Are the fastest cars the best? Not necessarily – so here are our favourites…
It’s funny: you measure the great racing cars by their results. But, too often, you judge them emotionally too. Despite being a rolling frame of metal and carbon-fibre, the best racing cars are alive – they communicate something to us that’s hard to explain.
That’s why our list of the DTM’s 10 greatest cars isn’t simply a recap of wins, poles and fastest laps, it’s a roadmap of how we lived, how we raced, and how we remember.
10. BMW M4 (F82)
With 27 race wins since its debut in 2014, the M4 is BMW’s most successful DTM car of the modern era. Battling against Audi and Mercedes, Marco Wittmann’s two championship wins in 2014 and ’16 stand out as its twin crowning achievements.
9. Audi RS 5 DTM
The most successful DTM car of recent years: in the hands of the prodigal René Rast, it has uniquely earned titles with a normally aspirated (2017) and turbo-charged engine (2019). After ending last year as the car to beat, it will be interesting to see how it fares this year.
8. Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
There are so many iconic DTM cars from the three-pointed star. But, with title wins for Pascal Wehrlein (2015) and Gary Paffett (’18), and a total of 30 race wins from 2012 until 2018, the C63 DTM is one of Mercedes-AMG’s most successful race cars in the category.
7. Abt-Audi TT-R
Audi’s entry into DTM came initially via a privateer effort – the Abt team building a DTM version of its iconic TT for the 2000 season. With its extended wheelbase, the TT became a race winner and then a championship-winning machine for Laurent Aiello in 2002.
6. Audi V8 quattro
Following success in the USA, Audi entered the DTM in 1990 with its massive V8 quattro. Not the most likely of competition cars, but very successful nevertheless, with back-to-back championship wins for Hans-Joachim Stuck in ’90 and Frank Biela a year later.
5. Ford Mustang
Heavy metal from Motown added rich variety to the DTM field in its first era. Campaigned by passionate privateers like the Ruch brothers and Jürgen Feucht, the brawny Ford Mu
4. Opel Calibra V6 4x4
(end of 1993-1996)
With its huge fanbase, Opel significantly boosted the popularity of the DTM in the 1990s, with the sleek Calibra coupé the brand’s most successful DTM racer. Manuel Reuter’s ’96 ITC title win was the highlight, but Hans-Joachim Stuck’s Helsinki wins are well remembered, too.
3. Alfa Romeo 155 V6
A masterpiece – not just of blood-red Italian passion but also Italian technology. The 155 was a state-of-the-art car in every department – and successful in DTM straight out of the box, winning the title in its maiden season in 1993 and remaining a regular race winner until ’96.
2. Ford Sierra Turbo
An emblematic car of the DTM’s first turbo era. It battled mightily against the early Mercedes 190s and BMW M3s and earned Klaus Ludwig his first DTM title win in 1988! As ubiquitous on the road as on the racetrack.
1. BMW M3 (E30)
Most successful car of the Group A era and one of the most successful touring cars: world championship, European championship, DTM and even a world rally championship round win. In so many ways, the defining touring car of all time.
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