The new Class 1 regulations that will also largely apply in the Japanese Super GT Championship starting in 2020 are ringing in a new technological era in the 2019 DTM. The previous naturally aspirated V8 engines are replaced by newly designed race engines with four cylinders, two liters of displacement, plus turbochargers, offering a good mix of performance and efficiency. In Audi’s production vehicles, the four-cylinder two-liter turbo units are important IC engines worldwide.
Due to the turbo engines, the DTM not only receives an intensified reference to production, but fans and drivers can also look forward to some 100 additional horsepower. The TFSI engine of the 2019-generation of the Audi RS 5 DTM, internally designated at Audi as “RC8,” delivers more than 610 horsepower. By means of the “Push-to-Pass” function the engine’s output can even briefly be boosted by another 30 horsepower.
Aerodynamics has been completely revised as well: the rear wing, underfloor, and the front and rear diffusor have been redefined by the regulations. In addition, the engineers adapted the front to the more compact turbo engine and its cooling requirements. The clearly changed airflow at the front end gives the Audi RS 5 DTM an even more aggressive stance than its successful predecessor, especially in the frontal view.
The additional air scoops for the intercooler at the front are striking features. Instead of the two previous vents on the hood there are now four. The rear wing now only consists of one blade, but is 52 centimeters wider than before. Its angle can be flattened for overtaking by means of DRS (Drag Reduction System). In combination with “Push-to-Pass” the Audi RS 5 DTM achieves a top speed of near-300 km/h, depending on the race track.
The compact four-cylinder turbo engine with gasoline direct injection (TFSI) weighs only 85 kilograms and thus half as much as the naturally aspirated V8 engine previously used in the DTM. As a result, the dry weight of the Audi RS 5 DTM has dropped to less than 1,000 kilograms. The power-to-weight ratio is now 1.6 kg per horsepower.
“The wide rear wing and the air scoops at the front make the new Audi RS 5 DTM look aggressive,” says DTM Project Leader Andreas Roos.
“The new Class 1 cars are very fast and should permit really good racing. In addition, the new turbo engines sound great.”
“The improved power-to-weight ratio is visible with the naked eye,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “With that, we’re making a clear move toward the ‘cannonball ride’ desired by DTM CEO Gerhard Berger.
Even last season there was already a greater focus on the driver due to specification aerodynamics and the related 25-percent reduction of downforce and a simplified suspension with just one spring/damper unit per wheel. With the new turbo engines and the reduced vehicle weight, the DTM is consistently continuing to pursue this path.
The carbon driveshaft of the Audi RS 5 DTM was modified for the additional power output and higher torque of the turbo engine. As before, power is transmitted to the rear wheels and the semi-automatic six-speed transmission is operated by means of paddle shifters in the steering wheel. Driving aids such as ABS and traction control have traditionally been prohibited in the DTM.
Identical for all entrants are the tires from Hankook, which have remained unchanged compared to the 2018 season. Good tire management by the driver was very important in the DTM even in the two previous seasons and, due to the more powerful turbo engines and the resulting higher loads, will be even more so now.
In terms of safety, the DTM has been setting standards for many years: Like in all Class 1 race cars, the drivers of the Audi RS 5 DTM sit in a specification carbon fiber monocoque that is combined with a solid steel cage. CFRP crash elements on the sides, rear and front absorb energy in the event of a crash. The bodywork of the Audi RS 5 DTM is made of carbon fiber.
From 2013 to 2018 the Audi RS 5 DTM clinched 39 victories and 29 pole positions, and set 46 fastest race laps in the internationally popular racing series.
Class 1 race cars are prototypes specifically developed for racing, which are visually based on production models.