DTM 2012 - cars, technology, rules

DTM 2012 - cars, technology, rules
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M it the DTM 2012 begins for the most popular European touring car series a new era. After six years of Audi versus Mercedes, a new challenger is finally entering the arena with BMW. Bayern's chances of driving successfully right from the start are not bad. The cars, the technology and the rules are uncharted territory for all three manufacturers. We say what to expect.

The DTM cars 2012:

The solid middle class sedans of the premium manufacturers no longer serve as the basis for the new DTM generation, but the clear ones sportier coupé offshoot. The new two-door DTM family crouches wide and brawny on the asphalt. Cars are growing significantly in width (plus ten centimeters) and in length (plus 20 centimeters). The height, however, has been reduced by five centimeters.

The three competitors are currently still on test drives. BMW already has three M3 DTM racers in action. At Audi there were two A5s last time, at Mercedes an AMG C-Coupe rolled off test kilometers. The cars are still far from the final version. At BMW, for example, they recently tinkered with different exhaust variants.


The drive train remains unchanged compared to the old DTM. In order to save costs, the four-liter V8 remains, which was slowed down to 460 hp thanks to the air flow limiter. Despite some identical parts, every manufacturer builds its own unit. This is where BMW has the greatest chance of gaining an edge over the competition.

Before the restart in 2012, the new engine formula was negotiated for a long time. Audi would have liked to see a four-cylinder, as this is closer to the series. The huge V8 engines are disappearing more and more from the street scene. For this they are known to be particularly resistant in racing. An engine has to last an entire season. The use of hybrid technology was discussed but postponed until later.


The engineers attached particular importance to safety. All cars of the 2012 generation are equipped with the carbon monocoque, which is supposed to provide better protection, especially in the event of a side impact. The engineers of the three manufacturers got together and designed a 120 kilogram carbon fiber tub, in which both the tank and the 37 kilogram roll cage are integrated.


The new safety cell also has an impact on aerodynamics. Until now, the air has flowed through the car to the diffuser, causing more abrasion in the rear. The significantly wider monocoque stands in the way of the airstream. The air now exits behind the front wheels and through holes in the bonnet.

In order to limit the loss of downforce on the rear axle, the new DTM racers are equipped with huge rear wings. The massive tail unit on the trunk lid is twice as large as on the old DTM generation. With the wings, the cars should no longer react so susceptibly to the swirling air of a person in front. The engineers hope that this will result in more overtaking action on the track.


The most important topic for As you know, the head of sport is the subject of costs. In addition to the monocoque and the rear wing, wheel carriers and drive shafts will also come from the standard parts shelf in 2012. The differences between the individual cars will mainly arise from the engine, the aerodynamics and the suspension setups. 'We have a cost reduction of 40 percent without compromising safety and attractiveness,' said Head of Audi Sport Wolfgang Ullrich even before the start of the new DTM era.

Rule changes:

The drivers and fans in 2012 have to be prepared for some more innovations. From now on it is no longer allowed to refuel during the race. The fuel cells grow from 70 to 120 liters. From now on, the driver no longer changes gears using the shift stick but using rockers on the steering wheel. The tires are also new. The 18-inch Hankook tires grow in width by a full four centimeters.

We present the new cars and the new technology for 2012 in detail in our large picture gallery.


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