Top Gear South Africa
Racing Legends Image Credit: Top Gear South Africa
Racing Legends Image Credit: Top Gear South Africa

Racing Legends

Audi A4 DTM

Jason Barlow

“You’re always sliding the car, spanking it yet controlling it all the time. As a driver, you’re more aware of the balance than the sheer speed.” It’s 2004, and works Audi driver – and soon to be eight-time Le Mans winner – Tom Kristensen is tightening my race harness in an Audi A4 DTM car.

These mid-Noughties German touring cars really were something to behold. Audi, BMW, Merc and Opel all fielded increasingly lairy-looking cars, – the 2004 A4 was one of the most successful. These cars, unlike their real-world cousins, had carbon body panels clothing a tubular spaceframe chassis, complete with carbon safety cell for the driver and carbon crash structures, front and rear.

There was proper aero, too: Audi startled the rest of the pitlane in ’04 by adding spectacular winglets all over the rear wheel arches, with equally eye-catching vents on the front. The engine was a nat-asp 4.0-litre V8, with dry-sump lubrication, while a pair of mandatory air restrictors pegged the output back to around 345kW. Enough in a car that weighed 1,050kg with the driver on board. Steering was by servo-assisted rack and pinion, and there was double wishbone suspension front and rear, using a pushrod spring and damper unit and adjustable gas-pressurised dampers.

Because these cars were prototypes pretending to be saloons, they ended up with an extraordinary driving position. The driver sat a long way back, whe

Continue Reading with Magzter GOLD Subscription

Log in if you're already a subscriber

Continue Reading This Article For FREE By Downloading The Magzter App

Magzter for iOS Magzter for Android

To continue reading on the website, Click here

Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium story and 5,000+ magazines

Try FREE for 7 days or

Download the Magzter App and
Try FREE for 30 days

More from Top Gear South Africa