BMW M3, Audi A5 DTM Cars Previewed Ahead of Frankfurt Debuts

Both Audi and BMW are developing new production car-based race cars for the Germany’s DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) race series. As before, the cars are based on the manufacturers’ production vehicles.

BMW will campaign a new version of its M3-based touring car in 2012, marking the return of BMW after an absence from DTM racing in 2010 and 2011. Currently still in concept form, the new M3’s 4.0-liter V-8 engine is stifled by a restrictor plate per series rules, but still manages to produce 480 hp. BMW says the racer will rocket to 62 mph in three seconds and can top 186 mph. BMW has apparently been working on the new car since fall 2010.

There will be three BMW teams competing next year, and company is confident it will be successful in the race series. BMW M3s have grabbed 40 wins and 150 podium finishes in DTM racing over the years.

Separately, Audi revealed that it will introduce an A5-based DTM car at Frankfurt. The two-door A5 will replace the A4 sedan as Audi’s entrant in the race series. It will be based on the refreshed 2013 version of the A5. Audi has been successful in DTM racing, winning the title four times since 2004. The new racer, codenamed R17, will employ a V-8 engine producing 460 hp.

However, the new car faced several engineering hurdles to comply with new safety requirements. The racer is built on a tubular chassis with a carbon-fiber monocoque. The fuel tank is integrated into the monocoque, and the vehicle sides are reinforced to better withstand side-impact crashes. Audi has yet to reveal any photos of the car.

Both new race cars will go on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year before competing in the 2012 DTM series.

Sources: BMW, Audi

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