During last year’s Paris Auto Show Audi unveiled the latest addition to their factory-backed customer racing line, the RS3 LMS. With its DTM inspired boxed flares and aggressive aero kit, it was sure to take the TCR (Touring Car Racing) category by storm. In fact, Audi delivered over 90 cars before the beginning of this year’s season.
We’re not surprised as the RS3 LMS comes out of the box with a FWD, 350hp/331 ft/lb 2-liter turbo 4-banger that we all know and love, housed in a full FIA compliant race chassis with front wheel drive. You’d be hard pressed to find a cheaper entry into touring car racing than this.
But what do you do if you own a current MQB S3 and you want the performance of the RS3 LMS but you don’t have an extra $100k lying around
- Boost your stock 292hp S3 with some quality modifications
- Add a bit of fine tuning to your chassis
- And upgrade the exterior styling
Viola! you have your own road-going version of the RS3 LMS (Not really, but you can pretend, haha)
Let’s start with how to boost your S3’s power:
Upgrade Your Intercooler and Tune By replacing your restrictive stock intercooler with a performance S3 intercooler kit you open up your ability to increase horsepower while simultaneously reducing heat soak. This will give you more consistent power delivery throughout the power band. When paired with a tune you can bump your S3’s horsepower an additional 30-40hp! As you can see, this puts your S3 close to the power found in the RS3-LMS. Now that you have the power dialed into near-LMS levels it’s time to address the chassis.
Upgrade Your Suspension
This step will include some thoughtful consideration on your part. Which suspension you go with depends on whether you want a dual-purpose weekend warrior/daily driver or a dedicated track-only weapon. Whichever way you decide; you have quite a few options. Here are a few of our favorites for you to consider: KW V3 Audi S3 Coilovers: We like these coilovers as a more track oriented option that still gives you comfortable daily driving duty. These coilovers give your S3 3-way adjustability including ride height, compression, and rebound dampening. This way you can dial-in the perfect setup for your needs. Bilstein B16 PSS10 Audi S3 Coilovers:
These high-quality coilovers offer another option for the more track oriented setup that doesn’t sacrifice every-day driving. These coilovers also offer your S3 3-way adjustability with Bilstein’s 10 stage compression and rebound adjustability. Once you have your suspension upgraded to fit your needs, it’s time to address the styling.
Upgrade Your Styling to RS3 LMS like
This last suggestion is purely subjective to your style and what you want for your car. Luckily there are many options available to give your S3 a more aggressive appearance like that found on the RS3-LMS. If you want to keep your S3’s style more subtle, consider adding a carbon fiber trunk spoiler and a carbon fiber front spoiler to your S3. Not only do these modifications give your S3 a more aggressive look while maintaining an OEM feel, they are functional by adding a bit of increased downforce without the addition of extra weight. But if subtle isn’t your style you can go “hardcore” with a wide body kit for your S3 like the one Allroad Outfitters built for this year’s SEMA show. With carbon fiber widened fenders, front splitter, widened side skirts and aggressive rear diffusor you’ll have the closest thing to a road going RS3-LMS:
Now you just need to strip out about 400lbs of weight and convenience, add a FIA approved roll cage valued at more than your mk7 GTI and boom! Oh and add a fire suppression system along with a few other things ;). The last thing we suggest you do with your own version of the RS3-LMS is get out and enjoy the drive!