Top 5 classic DTM cars
Beside the great drivers and interesting tracks, the classic DTM (1984-1996) series main attraction were the cars. Starting as a FIA Group A spec championship, early DTM was full of interesting machinery with entrance by almost every mayor manufacturer from Europe,America and Japan.
Racing cars similar to the road vehicles
However, most of those participants were small and private owned teams but soon as championship become popular, the big German brands (Opel, Audi,BMW and Mercedes) entered officially and with homologation specials. The popularity of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters was rooted in fact that the cars were very similar to the road going models, with the same engines and bodywork so the DTM fans could easily identify their cars with the race ones.
Of course, the success on the track meant the success in sales, so manufacturers invest a lot into the race cars, teams and promotion. Among all the cars which participated in DTM during those glorious years (1984-1996) it is hard to pick only 5 as the best of them all. But, looking at their results, impact of racing world, beauty and speed, we have chosen 5 of the legendary race cars in classic DTM racing and here they are:
5. BMW 635 CSi (E24)
The first BMW’s 6-series was beautiful GT coupe with straight six engines, elegant design and superb road-holding. All of that classified the E24 as perfect basis for a race car and 635 CSi was involved in many touring car series over its long life on the market (1976-1989). However, during the inaugural DTM season (1984), the big Bavarian coupe took the championship title and secured its place in motorsport history.
4. Ford Sierra RS 500
The fire spitting turbo monster with Cosworth engine and rear wheel drive took the motorsport world by storm in late eighties with its brutal performance and speed. Originally conceived as a rally car, the “Cossie“ proved to be much more successful at the road course rather then on the mud and gravel of a rally special stage. In 1988, it won the DTM championship title with Klaus Ludwig at the wheel and after that the turbocharged engines were banned from DTM…
3. Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI
The only Italian make to ever won the DTM was Alfa Romeo and in the 1993 season they dominated the championship with 11 wins in 22 races. The 155 V6 TI was fantastic race car, very advanced with high revving engine, lots of power and great handling due to all wheel drive system. However, that Alfa and its dominance marked the end of DTM as series, since the rules were changed to FIA Class 1 and allowed much more modification to the cars, killing its affordability and connection to road going models.
2. Mercedes C Class
In 1993, Mercedes introduced the C Class and immediately stared racing in DTM. The new race car was loosely based on road going model but with much modification in terms of engine (close to 400 bhp), gearbox, suspension and materials. A lot of money and technical knowledge was invested in new car and very soon that started to pay off. The C Classe was DTM champion in 1994 and 1995 and 1995 champion in ITC (International Touring Car Championship).
1. BMW M3 (E30)
The BMW M3 E30 is probably the most legendary of all DTM race cars. Introduced in 1987, the M3 was soon one of the most successful cars on touring car scene and dominating force in DTM. The M3 E30 was 1987 and 1989 champion but it was one of the best cars until 1992 and rule change. The secret of M3 was simple, great engineering and build quality, affordability and up to 340 bhp from its engine. With numerous race wins and interesting race liveries, the BMW M3 E30 soon become one of the symbols of classic DTM races and legendary nemesis to legendary Mercedes 190.