Now that BMW is back in the race, though, it's an entirely different game. BMW has won the lion's share of the races in the past two seasons, taking both titles in 2012 and the constructors' title last season. The winning driver last season, though, was driving the RS5, making Audi the only one that really stands a chance of putting up a fight against BMW. It undoubtedly hopes to extend that challenge in the coming season, and this is the car with which it aims to do so.
Taking on the Mercedes-AMG C-Class Coupe DTM and the new BMW M4 DTM will be the revised RS5 DTM you see here. Bearing a stronger resemblance to the road-going RS5 you can buy, Audi's new DTM challenger benefits from a revised aero package with more streamlined side mirrors, closed rear wheel arches and reprofiled side sills. The V8 engine carries over (much as it did from the previous A4 DTM and A5 DTM) with 456 horsepower driving the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox.
It's been a work in progress since last May, and will make its race debut at Hockenheim on May 4 when returning champions Mike Rockenfeller, Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekstrom will use it in their campaign to add another title to their names.
- 2014 generation of the Championship winning car clearly more aggressive
- New season is under the motto of 'title defence'
- Audi CTO Hackenberg: "Motorsport accelerates development"
Ingolstadt, March 4, 2014 – 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 manoeuvre, 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 fibre 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.