BMW rolled out its new DTM Concept Car at Munich on Friday night and introduced the car’s first two 2012 drivers, Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus, whose racing experience with BMW in WTCC and GT competition makes them very familiar to fans of the marque.
After testing, the actual competition car, based on the current M3, will be called the BMW M3 DTM. For now, BMW is showing a concept car; it notes that the look of the car may change considerably before it turns a wheel in competition in the 2012 season.
The technical specs are closer to final, although few technical details have been released at this point. The engine will be a four-liter V8, generating about 480 horsepower, with the power transmitted to the wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox. The chassis/body is a carbon fiber monocoque with a steel roll cage.
While 2012 DTM rules require that cars use more standard components than has been the case in the series, the cars are still exotic, flat-out competition cars that are far from their production counterparts.
The new car was introduced on a weekend of a 2011 DTM event in Munich. This year, Mercedes and Audi are battling for the series title. Audi released drawings of its A5-based 2012 car over the weekend, but it has not yet shown an actual prototype. Like BMW, Audi will use a coupe body; Mercedes has not yet revealed details of its car.
DTM will be the first new series for BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt, who took the reigns from Dr. Mario Theissen on July 1. The new car has had one track test. Now, track testing will begin in earnest with Priaulx and Farfus doing the driving chores.
BMW has named three teams that will run the cars in 2012. They are: BMW Team Schnitzer, the team that is running BMW’s M3 GT program in Europe this year; BMW Team RBM, the team that brought BMW a European Touring Car Championship in 2004 and World Touring Car Championships in 2005, 2006, and 2007, all with Andy Priaulx as drivers’ champion; and BMW Team RMG, a new team assembled by Stefan Reinhold specifically to contest DTM with BMW. The team, based near the Nürburgring, is made up of people with in-depth experience in World Rally, F1, DTM, and GT competition.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.org