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The Audi V8 quattro DTM
The luxury sedan as a successful race car.
The large, luxurious V8, with which Audi entered the DTM in 1990, did not appear to be the ideal starting point for a race car. Even in racing trim it weighed nearly 1.3 metric tons (2,866.01 lb), 300 kilograms (661.39 lb) more than the competition. Nevertheless, it became a winner in the hands of Audi Sport. The naturally aspirated 3.6 liter V8 with an aluminum crankcase put out roughly 305 kW (about 415 hp) at the start of its racing career. This figure ultimately increased to roughly 345 kW (about 480 hp) and a good 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft) of torque that was available over a broad range. The mechanics had to dial the power back a bit on fast tracks to conserve fuel. In addition to identical fuel tanks, the rules also called for identical tires that were only 265 millimeters (10.43 in) wide, actually much too narrow for the good 4.90 meter (16.08 ft) sedan. quattro technology once again proved to be the deciding factor when both braking and accelerating. The overall package was strong enough that Audi was able to win two titles in a row, both years clinching the championship in the last race of the season at the Hockenheimring. Hans-Joachim Stuck won the title in 1990. He was succeeded in 1991 by the young Frank Biela in a heart-pounding finale, in which the rain slowed the rear-wheel drive competition.

A dispute erupted during the 1992 season over the new crankshaft of the V8 with its crankpin offset of 180 degrees. Audi withdrew from the series prior to its home race at the Norisring in Nuremberg. The DTM bottom line was excellent: The brand won half of the 36 races held in 1990 and 1991.

Source: DVD quattro® Highlights 2010 | Status: 03/2010

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