2003 Audi S3 Quattro


  • Only 3 owners from new
  • Current registered keeper since September 2015
  • Full service history stamped in book
  • Recaro leather interior with electric front seats
  • Tilt and slide electric sunroof
  • Optional Bose sound system

The Appeal

Ever since their 4wd Ur-quattro Group B rally cars barked and howled around the forest stages, spitting fire and gravel at bobble-hatted spectators, Audi has been synonymous with the quattro drivetrain. Their RS and S-series cars carry this high performance torch on and are highly sought after by enthusiasts.

The S3 was based on the A3 – which first hit the dealerships in 1999 - but sprinkled with the magic of a 20V 1.8-litre turbo mated up to a Haldex four-wheel drive system.

This model is the desirable post-2002 facelight version which saw the engine power increase by 15bhp to 222bhp (225PS) thanks to the addition of variable valve timing, as well as the fitment of new front wings and one-piece headlight and indicators.

This particular example has only covered 82,547 miles in the hands of just three owners and has an impeccable service history. Best of all it’s finished in the desirable colour of Dolphin Grey with a pale grey leather Recaro interior – with electric heated front seats – and sports desirable options like a tilt and slide sunroof and the Bose sound system.

The History and Paperwork

  • All the original Audi books and service wallet
  • Comprehensive service history stamps
  • Only 3 owners

First registered by Taunton Audi on 30 May 2003 – with the original dealer sticker still on the tailgate glass – this S3 spent much of its life around the West Country being serviced by Yeovil Audi until 2014, when it had covered 50,782 miles. It’s second owner was thought to have been quite a wealthy gent and kept it in an underground garage, which explains its excellent paintwork condition.

It was then bought in Poole by its third owner who lived in the Peak District and used it for weekend trips. It was serviced in Sheffield from 2016 to 2021 and the record shows that at 78,445 miles in March 2021 that the Haldex differential oil was changed.

All the original service books and manuals are supplied with the car, together with lots of invoices for servicing work. Even the original Audi handover checklist is supplied with the car and there are two key fobs with it. It is MoT’d until 14 November 2022.

The Interior

  • Pale grey leather Recaro heated electric seats
  • Optional Bose speakers
  • Audi Chorus head unit and six-disc CD changer
  • Digital climate control

You can feel the German build quality with everything you touch on this S3. It’s built with typical Teutonic precision and the doors shut like a bank vault.

All the driving controls are wrapped in leather, with the smart S3-branded three-spoke steering wheel having a pleasingly chunky rim and your hand falling naturally to the gear knob. Keeping you secure are comfortable and supportive Recaro front seats which adjust electrically and are heated. The drivers seat bolster, which often gets worn or torn on unloved examples, is in great condition with only a few creases indicating that it’s been unused. The rest of the seats are in equally fine condition.

The cream leather is unripped and unmarked and offsets the dark grey paintwork beautifully. As with all sporty Audis, a black headlining is fitted and this is unmarked. Inset into this is an electric tilt-and-slide sunroof that glides open with typical Audi precision.

The unmarked rear seats have seatbelts for three, making this a practical family car as well as a 4wd turbo sports car.

All the original switchgear seemed to work fine and appeared unmarked. The only area of wear that was visible was the coating of the headlight switch bezel showing a little wear. This is a bolt-on panel and could easily be replaced.

The Audi Chorus cassette radio links to a six-CD changer fitted in the boot and has enhanced sound thanks to the optional Bose speaker pack being fitted to this car. To give modern phone connectivity and DAB radio, an Alpine EZi-DAB unit has been fitted just above the headlight control (the manual for this is supplied).

The Exterior 

  • More desirable facelift model
  • Upgraded Bi-Xenon headlights

Unlike the more garish colours you could order an S3 in, the Dolphin Grey metallic paintwork is a much more understated option that really suits the car. It’s a subtle sports car with only the sportier bumpers, alloys and the chromed mirrors and twin tailpipes hinting that this is the S3 model.

The paintwork looks almost blemish free save for a couple of touched-in scratches on the nearside rear wing, while the lacquer appears to be in great condition and is a testament to the previous owners who obviously garaged it. The bonnet and front bumper are remarkable stonechip free.
The car is entirely standard apart from a specialist upgrading the headlights to Bi-Xenon units linked to headlight washers.

The 17-inch Avus alloys, which were made for Audi by legendary wheelmaker Ronal, would benefit from a fresh powder coat and are shod with Falken Zeix ZE310 tyres in 225/45-17 size. The rears are dated week 50, 2019, the fronts week 33, 2021. A Continental space saver tyre is fitted to the spare.

The Mechanics 

  • 222bhp 20V turbo engine purrs
  • Original and unmolested

The current owner reckons that the car drives without fault and the engine fired up easily and purred without fuss while the car was being positioned for the photos. Cambelt and waterpump were last changed in 2018 at 65,665 miles and since only covered 17,000 miles. All the electrical systems seemed to work fine and no issues were noted. This isn’t unusual: it’s an Audi. 

The key point to note is that this example hasn’t been messed about with and is all original. Many examples get remapped and fitted with noisy exhausts and induction kits, which seems completely at odds with the image of a subtle gentleman’s express.


This is a discrete and understated S-car that really looks the part thanks to its combination of a pale grey Recaro interior offset by the subtle metallic grey paintwork. The exterior looks just as sharp as the day it was made and it doesn’t look like a 19-year-old car.

With 222bhp to play with, all modern comforts and that four-wheel drive system it’s the perfect car for all-year family use or B-road blasts. With all S-cars on the rise, this low mileage, low owner car looks certain to be an appreciating asset.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 2003
  • Make Audi
  • Model S3
  • Colour Dolphin Grey
  • Odometer 82,547 Miles
  • Engine size 1781
  • Town Market Drayton
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Shropshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
21 bids
  • Co•••• £6,300 18/08/22
  • Ja•••• £6,200 18/08/22
  • As•••• £6,000 18/08/22
  • sh•••• £5,900 18/08/22
  • As•••• £5,800 18/08/22
  • sh•••• £4,900 18/08/22
  • da•••• £4,800 18/08/22
  • Co•••• £4,700 18/08/22
  • sh•••• £4,600 18/08/22
  • Co•••• £4,500 16/08/22

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