Is this the future for the DTM?

Louise Smyth

DTM promoter ITR has unveiled its conceptual vision of how touring car racing could evolve, using electric vehicles powered by battery or hydrogen fuel cell technology.

For 35 years, the DTM has thrilled fans across the world. Today’s cars are far from production-spec, constructed from carbon-fibre, equipped with state-of-the-art aerodynamics and fitted with powerful 600bhp turbo-charged engines.

Now, ITR has turned its focus towards creating a visionary new electric-drive series, which could run alongside DTM, providing manufacturers with an unprecedented opportunity to design and develop its own high-performance electric vehicles of the future.

How will the new DTM series be powered?

ITR’s project pushes boundaries: the concept envisages the supply of energy from two different sources – regular battery, already used in many electric/hybrid vehicles, or fuel cell technology.

Pit-stops would also be revolutionary: large industrial robots would not only replace all four wheels, they would also remove and replace the battery pack or hydrogen tank located in the car’s underbody. Over the course of a 40 minute race, each car would require a mandatory stop for fresh power.

With a high-performance electric powertrain, these futuristic race cars would be capable of power outputs exceeding 1000bhp for brief periods of time, and of achieving top speeds in excess of 300kph (185mph).

The series could co-exist alongside DTM. “This is a courageous and innovative concept”, said ITR Chairman Gerhard Berger. “You have to look far ahead if you want to shape the future of motor sports and offer racing with alternative drive systems that inspires the fans. It is obvious that manufacturers who want to become involved in motorsport are increasingly focusing on alternative drive concepts.”

In 2019, the DTM introduced efficient, high-performance four-cylinder turbo engines capable of 600bhp. The series has also begun trialling a more environmentally friendly synthetic fuel, and is looking at opportunities to introduce sustainable drive technologies – including the introduction of hybrid technology in 2022 – to the category.

 

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