DTM set to switch to turbo engines by 2016

The DTM is set to ditch V8 engines in favour of two-litre turbos within three seasons as part its drive to become a global formula

The series has set a target of 2016 to go down the same route as Super GT in Japan, which next year will adopt small-capacity, direct-injection four-cylinder turbos for its GT500 class.

The revelation of the plans comes in the wake of rules accord signed with the Super GT organiser last October, under which the Japanese series is embracing the philosophy of the DTM regulations, and the firming up in March of plans for DTM America with a start date set for either 2015 or '16.

Hans-Werner Aufrecht, chairman of the DTM-organising ITR, told AUTOSPORT: "We want two-litre turbos in Europe and America, no question. We want the same regulations everywhere.

"The important point that all the manufacturers have accepted is cost reduction. This will allow them to run around the world with the same car and engine."

Aufrecht explained that the move away from V8s was also designed to mirror the downsizing of engines in the manufacturers' ranges of road cars.

The revelation will mean an end for the current breed of 90-degree, four-litre V8s, which date back to the rebirth of the series in 2000.

Next year's Super GT engine formula calls for the use of an energy-retrieval unit or KERS, and Aufrecht said that this was also under consideration for the DTM.

He explained that the ITR was working with electronics giant Bosch to produce a spec system that would be run by each of the manufacturers competing in the DTM.

"We are thinking about KERS," said Aufrecht. "But it would have to be one system for everyone."

MANUFACTURERS KEEN ON TURBOS

The move towards the introduction of turbo engines has the support of the DTM manufacturers.

BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt said: "A four-cylinder direction-injection engine is the right path to follow. We only need to define what is the best timescale to develop a new engine."

Marquardt suggested that 2015 would be possible for the introduction of the new formula.

"We have agreed that we would use a V8 for 2012, '13 and '14 as a minimum," he continued.

"We had to develop a new engine [for BMW's DTM re-entry] for 2012 and it is not cost-efficient to use it for just one or two years, but it would be wrong if the new engines were too far away."

Audi development boss Wolfgang Durheimer, whose remit includes motorsport, has stated his enthusiasm for a formula that is based on the Global Race Engine concept.

"I am a fan of the GRE," he said. "If we can achieve a format where you can transform you basic race engine for serial applications it would save a lot of money for the manufacturers."

The target date for the introduction of the new engine formula could have implications for DTM America. Aufrecht conceded that the later start date of 2016, which would coincide with the changes in Europe, was now more likely.

He said that a decision would be made on when DTM America will start by the end of this year.

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