Can't decide - Alfa 147 GTA or Audi S3 (165kw version)?

I'm currently in the market for a new car.
I previously had a Mitsubishi FTO GPX for four years which I sold before going travelling earlier this year.
I wish to now buy a European car with decent performance levels. Living in Australia I have narrowed my choice down to either the 147 GTA and the Audi S3. I have managed to source both models with demo km's for similar prices so taking that out of the equation I would like to know from those who have driven both what their opinions are in deciding between.
I know there is a new A3 shape arriving in 3-4 months but the new 3.2 Quattro will only be here in August and I need to purchase fairly soon.
Thanks
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The 147 is a pure sportscar with dito supspension and comfort (read: no comfort) whereas the S3 still is a sportscar but a bit more decent. Quality and reliability of an S3 are definately better. The 3.2 A3 is NOT the successor of the S3. It lacks the pure(r) sportivity of the S3. Hence, if you want a pure sportscar, take the 147. If you prefer a more balanced but still incredible fast and sporty car, take the S3.

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Historically, here in the UK, Alfas suffer horrendous depreciation, and the 147 GTA is unlikely to buck the trend. -- Doug Ramage

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My experience of my father's old Alfa 75 2.5 V6 Quadrifogglio Verde is great. I can only warm up to its engine and suspension - it still feels better than my A4 as you know perfectly well where the limits are.
On the other hand, I've had my A4 1.8T Quattro for 5 years now, so even if the S3 is supposed to be a bit more powerful and definitely more sporty, it's roughly the same engine.
It will all come down to what you prefer:
.- The GTA 3.2 V6 is way better, especially on narrow winding roads where the spooling of the S3 turbo is very noticeable and you won't be able to push an S3 to its limits unless you're a very experienced driver. The V6 is rock solid and smooth and since it's linear and beefy at the upper rev end, you'll be enjoying it much more, also because of its sound. In the long run the V6 will probably show to be more reliable as it hasn't got a turbo - my sister has just hit the 300,000 km barrier and the engine is still going strong (she got the above mentioned Alfa 75 as a hand-me-down.)
The Alfa keeps better a better balance of comfort and handling, especially on bumpy roads. It's also more nimble and lighter.
.- The S3 will offer better fuel economy and if tuned will offer more top power and speed on wide open roads and motorways. Its interior also feels and possibly looks better. Overall reliability is better than with the Alfa - except for engines, and I'm not implying the Audi engine is not reliable, but an Alfa V6 is better in that league.
If safety is paramount, the Quattro will help you out of trouble where the Alfa might be more fun but grumpier.
So if you're planning to race boy a tuned S3 will give you better acceleration but will never be on the same fun league as the Alfa.
If you enjoy pure driving get the Alfa, if you are keen on top acceleration, safety and overall reliability get the S3.
My two cents,
JP Roberts

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