BMW has begun testing modifications to its BMW M4 DTM car in order to comply with the new Class One regulations for 2019, running a new two-litre turbo engine in private testing.
Bruno Spengler got behind the wheel of the car for the tests at the BMW Group Plant at Dingolfing in Germany, as the manufacturer begins its preparations for the new DTM era.
The introduction of joint regulations with the Japanese Super GT series commences in 2019, with the new engines expected to produce around 100 bhp more engine power and increase top speeds substantially in the German tin-top series to up to 180 mph.
The new engines will be much more efficient, with the four-cylinder turbo engines replacing the outgoing V8 units.
A number of modifications had to be made to accommodate the new engine, including alterations to the air inlets and outlets, and the intake and exhaust system.
Further evolutionary phases, based on the new regulations, will be implemented before the new car is homologated.
“BMW Turbo Power has enjoyed success in motor racing for almost 50 years,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “In the first year with a BMW turbo engine, back in 1969, Dieter Quester was immediately crowned European Touring Car champion with the BMW 2002 TI.
“In 1973, the BMW 2002 turbo became the first German production automobile to feature a turbocharger. We are now adding a new chapter to this story in the DTM.
“Our first few kilometres of the Class 1 era went very positively. We are happy with all the functional tests. The new turbo sounds awesome.
“However, its most impressive attribute is its efficiency – despite being considerably more powerful than its predecessor.”
2012 DTM champion Bruno Spengler is looking forward to the new era in the series – the third time the Canadian has experienced a major transition in the series since he joined the grid in 2005.
“After my first kilometres with the new DTM engine, I can hardly wait for next season,” said Spengler. “I can just imagine how much fun it will be to take to the track with so much BMW Turbo Power.
“You can feel the extra horsepower; we will put on even more of a show for the fans in 2019. The amount of time at full-throttle is reduced – but the top speed is higher than before. We will have to work even harder at the wheel.”
The first official ITR test ahead of next season takes place at the Autodromo do Estoril in Portugal between the 11th and 14th November.