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  Audi V8 Quattro DTM
 

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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:1990
Internal name:R6
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:April 25, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFollowing two successful seasons racing in the American Trans-Am and IMSA series, Audi turned their attention to the local DTM championship for 1990. Whereas the North American series were very liberal and allowed for what were effectively silhouette racers, the DTM was tightly regulated. In the Deutschen Tourenwagen Meisterschaft Audi would go head-to-head with direct rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

With turbocharged engines banned from 1990 onwards, Audi could no longer rely on the straight five used so effectively throughout the previous decade. Instead, the German manufacturer opted to base the new DTM racer on the range-topping V8 Quattro model. Compared to the much smaller M3 and 190 used by BMW and Mercedes-Benz respectively, the large V8 limousine was not an obvious choice and Audi's plans were met with considerable skepticism.

Introduced in 1988, the all-aluminium, 3.6-litre V8 did certainly have motorsport potential. With relatively minor tweaks, the Audi engineers raised the output from the stock 250 hp to 420 hp at the start of the year. By the end of the season, it was good for around 460 hp. Bolted to a six-speed gearbox, it was mounted in a stripped down shell of the road car, reinforced by a roll-cage. A key component was Audi's proprietary 'quattro' all-wheel drive system.

For what was the company's circuit racing debut on home soil, Audi handed the first V8 Quattro DTM to Hans-Joachim Stuck. He was joined later in the year by Walter Röhrl and Frank Jelinski. Stuck managed to immediately silence the critics by claiming a podium finish on the car's debut weekend. At the fourth round, run on the high-speed Avus circuit, Stuck won both races. He would go on to win five more races, which was enough to take the driver's championship ahead of BMW's Johnny Cecotto.

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  Article Image gallery (9) Specifications