Audi has developed a new engine for its DTM race cars that churns out in excess of 610 hp despite only being a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four.
The German car manufacturer created the engine to comply with regulation changes in DTM, which ditched the old V8s in favor of more fuel-efficient four-cylinders. That doesn’t mean the new cars will be slow, as the new units are more powerful than the ones they replace.
Audi has been working on its new four-cylinder for two and a half years, ensuring that it can withstand the rigors of DTM racing. Unlike many other racing series, DTM teams must use the same engine for the entire season, including all practice and qualifying sessions. Consequently, Audi spent an extraordinary amount of money and time to make the four-cylinder reliable, including roughly 1,000 hours of dyno testing.
As part of regulation changes in the series, cars aren’t permitted to consume more than 95 kg of fuel an hour or 100 kg an hour when the ‘push-to-pass’ function is enabled. Despite the clampdown on fuel economy, the engines are permitted to make 100 hp more than last year’s V8s. Audi’s new engine revs all the way to 9,500 rpm and weighs a mere 85 kg (187 lbs).
All up, a 2019 Audi RS 5 DTM racer will tip the scales at a little under 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs), meaning the car has a power-to-weight ratio of approximately 1 horsepower per 0.7 kg (1.6 lbs).
The new four-cylinder engines may not have the same evocative sound as the V8s, but this year’s cars are bound to be fast; up to 3 seconds a lap faster than last year, in fact.
The 2019 DTM season kicks off on May 4 at the Hockenheimring.