The so-called DTM Electric Design model – an empty shell of the new prototype for the planned electric racing series – delighted visitors with its spectacular appearance at the presentation at the Norisring final last year. But what can the prototype, which is currently being worked on intensively and which will cover its first meters in 2023?
“What do people like to hear best?” Asks DTM technical director Michael Resl in an interview with ‘Motorsport-Total.com’. “That we will achieve a driving force of one megawatt in qualifying condition.” For classification: It is 1,000 kilowatts – or 1,360 hp.
The car is said to accelerate from 0 to 200 km / h in less than five seconds, which is comparable to Formula 1, which does so in 4.6 seconds. And it must reach a top speed of over 300 km / h.
Why not exhaust the 340 km / h completely
“340 kilometers per hour will theoretically be possible, but we regulate it to 320 kilometers per hour,” explains Resl. “Why? Because the eye can no longer see the difference, but it allows us to run two to three laps longer.”
They want to do without a special sound design: “I think the sound of powerful electric cars is incredibly exciting,” explains Resl, who mentions the experience with the demonstration vehicle as an argument where you also drove without artificial noise. “It was phenomenal. And the prototype is driving another 100 km / h faster.”
In fact, the four electric motors per car make more noise from their own noise than in Formula E. “And if we have 20 vehicles, you can hear the tires, the wings, which are wind and brake noise. How to get a sound image it must not amplify, “Resl is convinced.
Driver in focus: “Will allow operation”
The crucial thing, however, is that the series is not a technology show, but that DTM boss Gerhard Berger often cites “riding on the cannonball” as the main focus: “I believe that the pure drive performance of the vehicles will challenge the vehicles. Drivers accordingly “, Resl is convinced in this regard.
According to the technical director of DTM, the prototype has a “wheel-specific traction”, which means “that we can control all four wheels individually and thus achieve maximum performance and traction”. That way, you can make sure that every single wheel is at the grip limit in a curve.
But that should not cause the driver to step on the gas – and the rest is automatically regulated by the technology. “We want to allow operation – or lateral acceleration,” explains Resl. “And if the driver steps on the gas too much, he flies out of the basket.” They also want to keep energy savings and “Lift & Coast” away because the cars are adapted so that they offer sufficient energy so that the driver can drive at the border at any time.
The robot no longer stops a problem, 25 minutes range
Which range is realistic? “We do not want to be very specific at the moment, because things like the race format are not yet approved,” says Resl. According to information from ‘Motorsport-Total.com’, driving times of up to 25 minutes at a time are possible, which makes it possible to complete two consecutive sprint races without stopping.
However, they moved away from the robot pit stops, as envisaged in the first vision in 2019: “It became clear to us relatively quickly that one cannot install robots in the pit lane because they had to weigh a ton, if they were a. lift a battery that weighs 300 kg, “explains Resl.
ITR has meanwhile decided against the battery replacement concept and in favor of a fast charging system. This will allow you to either fully charge the battery between two non-stop sprints or schedule a stop in a longer run that lasts around one lap and provides energy for a handful of multiple laps.
Weight reduced almost to GT3 level
The markedly reduced total weight also helps the range: While the demonstration vehicle, which is based on the Schaeffler 4ePerformance, still weighed around two tons, the prototype aims for 1,600 kilos – including the driver. It almost places you in the GT3 series.
The Class 1 cars, which were in use until 2020, actually served as the basis for the prototype concept. Apart from a few visual recognizable features at the series’ counterpart, the DTM electric car is also largely based on standard parts. In the first generation, the electric motors and the battery must also be uniform.
Electric motor and battery: what must manufacturers do?
In the longer term, however, the plan is to give producers in these two second-generation areas – as needed – the freedom to stand out in terms of performance, but without losing sight of the costs. This is to prevent a scenario like Formula E where huge sums are spent on achieving minimal efficiency improvements.
How are potentially interested producers involved? “Basically, there are constant discussions with all the leading OEMs – not just from Germany,” says Resl. “Because everyone who projects towards an electrical performance looks at it and comes up with ideas. We try to take into account all the inputs.”