Beginning this year, DTM Class 1 race cars are under stringent engine requirements. Regulations now require more modern, more efficient turbocharged engines, with each car limited to approximately 25 gallons (95 kilograms) of fuel per hour. But new requirements don't phase Audi engineers, apparently; the team's new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine produces a whopping 610 horsepower (454 kilowatts).
Development of the new 2.0-liter race engine took two and a half years and more than 1,000 hours of dynamometer testing to complete. It's designed to last a full season, so around 3,720 miles (6,000 kilometers), and comes with a "push-to-pass" feature that offers a temporary 30-hp (22-kW) boost allowing drivers to easily overtake.
Audi's new engine will make its race debut on May 4th, 2019, at the Hockenheimring underhood of the Audi RS 5 DTM race car. Last year, the same RS 5 DTM used a naturally aspirated engine twice the size – a 4.0-liter V8 – yet produced just 500 hp (372 kW).
"Our drivers were totally thrilled right in the first test," Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass says. "However, the move from the naturally aspirated V8 to the turbo engine is not only important due to the additional output of some 100 horsepower. In the DTM, we're now driving with a high-efficiency engine of the type we're also using in many production vehicles of the Group."
Gallery: 2019 Audi RS 5 DTM Engine
A key advantage of the new four-cylinder is its lightness. The new unit tips the scales at 187 pounds (85 kilograms) – half the weight of the outgoing V8. As a result, the Audi RS 5 DTM now weighs just over 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms), making the power to weight ratio about 3.5 pounds per horsepower (1.6 kilograms per horsepower) – that's Bugatti Veyron SS territory.
We're sure all you readers have one question in mind: will this engine make its way to a road car? Unlikely. Audi offered a limited A5 DTM Edition in 2016, and it didn't have the same 4.0-liter V8 as the race version. The most-powerful engine offered on that road-going special edition was a 3.0-liter six-cylinder with 270 hp (201 kW).
The beginning of a new era in the DTM: Starting in the 2019 season, the Class 1 race cars of the popular touring car racing series will use modern and highly efficient turbo engines. The two-liter four-cylinder power-plant of the Audi RS 5 DTM delivers more than 610 horsepower. By means of the “push-to-pass” function, the drivers can even access a short-term 30-hp power boost.