The hatchback is one of the most popular body styles available on the market. The reasoning behind this is because the hatchback symbolizes sportiness, compactness and youthfulness which eventually spawned the term ‘hot-hatch’. With some added horsepower coupled with kart-like handling, you’ve got the basic recipe for a fun and quick hot-hatch!


Most car manufacturers will produce a hot-hatch variant for the younger (or young at heart) market. Some of the popular hot hatches on the road today are the Volkswagen Golf GTIs or the Golf Rs (an all-time favorite!), Renault Meganes, Ford Focuses/Fiestas. Even some of the older Honda Civic hatches such as the EGs and the EKs are still very popular, not to mention our very own local Proton Satria GTI which still appeals to those who want a fast and small ride.



The Golf GTI is almost every young man’s ideal hot-hatch. Although it’s very popular, some may want to break away from the norm and drive something else. In the case of Brandon, he acquired his Audi A3 from a family friend. The family friend bought the car for his son in the UK while he was there studying.


They brought the car over one day and offered him a damn good deal and within 2 weeks the car became a part of his life. The car only had 14k kilometers when he collected he keys.


Prior to owning the A3, Brandon was no stranger to hatchbacks as he was rotating between a Myvi, a VW Beetle and an MK6 Golf GTI with APR Stage 2+ hardware and software. Being fond of the Volkswagen, the A3 came naturally to him. Sharing the same chassis with the Volkswagen Golf, this car was basically the same car but with a different suit. This particular 3-door A3 is considered a rarity in Malaysia as most people would be more familiar with the likes of the Golf GTI.



Brandon enjoys his touge drives, so it was only natural for him to upgrade the handling aspect of the car first. Touge is a spirited mountain drive with many corners, switchbacks and the occasional straight. It requires a lot of power from the car, but demands more in the handling department, so the first thing Brandon did was upgrade to H&R springs. Finding that the springs upgrade didn’t satisfy his needs, Brandon eventually upgraded to KW V2 coilovers and H&R anti-roll bars as that was what his budget permitted. Aside from the H&R springs and the KW V2 anti-roll bars, Brandon kept the suspension upgrades to a minimum.


In the performance department, Brandon ran an APR air intake with a custom down-pipe for the first two years. Recently a tuner called ATM Performance caught Brandon’s eye and he approached them to do a Stage 2 remap.



This upgrade was great but did not satisfy his need for more power as his buddies were already running bigger turbos and such. Less than two weeks into his Stage 2 remap, Brandon decided to proceed with the Stage 3 upgrade which included a Borg Warner K04 turbocharger which was suited to the A3’s 2.0 TFSI engine.



As for the exterior, Brandon changed the original color from its blue to Audi’s factory white. He didn’t put much effort in changing the aesthetics of the car as the stock look of the A3 was already handsome.


But another reason for the stock look is because the parts for the A3 are very hard to come by, everything for the car needs to be ordered from abroad and this incurred high delivery costs.


The only item Brandon did change was the custom honeycombed grill which was ordered from New York. Brandon did consider face lifting his A3 to the RS3 look but that would involve replacing the bonnet and the fenders. On top of that it would cost him roughly RM30k just to the front end conversion.



Brandon’s plan for his A3 is to rework the suspension setup. He’s in the market for some adjustable coilovers that suit the A3’s handling capabilities and is within his budget. He also has plans to take the car to the track and get a decent lap time for his category. He’s already working on a custom RS3-styled bumper which would definitely add some spice to the overall look of the car.



The A3 definitely has some appeal to it, especially towards the fairer sex. Brandon did mention that he met his girlfriend in the same week he got the car. So the ‘chick magnet’ feature does come as standard! Brandon shared with us that despite the cars age, the engine really does hold up well with proper care and attention. There are some wear and tear parts that eventually hurts the pocket, but with this particular ride it’s worth every penny. The only disappointment Brandon has with the car is the limitation to how much you can push the engine without breaking the bank. But at the end of the day, his A3 is more than enough to put a smile on his face.


2008 Audi A3 8P2 S-Line, 2.0 TFSI EA888.1 FWD.

• ATM Performance Stage 3 File
• APR Carbonio Intake with stock piping
• Vapro Lubricants – Sinergia Fully Synthetic 5W40
• R8 Coil Packs
• R8 Oil Cap
• Scorpion Turbo Back Full System

• H&R ARB front 28mm
• H&R ARB rear 24mm
• KW Variant 2 coilovers
• Alcon Advantage Extreme 4 pot callipers FRONT
• Golf R MK7 340x30mm slotted rotors FRONT
• Ferodo DS2500 pads
• Hose Technik SSBH front
• Motul RBF660
• Rays CE28N
• Direzza Z2 235/40/18

• Custom RS3 honeycomb grille
• Caractere sideskirts
• Caractere rear spoiler

• Rear seats delete
• Spare tyre delete
• Pioneer sound system