December 2, 2007
By: Neil McGarry
A simple trip to Strong Audi for scheduled maintenance on my 2005 allroad became the unexpected catalyst towards the acquisition of this 2007 A3 3.2 S-line. Admittedly I had been casually searching for a replacement for my wife’s 2004 VW R32 which was going through its own track car metamorphosis. We were quite satisfied with the R32′s 3.2-liter powerplant, which made the A3 a natural upgrade.
Of significant issue was the color choice. My wife and friends have always had a few laughs at my expense regarding my colors; I prefer subtle tones and almost always choose a gray or silver hue. My wife on the other hand would jump at the chance to own something that cries out such as an Imola Yellow Audi. Lucky for me the A3 is not offered in any shade of yellow so we didn’t have to fight that battle. That said I did step out of my comfort zone by purchasing a Missano Red 2007 A3 3.2 S line quattro S tronic with the light gray interior.
Options for the car included the Open Sky System (which provides both a sunroof and a rear moonroof) and the Cold Weather Package (adding a ski sack, heated front seats, heated windshield washer nozzles and heated outside mirrors).
I also opted for the Technology Package mostly because Bluetooth phone connectivity has become more of a have-to-have than a nice-to-have. Bi-Xenon Headlights with adaptive lighting, Premium leather upholstery and the 18″ BBS cast alloy wheels with summer performance tires rounded out the selected options.
I was immediately impressed with the car’s driveline and found the paddle shifters to be both a fun and practical way to enjoy the DSG transmission. My wife wanted to take the car keys from me and never look back, but I told her there were a few prep items still to go. Within a few days of ownership I had a Stongard clear bra and tinted windows installed.
Between the 7000+ foot altitude here in Utah and the factory supplied high performance summer tires it was a given that winter tires would be a necessity. As I have so many times in the past I turned to The Tire Rack and quickly learned that because the unusual offset there was a limited set of choices for winter wheels. In the end I chose to go with the
ASA JH3 17″ wheel for the larger sidewall protection from the winter potholes.
Tires, on the other hand, were going to be easy. I had used the Dunlop WinterSport series tires in the past (M2 & M3) and thought the newest generation 3D tires would be the perfect compromise for the area’s typical driving demands.
With the ski resorts depending on traffic as their lifeblood we find that the local streets are plowed quickly. So while we often have snow covered roads, it is much more atypical to see that snow compacted into something frozen and icy. The roads will move from snow to wet and then dry very quickly. The
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D give up only a little performance in the dry or wet. They don’t the type eof roll over you feel on turn-in like most snow tires, and they are still very grippy in the white stuff. I can both turn and stop with confidence when conditions are slippery. The tires are still tucked up under the wheel wells, so I am not seeing excessive splashing.
I expect the Project A3 series to progress in numerous installments, including, but not limited to:
- Performance enchantments
- Rack Systems
- Interior & exterior upgrades
Parts Installed (Retail Pricing at Time of Installation):
- Qty. 4 – 17″ ASA JH3 Wheel ($476.00)
- Qty. 4 – Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D Tires ($536.00)
- Main Page: Project Audi A3 3.2 S-line
- Photo Gallery: Project Audi A3 3.2 S-line
- AudiWorld A3 Discussion Forums