Although its domination at the 24 Hours of Le Mans already spans over 14 years, Audi has been struggling to win the manufacturers’ title in the German-based DTM racing series for a couple of seasons now.
Audi clinched the drivers’ championship five times the past seven seasons, but since BMW returned to DTM in 2012, Ingolstadt has yet to triumph in the constructor’s category. With the 2014 season opener just a month away, the Germans have unleashed the updated RS5 DTM racer that will take on both BMW and Mercedes-Benz .
Improving an already-successful track car is not an easy task, especially given DTM’s strict regulations, so Audi had to focus on redesigning the vehicle’s aerodynamic package. In other words, it’s all in the little details, especially those that are basically invisible from the outside.
But aside from these performance-enhancing updates, Audi also opted to add some production parts from the road-going 2014 RS5 , such as the honeycomb front grille and air ducts for the engine and the braking system, to its DTM race car .
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 DTM.
Audi RS 5 DTM in Detail
To ensure the airflow is even more efficient in contrast with the 2013 car , Audi integrated the exterior mirrors into the new aerodynamic concept and developed closed inner rear wheel arches. Additionally, the rear part is now flat, while the front bumper has received revised intakes and canards. Needless to say, the 2014 RS5 is Audi’s most aggressive DTM machine yet.
Under the skin, the racing coupe gained a new suspension system for both the front and the rear axles. The modification is expected to improve handling and keep the RS5 glued to the track in those tight turns. Power is provided by the already familiar 4.2-liter, V-8 engine, which has been updated to deliver an additional 10 horsepower for 2014, taking revised the output up to 460 ponies.
Just like last season, Audi will field eight cars over ten events that will take place in Germany, Hungary, Russia, Austria and China. The No.1 RS5 DTM will be driven by defending champion Mike Rockenfeller, but Audi will also benefit from former series winners such as Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekstrom.
Gallery Audi RS 5 DTM
Audi has unveiled the new generation of the DTM Championship winning car at the Geneva Motor Show. The 2014-specification Audi RS 5 DTM with its aerodynamics package having been redesigned in practically all areas looks clearly more aggressive and features visual details bearing an even closer resemblance to the sporty production models of the RS line than its predecessor.
The task that confronted Audi Sport after the 2013 season was a real challenge: how do you make a DTM championship winning car even better? Since the strict regulations in the touring car series allow little room for maneuver, the engineers concentrated extensively on detail work. The latest result was unveiled to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show. Noticeable at first glance: the new Audi RS 5 DTM appears significantly more aggressive. The reason for this is the near complete re-development of the aerodynamics.
“In addition to the suspension, our main priority was to improve the aero,” says Stefan Aicher, Head of Vehicle Design at Audi Sport. The RS 5 now has the honeycomb grill from the production car at the front and new air ducts feeding the engine and brakes. As a result, the race car now shares an almost identical look to the sporting RS production models.
The innovations along the flanks are also obvious: in order to make the airflow even more efficient along the outer skin, the exterior mirrors were integrated into the aerodynamic concept. The aerodynamics along the side between the front and rear wheels also reveals a new concept. The inner rear wheel arches are, in contrast to last year, closed and the rear part is now flat. Aicher: “The DTM rules are strict, which is why minute detail work is required within the tight limitations.”
Invisible from the outside, but crucial for the perfect set-up at each respective race track: the work invested under the carbon fiber skin enveloping the RS 5 DTM. “For example, we made suspension modifications to the front and rear axles, from which we expect improvements,” says Aicher, without wishing to go into too much detail about these and other new and further developments invisible from the outside.
“In production development, we tackle the challenge of making good cars even better day by day,” says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development of AUDI AG. “This applies to Audi Sport as a part of Audi’s Technical Development as well. The most recent results achieved by hard work are an all-new R18 e-tron quattro that we’re aiming to stand our ground with at Le Mans and in the WEC against Porsche and Toyota, plus a largely new RS 5 DTM with which we’re aiming to keep our number-one spot in the tough competition with BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Of course, neither of these commitments is an end in itself: Motorsport at Audi accelerates the development of new technologies.”
Audi contests two races against time year after year: one on the race tracks and the other in the Audi Sport offices in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. Because when the DTM celebrates its season opener at Hockenheim in the spring, the engineers start working on the race car for the following year. The ‘RC3,’ as the 2014 version of the Audi RS 5 DTM is known internally, was thus born in May last year. “We begin with the first fundamental thoughts from every department before the aerodynamics are developed in a continuous process,” says Stefan Aicher, Head of Vehicle Design at Audi Sport. “The goal is to have the base for the new car finished before the year is out. The detail work follows.”
There are still two official tests in Budapest and at the Hockenheimring on the agenda before Mike Rockenfeller, with start number ‘1’, and his team-mates start the new season at Hockenheim on May, 4.