Move over A4, there’s a new kid in town.
Since 2004 Audi has been battling in DTM with the A4, winning a total of four titles. But, the successful run of the A4 will end with the 2012 season, as Audi will introduce the new A5 R17 DTM racecar.
Named the “R17,” the new Audi R17 DTM racecar will utilize much of the current drivetrain technology in the current A4 racer and be based on the recently-facelifted A5 Coupe. The same 4.0-liter (4,000 cc) V-8 will be carried over with 460 hp and over 369 lb-ft. (500 Nm) of torque being sent through a six-speed sequential gearbox to both of the rear wheels.
Although large parts of the drivetrain will be carried over, the R17 DTM will utilize new safety features to meet new standards for the 2012 series. The Audi A5 DTM will be produced with a full carbon fiber monocoque and steel tube cage. With the new regulations, the A-, B-, and C-pillars will see new reinforcements to protect the driver. Both sidewalls of the A5 DTM are made of carbon, Zylon, and Rohacell hybrid construction with reinforced pegs to withstand a static load four times greater than before. Both the front and rear crash absorbers have been updated to meet requirements as well. The FIA will begin testing the entire car instead of the individual crash elements to help improve safety standards. Audi has also transferred the safety technology gained in other racing series over to the A5 R17 DTM. The fuel tank will now be integrated into the carbon fiber monocoque to reduce the chances of a fire in the event of a side impact, just like the R18 TDI racers.
“Our engineers have been involved in bringing up safety in the DTM, which had already been high before, to the highest possible level,” explains Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport. “At Le Mans this year we learned again that our concept of designing safety structures is a very good and appropriate one. This is exactly what we’ve been trying to feed into the DTM’s safety concept together with our colleagues from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. This new principle is an outstanding example of what is possible when employees of three premium manufacturers try to achieve a common aim: to get the best possible, lowest-cost and safest vehicle – and a fantastic car in general – off the ground.”
The first Audi R17 DTM prototype racecar is currently being assembled and built at Audi Sport in Ingolstadt, Germany. The new Audi A5 DTM racecar will be unveiled at the 2011 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany. The Motor Show will take place from September 15th to the 25th.
Audi A5 R17 DTM Specifications
Displacement: 4.0 liters (4,000 cc)
Number of Cylinders: V-8
Aspiration: Naturally aspirated
Maximum Horsepower: Approx. 460
Maximum Torque: Over 369 lb-ft. (500 Nm)
Type: Six-speed sequential
Audi A5 R17 DTM Video
Audi A5 R17 DTM Gallery
[Source: Audi Motorsport]
Do you think Audi will be able to continue its DTM success with the A5 DTM? Leave a comment and let us know!