Audi RS3 Tuning

"Tuning the Audi RS3 and best RS3 performance parts."

Having produced the S3, Audi needed to redefine the hot hatch and came up with the RS3. Which mods are the best when it comes to tuning your Audi RS3? How can you make the ultimate modified RS3? What tuning modifications would we recommend? Let's look at the many options to tune your RS3 and turn it into a stunning car.

Originally kitted out with the 363bhp 2.5 TFSi engine the RS3 is firmly back as THE hot hatch! Later the engine power was hiked to a stunning 395bhp to compete with other hot hatches.

If you want a car that looks superficially like any other in the work car park, but gives supercar levels of fun and performance at the weekends then the RS3 is your car.

The RS3 combines Audi's rich motorsport knowledge with the perfect family car. Every component and setup of the RS3 has been carefully thought out, leaving nothing lacking.

But armed with our RS3 tuning guide you can improve on perfection and end up with the ultimate road car.

Take your time and research RS3 tuning to save yourself making the usual common slip ups we see.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

See our video which covers all the principles of tuning your Audi.

Many RS3 owners uprate the already good handling of their cars with performance suspension modifications as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car. Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 20mm and fit coilovers but the magnetic suspension setup is very hard to beat.

Stock springs are not great though and there are many better options out there. (They offer a very firm and jumpy ride, especially on the larger alloy wheel sizes, wheras aftermarket shocks soften the ride and improve handling and driver feel.)

Our aim in RS3 engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end, whilst retaining the low down torque and eagerness of the 2.5 liter engine.

Enjoy your RS3 to the full with our solid performance tuning hints - do the right mods in the right order.

RS3 Engine Tuning.

These modifications are usually fitted by our members and are the most popular, but decide how far you want to push your car before you begin so you have a firm plan to start with.

These blocks were designed to tolerate power figures in the region of 700bhp so make a great base for a tuning project. FSi injection running at up to 1770psi on a common rail. The ECU is a Bosch Motronic MED unit and it uses two knock sensors, allowing it to manage each cylinder separately.

There is a carbon build up issue to watch for on these engines but we have prepared a detailed tuning guide to the 2.5 TFSi engine.

Read more at:

Getting the right motorsport mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 competition upgrades just won't work well on the road and will make the car undriveable.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your RS3

    1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
    2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
    3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
    4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
    5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

RS3 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include:
Suspension upgrade (drop by around 20mm), Panel air filter, Lighter flywheel, Engine Tunes/Remapping, Alloy wheels, Sports exhaust.

Typical stage 2 mods often include:
Fast road cam, Power/Sport clutch, high flow fuel injector, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades.

Typical stage 3 mods often include:
Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Sports gearbox, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Engine balancing, Competition cam.

Your aim when modding the engine should be a flat and wide torque output. You don't want all the torque to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a competition car.

If you want a simple no fuss power upgrade then a tune/remap is your go to solution, this can raise the power from the baseline 363bhp to around 402bhp and although an uprated diverter valve is recommended it is not an essential.

Adding the other performance parts you should be able to hit the 450bhp mark and if you uprate the turbo to hybrid unit you should reach around the 500ps mark fairly easily, which would be no slouch in the RS3.  A bigger Garret turbo unit would be required if you want to achieve power figures around the 600bhp mark.

The GTX3567R turbo is a popular modification for the RS3 but needs a higher pressure fuel rail pump and exhaust and intercooler upgrades to release the full potential power of this upgrade.

There is an APR conversion around which wil realise 665bhp on 104RON fuel!

The point of our guides is to give a starting base of modifications and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your car tuning project, the best sport kits and all aspects of modding cars.

Remaps are one of the most cost effective mods you can do but these are best left until last to take into account your other mods.

RS3 Fast Road Camshafts

A fast road camshaft will be one of the best mechanical power mods you can do with a single part fitted to your engine, but it's best mated to other upgrades.

The cam improves the intake and exhaust durations and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a remap. We'd also caution you not to go with a competition cam as this upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.When pushing up the power you will need to increase to the fuelling.

RS3 Fuel upgrades

More power needs more fuel.

The 2.5 responds well on higher octane fuel, giving a noticeably peppier performance. Not all high octane fuels are the same though and generally range from 98 to 101 octane (standard octane is rated at 95).

Using higher octane fuel is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your Audi project after fitting other performance parts and some owners will only use high octane fuel as a precaution after doing extensive mods.

Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

RS3 Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Induction kits are only beneficial to increase power if the air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Derestricting the airflow into the engine is a primary goal of car tuners so get a freer flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean only if you find the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound fun but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not add noticeable power and usually rob you of power on most cars.

Sports exhausts can help balance the flow of gases through the engine. But if the exhaust pipe is too large, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

Airflow through the head can be dramatically increased with some professional flowed (porting and polishing). These should match and be setup to take into account any other engine mods.

When you start tuning your RS3 you will reach a point that the standard clutch starts to fail so get an uprated clutch. Remaps offer impressive power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NA (naturally aspirated) engines the benefits are doubtful. However a tune/remap on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.

We've also come across some owners toying with twin charging conversions and making some very high power hikes.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. Turbos are usually harder to add than a supercharger. With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it difficult to map fuelling with.

It is easier to map a supercharger because the boost is correlating to engine speed on a linear curve. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the compression ratio of the engine .

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels can help the brakes cool down and are usually less heavy than steel ones. Large RS3 alloys can decrease performance. If you get big alloys you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Due to this we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 18 inches, although we know some of our members have with bigger wheels with no problems.

Brakes are very good on the RS3 but you can look to the Porsche parts bin if you wanted an upgrade option off the shelf. We have also heard of people fitting Lamborghini disks to their RS3 with good effect, but you must check the alloy rims have sufficient clearance.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our car forums where you can discuss RS3 options in more detail
with our RS3 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Audi tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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