Audi Sport has been relying on the RS 5 Coupé in the DTM since 2013. Last season’s championship winning car will contest the 2020 season in accordance with the new regulations with a number of detailed changes aimed at making the DTM even more exciting and cost-effective. All DTM cars will be equipped with the HYLO system developed by Audi and thus receive a new technology for DTM in the field of active safety.
Fundamental technical changes are not allowed by the Class 1 regulations introduced for the DTM in 2019, which are designed for a level playing field and cost-efficiency. Therefore, the basis of the 2020 model year Audi RS 5 DTM corresponds to the 2019 champion’s car. With the Class 1 regulations, which will also form the basis for the Japanese SUPER GT Championship from 2020, DTM last year technically started a new era. The V8 naturally aspirated engines used until the end of the 2018 season were replaced in 2019 by newly designed combustion engines with four cylinders, two liters displacement plus exhaust gas turbocharger, which offer a good mixture of performance and efficiency. The four-cylinder, two-liter turbocharged engines in particular continue to be important drive units worldwide for Audi’s road cars.
The introduction of turbo technology has given DTM a stronger connection to road car development. The TFSI engine of the Audi RS 5 DTM of model year 2020 has an engine output reduced by around five percent compared to the previous year. Background: For the 2020 season, DTM has reduced the amount of fuel that may flow to the engine per hour from 95 kilograms to 90 kilograms. By means of the “Push-to-Pass” function, the engine output can be increased to around 640 hp in the short term, as in 2019. This should make the races even more exciting.
Therefore, in 2020, DTM drivers will be able to use the “Push-to-Pass” system – for overtaking, for example – twice as often during the race as before. During 24 race laps (previously twelve) the additional power may be switched on for up to five seconds at a time. In addition, “Push-to-Pass” is also permitted in qualifying from the 2020 season onwards. This new qualifying rule also applies to the use of the “DRS” function (“Drag Reduction System”), which flattens the rear wing, reduces the car’s drag and increases top speed. From 2020, DRS may be used in races more often than before. With the combined use of “DRS” and “Push-to-Pass”, the Audi RS 5 DTM reaches a top speed of almost 300 km/h, depending on the track.
To further reduce costs, DTM has reduced the total number of certain standard components permitted per season for 2020. The most important are clutches, brake discs and brake pads on the rear axle. In addition, for the 18 races, only 15 wooden panels may be used on the underbody of the cars to check the ground clearance. Previously, the number of so-called “skid pads” was not limited.
In 2020, another new rule comes into effect: It is forbidden to preheat the transmission of a DTM car. Previously, this was done via an external heating system to bring the transmission oil to operating temperature before starting off and to optimize efficiency.
In the 2020 DTM season, additional brake cooling is also no longer permitted. In the past, it worked like this: by pushing a button, via a pump and hoses, the driver could bring water from a tank placed in his car to all four wheels and spray the brake calipers. This additional brake cooling was activated at defined sections of the track.
The driver and his work in the cockpit thus become even more important. The DTM is consistently pursuing this path, which was already adopted in 2018 with common aerodynamics, the associated reduction of downforce and a uniform chassis.
The standard tires of exclusive DTM tire partner Hankook remained unchanged compared to 2018 and 2019. Good tire management had already become more important in the 2019 season due to the more powerful and torquey turbo engines and the resulting higher load.
The DTM has been setting standards in safety for many years: In the Audi RS 5 DTM, the drivers sit in a carbon-fiber monocoque, which is identical in all Class 1 racing cars and is combined with a solid steel cage. CFRP crash elements on the flanks as well as at the rear and front absorb energy in the event of an accident. The body of the Audi RS 5 DTM is made of carbon fiber.
A new system is the HYLO device. The abbreviation stands for “High Yaw Lift-Off”. If a DTM car is positioned crossways at an angle of 135 degrees or more, there is a risk that the wheels will lose contact with the ground at speeds of 180 km/h and above. The aerodynamic lift that counteracts the downforce generated by the racing car is then too massive – the car takes off. New rear wing supports now generate a higher dynamic pressure when the air flows sideways against the car. This reduces the dangerous lift. The ground contact of the wheels is improved, they can transmit more braking force, and therefore the car can brake better even when riding into a gravel trap, for example.
As before, the Audi RS 5 DTM is driven via the rear wheels. The semi-automatic six-speed transmission is operated by paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Driving aids such as ABS or traction control are traditionally prohibited in the DTM. The turbocharger of the front-mounted high-efficiency four-cylinder engine with Audi’s proven TFSI technology operates with an absolute boost pressure of maximum 3.5 bar.