It is barely a year old and already a great: On Wednesday, the Audi A4 DTM was the star of the AUDI AG work's meeting alongside its six drivers. And all this for good reason, as the most spectacular version of the successful A4 model made a dream start in Europe's most popular touring car series: The powerful A4 DTM, with almost 460 hp, won all the titles during its debut year in the DTM. "One could hardly do it," says Audi Motorsport Head Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich proudly, "better".
The Audi Sport team, with almost 150 employees, has once again created a masterpiece in the form of the Audi A4 DTM. And this is not a coincidence: Whether Audi quattro, Audi R8 or now the Audi A4 DTM: For more than two decades and in close cooperation with AUDI AG Technical Development, Audi Sport has produced winners for motorsport, from which Audi customers benefit. quattro drive and FSI technology are only two examples of successful technology transfers between the victorious motorsport involvement and volume car production.
Even for laymen, the family resemblance of the Audi A4 DTM and the production model is visible at first glance. Nevertheless, the 1080 kilogram DTM car, which includes the weight of the driver, is a thoroughbred race car into which every drop of know-how acquired by the AUDI AG engineers over the years flowed.
In this case, it is not so easy to demonstrate "Vorsprung durch Technik" in the DTM. Equipment and performance parity and cost-consciousness is priority number one in the top class of touring cars. The budgets required are therefore calculable, the latitude for the engineers small. But this is exactly what makes it interesting again: Even the tiniest of details plays a decisive role in the DTM.
As a result, the Audi Sport technicians presented numerous innovative detail solutions on the Audi A4 DTM, which were, in part, even copied by the competition during the season and will also be adopted by them next year. Such details are the 'quick-to-remove' rear bodywork section and the cleverly executed front brake disc cooling ducts of the A4 DTM bodywork that was designed with maximum downforce in mind. Also the unconventional air-jack system, which functions superbly with just a single element at the front, proved itself during the 2004 season.
With six pole positions in ten races, five victories and the capture of all three DTM titles, the Audi A4 DTM has set new standards in its first season. For the Audi Sport team it is now already a question of: Take advantage. In Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm they are already brooding over how to keep a step ahead of the motorsport opposition in 2005.