Had an 8L S3. (hence the stupid internet name) The 210 Bhp version and launched far better than most cars. Would happily taken on most as dumping the clutch was not a problem. The only thing that ever went on it was the MAF and the clutch pedal itself!
Quattro system far superior to the golf R32 4WD, and would easily out handle it because of better weight distribution. Far easier drive fast round the twisties. But i doubt in standard form it would be near at standard 335D with the D's torque. I guess the S3 would have been tuned. Awsome car which was far more fun to drive than the 335D mainly because i'd taken mine on a track and learned how to balance it. But mine was coming up for 60k, so traded in for a the 335D. Which was better in many ways except for the gearbox, although having gotten to 33 i felt like an auto as i was getting lazy!