All I can say is OH MY GOD!!! This car is amazing, no over/understeer to speak of, and a great engine that loves to be redlined. Am now re-thinking my next car after the S3 - buy the wife a sensible estate, and Ill have a little 197 toy.
If you havent driven one, go and drive one - It is astonishing how well it drives, probably the best hot hatch Ive ever driven - This should be a good week.....
Oh and the interior plastics aren't as bad as you think