Red Hot // AWE Tuning A3 Touring Edition Exhaust

A3 2.0T quattro // Project Car – Owner: Mark MacLaughlin, Creative Director

First things first. A lot of people ask why, if I was looking for increased performance, I went with the A3 instead of the S3. It’s a good question, and one I even ask myself sometimes. The easy answer is to point to price. This 2.0T Premium Plus with Sport Package and Bang & Olufsen car sat on the lot of our dealer partners, Audi Naples, at a little over $38,000. A similarly equipped S3? Damn near $50,000. The more complicated answer? I really like a challenge…and shiny new parts. It’s a complex addiction; one that can only be fed by new things, grunt-filled exhaust notes, and the admiration of fellow filler-uppers at the gas station.IMG_0953My first decision was to go with a slight drop from H&R Springs, and the Vossen VFS2 in a 20×8.5 fitment. It’s an aggressive size, and one that I detailed in a previous post.IMG_1045My second decision? Aforementioned grunt.IMG_1018I’ve long admired AWE Tuning’s products and their attention to detail. Believe me, once you’ve heard their Track Edition Exhaust on that Audi S5 3.oT, it fills your daydreams and nighttime fantasies. The 2.0T in my car is a different animal, but after seeing the S3 SwitchPath™ product on a few client cars, I figured the guys up in Pennsylvania might just have something working for my tastes. Luckily for me, Josh Davis with their performance team, let me know that the Touring Edition Exhaust was under development. I had seen, heard, and liked a similar set-up on our friend Sam Dobbin’s MK7 GTI.  When Josh told me that if I wanted to, I could secure one of the first in the U.S., the rest of the conversation was basically, “yup…sold…oh you have a Carbon S-FLO intake with my name on it too?…send it as soon as it’s ready to go!” Bank account down, daily fantasies up. Where the heck is the UPS guy?IMG_5208A few weeks later, there it was. The full Touring Edition Exhaust with non-resonated performance downpipe, unboxed and ready to be installed by the experienced techs here at Naples Speed/Audi Naples.IMG_5147 The thing that first caught my attention, was the tremendous attention to detail. Laser-sharp logos, branded tags with serial numbers, welds and craftsmanship that make you confident that you made the right selection.IMG_5217IMG_0922A full exhaust is one of the most expensive upgrades an Audi owner can do. It is also one of the most fulfilling. That gorgeous carbon fiber intake?…just icing on the cake. We only carry the highest quality brands at Naples Speed, and AWE Tuning checks all the right boxes for product, customer support, and value-for-price. IMG_5246Admittedly, I’m not a wrench turner. I chase looks, sound, and butt-dyno numbers. Garrett Irvin, who did the install, assured me it was one of the easiest exhausts he has ever put in. Everything was nicely packaged and fit tight. It’s a quick job for a shop, or a fun afternoon in your garage. The adjustable tips (I went with Chrome Silver, but Diamond Black is an option) made perfect positioning possible, and I loved how it looked from the back and side profile. I couldn’t wait for it to come down off the lift.IMG_5258Immediately after the install, I was blown away. Even on a cold start, it burbles and comes to life like I have never heard on an A3. When under full throttle, it howls like a car that should be much more expensive. It is absolutely louder than an S3, but maintains a very pleasant note.IMG_0915 IMG_1024As of this post, I’ve had the AWE Tuning Audi A3 Touring Edition Exhaust with Non-Resonated Performance Downpipe for about two months. Although great right out of the box, I have noticed that after a few weeks it settles in even better.IMG_1043It is loud and aggressive under full throttle, and throws obnoxiously wonderful blips and burps at shift points in Sport or Manual mode. My commute is about 30 miles each way, and I’ve never been annoyed by any drone. Overall volume under normal throttle is a little higher, but not cabin intrusive at all. This is the perfect set-up for a daily driver that you also want to have some ridiculous fun with. Sleeper or full on show car, this AWE product is perfect.IMG_0980Unfortunately, I recently had a little run in with one of our elderly Southwest Florida residents. She didn’t believe in stop signs, or the relationship between a man and his car. Thankfully, those sparkling tips remained with a virgin, scratch-free finish. I can’t say the same for two of my wheels, and a couple of body panels :( She’ll be back and good as new soon so we can shoot some videos. Keep checking back here and on our various social media accounts for updates. For now, check out the pics of the completed car, install, and parts.

Interested in an AWE Tuning exhaust for your own car? Give us a call at 866-271-5903 or drop us a quick line at


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks great Mark!!! Love your style and working with you and your team

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