania winters or mid-January runs to the Detroit Auto Show are part of this car’s expected duties. These adjustable coilovers definitely fit the bill.
For installation we headed to New German Performance in Lorton, VA. This Washington, DC area shop is highly experienced with such installs and Audi automobiles and they made quick work of the installation. Even more valuable to us, they took time out of their own preparation for H20 International in order to make sure our car was also prepared.
28851-10 Street Performance Coilover Kit for Audi A3 typ 8VS, MSRP $1,680.00
Wheels & Tires
When it came to wheels and tires, we decided on a bit of a science experiment. Essentially a set of “hand-me-downs”, we’d had a set of four R8 GT front wheels fitted with 255-35-19 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires sitting around the garage since the departure of our 4 Season Audi TT S line competition.
Here’s the rub… literally. This setup isn’t really for the A3 and not even really for the TT. The R8 GT front wheel is a 19×8.5” wheel so well within what you will see on factory A3s, but the ET42 that allows for a deep dish look also means they stick out for the wider track of the R8. Add in the TT size tires that are larger rolling circumference than the R8 or the A3 and you have a recipe for rubbing.
This car can and will rub at all four corners, though the look is outstanding. Looks aren’t everything though and we’re hoping to fix this setup while retaining the wheels. We’ll be switching to winter wheels and tires in a few weeks as the cold weather sets in, and that will offer us the opportunity to pull these off and try a lower profile fitment.
420-601-025-AP, R8 GT Wheel – qty. 4, MSRP $969.00 ea.
4B0-601-170-A-7ZJ Center Cap – qty. 4, MSRP $52.60 ea.
321-601-173-A-Z37 Wheel Bolt Cap – qty. 20, MSRP $1.40 ea.
4F0-071-455, Audi Wheel Locks – qty. 1, MSRP $74.00 ea.
4L0-071-215, Audi Valve Stem Caps – qty. 1, MSRP $41.00 ea.
quattro – Icing on the Cake
There’s one more addition (for now) that we made to our A3 in order to give it a little something extra. This came in the form of ‘quattro’ script decal on the lower rear door panel.
Last time we were in Ingolstadt, everyone seemed to be rocking the quattro script on their doors. It turns out that Audi has begun to manufacture these decals in both silver and black, and they’ve also added them to their U.S. inventory. We went with black in order to make the logo pop on our Florett Silver car.
One pair of decals comes in a cardboard box in order to keep them from being damaged. There’s also a recommended fitment instructions including a diagram of measurements for every current-generation Audi.
If you’re comfortable installing vinyl on a car, it is an easy job. If you’re not, we’d suggest you let the dealer do it. Either way, we found it to be the perfect way to add a little extra something to the visual appeal of our OE A3.
4GO 064 317 Y9B – “quattro” Script Decals, Black – qty. 2, MSRP $60.00
4GO 064 317 X7W – “quattro” Script Decals, Silver –qty. 2, MSRP $60.00