Audi expanded the RS 3 range with a sporty, well-equipped limited-edition model named after the famous Nardo track in southern Italy. Unveiled online (regrettably with only this single poor photo), it’s aimed at enthusiasts who value handling above all.
Car-spotters will tell the Nardo Edition apart from the regular-production RS 3 thanks to a light shade of gray paint appropriately called Nardo Gray, contrasting black trim all around, and red brake calipers visible through 19-inch alloy wheels. Inside, stylists added red accents, floor mats embroidered with the RS logo, plus Audi’s Carbon trim. Photos of the interior haven’t been published yet, so we’ll need to take the company’s word for it.
Navigation — a $2,000 option on the standard RS 3 — comes standard. Nardo buyers will also get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, as well as an infotainment system compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
There are no mechanical changes to report. The Nardo keeps the RS 3’s 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine. It develops 394 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, and its distinctive exhaust note serenades the passengers with a sport exhaust system that features black tips. The turbo-five’s output travels through a seven-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system to send the RS 3 from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and the Nardo model’s top speed checks in at 174 mph, 19 faster than the standard model’s.
The electronic magnetic ride suspension technology also found in the TT and the R8 stays in the parts bin. Instead, Audi fitted the Nardo with a fixed sport suspension that promises to make the RS 3 sharper to drive (though almost certainly less comfortable).
On sale now, the 2020 Audi RS 3 Nardo Edition is limited to 200 units in the United States. It carries a base price of $60,895 once a $995 destination charge enters the equation. For context, the regular 2020 RS 3 starts at $57,195, so the Nardo package adds $3,700 to the bottom line. Ticking the option boxes that correspond to the extra equipment would bump the sedan’s price by $5,400, so Nardo buyers will comfortably come out ahead.
The Nardo Edition is one of the last variants of the current-generation RS 3. Although the model remains on sale across America, Audi started replacing the A3 it’s based on when it released the fourth-generation hatchback in early 2020. Replacements for the A3 sedan, the S3, and, of course, the RS 3 are on their way.