Audi has revealed the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM as the first of the total of
eight liveries with which the brand is competing in the DTM in 2014.
The new # 1 Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM is the car in which Champion Mike Rockenfeller is aiming to defend his 2013 title.
"If the car is as fast as it looks, we've got good chances of being in contention," Rockenfeller commented about his new Audi RS 5 DTM.
The new generation of the race car that made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show last week features newly developed aerodynamics and numerous detailed improvements underneath the carbon fiber skin. While the basic colors of 'Rocky's' car have been retained, the body contours of the near-460 hp (340 kW) touring car are now even more dynamic than before.
"I was thrilled as soon as I saw the initial designs but the car itself looks even more impressive," says Mike Rockenfeller, who presented his RS 5 DTM to guests on the night before Audi's annual press conference. "I'm incredibly excited about my first DTM season with '#1' emblazoned on the car and can hardly wait for the next track tests to start."
2014 Audi RS 5 DTM Features More Aggressive Styling
The redesigned and improved RS 5 DTM race car looks more aggressive and features visual details bearing an even closer resemblance to the sporty production models of the RS line than its predecessor.
"In addition to the suspension, our main priority was to improve the aero," says Stefan Aicher, Head of Vehicle Design at Audi Sport.
The RS 5 now has the honeycomb grill from the production car at the front and new air ducts feeding the engine and brakes. As a result, the race car now shares an almost identical look to the sporting RS production models.
The innovations along the flanks are also obvious: in order to make the airflow even more efficient along the outer skin, the exterior mirrors were integrated into the aerodynamic concept. The aerodynamics along the side between the front and rear wheels also reveals a new concept. The inner rear wheel arches are, in contrast to last year, closed and the rear part is now flat. Aicher: "The DTM rules are strict, which is why minute detail work is required within the tight limitations."
Invisible from the outside, but crucial for the perfect set-up at each respective race track: the work invested under the carbon fiber skin enveloping the RS 5 DTM. "For example, we made suspension modifications to the front and rear axles, from which we expect improvements," says Aicher, without wishing to go into too much detail about these and other new and further developments invisible from the outside.
"In production development, we tackle the challenge of making good cars even better day by day," says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development of AUDI AG. "This applies to Audi Sport as a part of Audi's Technical Development as well. The most recent results achieved by hard work are an all-new R18 e-tron quattro that we're aiming to stand our ground with at Le Mans and in the WEC against Porsche and Toyota, plus a largely new RS 5 DTM with which we're aiming to keep our number-one spot in the tough competition with BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Of course, neither of these commitments is an end in itself: Motorsport at Audi accelerates the development of new technologies."
Audi contests two races against time year after year: one on the race tracks and the other in the Audi Sport offices in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. Because when the DTM celebrates its season opener at Hockenheim in the spring, the engineers start working on the race car for the following year. The 'RC3,' as the 2014 version of the Audi RS 5 DTM is known internally, was thus born in May last year. "We begin with the first fundamental thoughts from every department before the aerodynamics are developed in a continuous process," says Stefan Aicher, Head of Vehicle Design at Audi Sport. "The goal is to have the base for the new car finished before the year is out. The detail work follows."
There are still two official tests in Budapest and at the Hockenheimring on the agenda before Mike Rockenfeller, with start number '1', and his team-mates start the new season at Hockenheim on May, 4.