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first Audi S3 stage 3 or RS3


New member
United States
What I Drive
2018 TRD
Hello guys and gals! I joined this site to research what Audi I want. First and foremost I will put out there that I am a by no means rich! I am a flight paramedic and have about 30-40k to spend... preferably closer to 30. I have been out of the car scene for a while now. In my young and dumb high school days had a b18 swapped CRX with a 75 shot (yes, yes, I know). I have also owned modded eclipse gsx with a 50 trim turbo, then a SRT-4 with a gt3076 turbo. Back then I spent a lot of time at the drag strip. Then as it goes school, a wife, and a mortgage happened. Over the last several years I have had a new TRD tacoma, I really like my truck but truly do miss having a quick car. I dont want a rice rocket. I want a nice daily driver that is AWD with fun and usable power. I originally really liked the idea of an used s4, but realized an a3/s3/rs3 is probably more my style. I come from a turbo background so I think I would prefer a 2018 or newer. I began to look into the rs3. What a great car! Over 400 reliable whp with a simple flash. I started finding some used rs3s in the mid to high 40s. I could probably afford an rs3 if I put some down. But I think that realistically with the car note and the increased rs3 car insurance rates it would be a little out of my monthly payment comfort zone. So I think I am leaning towards the s3. I would initially do a stage 2 flash and look into an intake, IC, and exhaust. I really like the idea of down the road doing an ARP stage 3. I dont plan on taking it to the drag strip by any means.. just occasional fun here or there. So with that said my questions are:

1 Are the Stage 3 2018 Audi S3s on a 91 or 93 octane tune having many reliability issues? ARP advised that the kit is "turn key" but that is a lot more power over stock. I dont really want to have to continuously tinker with it. I pretty much want to do normal scheduled maintenance.

2. Would it be smarter to save up the extra money for a RS3 and do a stage 1 flash?


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