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DTM Showcase Dramatic 1000hp Electric Concept Series

Change is on the horizon according to the powers that be behind the DTM series. Check out this dramatic new 1000hp electric concept that ITR believe could be the future of the tin top series.

Gerhard Berger has never been one to shy away from the more dramatic side of life - anyone who witnessed his career with McLaren and Ferrari in the mid-1990's will attest to that, and now as the head of the German DTM Series, the lovable Austrian has overseen what can only be described as a rather dramatic visualisation of the future of touring car racing.

ITR Chairman Gerhard Berger explains:

“What’s important about this proposal is that, even though it would use standardised powertrain components, it would allow manufacturers to race with their own models – something yet to be embraced by an electric series. That’s obviously critical for manufacturer involvement, and allows them to maximise their marketing around it.”

Moving towards dedicated electric racing series isn't something new, afterall the open wheel Formula E championship is already about to embark on season six later this year, but with how Berger and co. envisage touring car racing, the series is looking to take the concept to another level entirely.

Keeping with the electric powertrain theme, the proposed concept series would feature an incredible 1000hp power output, up some 400hp over the current Class One regulation DTM cars of today. As with current battery technology, to deliver that sort of power over a race distance, pitstops would need to be completed to either recharge or replace the cars batteries mid race - something that ITR would like to make a feature of the series, rather than the more awkward car swaps of previous Formula E series.

Swapping the power unit out mid race, ITR like the idea of having robotics involved in pit stop routines, taking away the human aspect of bringing a car into the pitlane for the usual service of fuel and tyres. Using automated pit-stop tech, an industrial robot rig would surround the car, quickly replacing all four wheels and safely swapping over the battery pack or hydrogen tank located in the car’s underbody. The future is here people!

DTM Electric Series Proposal 2.png

Although electric racing is already becoming more mainstream, the DTM are also considering utilising Hydrogen power for the future (my personal favourite future tech option btw), as explained during the concept announcement today:

While current electric racing series have focused on using batteries, many believe that hydrogen fuel cell technology will be the next quantum step in automotive technology.
A DTM-like race car using hydrogen fuel cells would house the hydrogen tanks within its carbon-fibre monocoque, ensuring they are located and stored safely. Mid-race pit-stops would see cars switching fuel cells – via an innovative automated robotic process – providing fresh power for the full race.

Another interesting aspect of the new series proposal is the inclusion of standardised parts, aimed to keep costs in check and attract new manufacturers to the series. Focusing on technology that has high costs but low value to the spectating public, the move towards spec aspects of racing cars is something many race series should look at closely in the coming years, helping to dramatically reduce the design and build costs of a race car, with distracting from the spectacle and raceability of the cars on track.

All very interesting stuff from Berger, DTM and the ITR - but will it become a reality in the near future? That aspect is yet to be seen, but we can certainly give credit for the series looking at more exciting and dramatic ways to usher in a new era of motorsport that appears to be right on our doorstep.

Before signing off this article, I'll leave the last word to the man himself, Gerhard Berger:

“Driving racing cars on the limit has never been easy, but watch onboard footage from the ’80s, and it’s immediately clear that the drivers were barely in control themselves – that’s the sort of racing I love.
“With this concept, I want us to embrace that sensation of raw power; of racing at the limits of grip. Not just with 1000bhp under the driver’s right foot; but with a car equipped with the technology of tomorrow, and using models that demonstrate a clear lineage to the major automotive parent brands. This new breed of touring car will be incredible to watch, and fantastic to drive.”

You can read the full ITR announcement HERE.

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Motorsport is Awesome!
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

Cristian Haba

I think this is cool, but more importantly it's more not my kind of thing.

This whole concept belongs really well to consumer automobiles. It would be really cool if you could do that with your <insert car make here ex. TESLA> when you "dock" your car home and have a depleted battery, insert fully charged one and be on your way.

Mtorosport is, imo, a niche sport. The ones of us that are diehards have been through it all. 20% of us make up 80% of the revenue, I've bought tickets, merchandise, toys, clothing etc. I've been watching since 1990s and then on and off ever since DRS came into the picture. GT racing has been my new go to, the sounds and atmosphere are still there for me, where as F1 has lost all of its charm.

The future being electricity I'm 100% behind, eventually we will get to a point where its actually profitable and net positive on the environment and economy. As long as I embrace it, please leave the enthusiast stuff alone.

Although cool, I dont watch DTM and can't comment on the racing just the concept so take this with the proverbial grain of salt.

Bram Hengeveld

Electronic Touring Masters. Doesn't that spell ETM?

I have laughed hard when Formula E was announced and said that would never work. Well, I was wrong as it does seem attract a decent fanbase that actually enjoys watching (not saying listening) to electronic engines.

Will not make the same mistake again :) It will probably not be my cup of tea but the next generation will probably love it.
DTM goes from F1 with roofs to Formula E with roofs.Personally I dont get the theory of manufacturers being involved in a series that is electric or hybrid with standardized parts.It has no relevance because they cannot do development.Open it all up & it would be interesting but one make would win & it would cost to much.

DTM was at its best when we had the Group A M3s,190Es,Audis,Opels & Sierra Cosworths.Big grids,great drivers & not just works teams.The cars had narrow tyres & not much downforce.Today the current cars go round on rails & the racing is dreadful compared to Aus V8s,GT3,TCR or BTCC.They mimic F1 tech like DRS which was only developed because of lack of overtaking in F1.

Take the downforce off & make the DTM series more like Aus Supercars & less like Super GT in Japan.


So in the video they have 12 sets of batteries ready for the race... 12 pit stops? 1500kg (1.5hp/kg and 1000hp) also seems pretty optimistic unless they are really planning to to have huge number of pitstops or really short races. And all wheel drive. I don't actually mind electric race cars. Electric motors do have some advantages over combustion engines and if you standardize the powertrain there is no reason to have any kind of driving aids there either but the battery tech is not quite there.

Ross Garland

I think Formula E works because it is it's own brand of racing. But replacing a current combustion engine series with electric instead? I'm less convinced that that would work without losing most of it's current fan base.

Also, robotic pit stops? Please explain to me what the point is in that, because I don't get it. Firstly, robotics have nothing to do with consumer cars. Second, part of the "fun" of pit stops IS the human element... the skill, the mistakes, the fact a second or two can make or break a race. If a bunch or robots all perform perfect pit stops in exactly 5.2 seconds (for example) then what does it add to the racing other than absolutely nothing whatsoever? Sounds dumb to me.


Also, robotic pit stops? Please explain to me what the point is in that, because I don't get it. Firstly, robotics have nothing to do with consumer cars. Second, part of the "fun" of pit stops IS the human element... the skill, the mistakes, the fact a second or two can make or break a race. If a bunch or robots all perform perfect pit stops in exactly 5.2 seconds (for example) then what does it add to the racing other than absolutely nothing whatsoever? Sounds dumb to me.
The batteries weights more than the whole car and you need a robot to replace them in few seconds. :rolleyes:

Patrik Marek

that pit stop looks bit crazy and over that top, but who knows

One of my main thing I mis in e-racing is the sound though, they should make the cars emit sound, not necessarily fake engine noise, buts omething, so that it doesn't sound like RC car

elloLeo Kinnunen

Pin Head Racing
I can't think of a more dull motorsport category than formula E (fan boost, dive bomb happy circuit design, car changes, etc.) but I can actually see myself tuning into this one if it gets off the ground.

Considering ICE are probably destined for obsolescence in the next 20 years or so anyway something pretty major has to change if motorsports are to stay viable. As I see it either ICE remain as the primary power source because they are taken to be the essence of motor sport BUT the scale of motorsports is dramatically reduced as manufacturers turn their attention to electric drive in spite of this OR race fans can embrace the change coming from consumer motoring. If it's the latter I will miss the sound of engines screaming around the tracks but now it seems I can satisfy myself with the sounds of rubber tortured by 1000hp instead.

As for the robo pit stops, bring it on! I don't find 2.0 second pit stops that exciting if it takes 20 people do the work. What really interests me though, if these robots worked their way into lower/lowest categories down the line, any speculation about what sort of impact would it have on the cost of going racing for amateurs? As in, if I wanted to race but couldn't afford to pay 2-3 people for the day to serve as pitcrew, will there ever be a day that I could more cheaply rent some pit-robot time? For that matter, why isn't this a thing for consumer motoring? Seems a lot faster than 30 mins fast charging for 60% range or waiting overnight for 100% charge...
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