DTM promoter ITR presented the vision of a purely electric racing series for the supporting programme of the touring car series one year ago. Now they plan DTM Electric to kick-off in 2023.
During the last DTM race weekend in 2020, Schaeffler, as DTM’s series and innovation partner, presented an 880 kW demo vehicle at the Hockenheimring together with the umbrella organization ITR. The demo followed an announcement last year of the DTM Electric.
“Together with Schaeffler, our first strategic partner with which we will be cooperating, we want to lead the DTM platform into a successful future,” said Gerhard Berger, head of promoter ITR.
DTM champions have driven prototype development, namely Timo Scheider and Hans-Joachim Stuck, as well as Formula E racer Daniel Abt and F3 racer Sophia Flörsch. The development will continue during 2021 in preparation for a planned series start in 2023.
Berger added that DTM Electric aims “not only to showcase the latest technology” but also “to convince the classic motorsport fans about future technologies and fascinate them with attractive racing.”
The plan for the series is to have sprint races of 30 minutes with the possibility of automated battery changes during mandatory pit stops.
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Whether the concept will also convince manufacturers to take part is another matter. DTM Electric will use standard technology in all vehicles with the option to mount varying bodies. The series claims this will keep the cost low. At the same time, participants won’t have the opportunity to test innovative technology, a feature that Formula E had introduced gradually. As a result, many established manufacturers had made the switch to electric racing, a factor DTM Electric has criticised. “I’ve always said that Formula E is justified as a marketing platform and that I can understand why many companies are getting involved,” says Berger. “My criticism was directed at the sport itself because I think cars are too slow and the driving style too strongly characterised by strategy and energy management.” Berger expects “spectacular wheel-to-wheel racing” from its own concept, as these are “powerful driving machines”.
These machines will come from Schaeffler, the sole technology partner of DTM Electric so far. Their proposition now demonstrated at Hockenheimring in Germany includes a car that generates almost 1,200 hp with 800 kW. That is virtually twice as much power as the current DTM cars (over 450 kW), informs the supplier. In comparison, the power of the Formula E racing cars in the race is limited to 200 kW in qualifying and 250 kW with the ‘fan boost’ during racing.
Schaeffler claims the new car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.4 seconds, making it roughly 0.4 seconds faster than the current Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM. It also features Space Drive steer-by-wire technology as well as an integrated vehicle dynamics control to control the four motors. For Schaeffler, the vehicle is a development platform for the electric DTM with outings planned at DTM events in 2021. “It is then possible that the DTM will be a fully-electric race series from 2023,” says Schaeffler.
The company is also active in the Formula E and in 2018 transferred racing technology into a close-to-series electric car. Their 4ePerformance concept based on the Audi RS3 chassis includes 4 drives with 220 kWh each that previously powered Abt’s FE winning racer.