Pick one of three DTM cars you see here at random - the chrome Merc C-Class coupe, for example - and you’ll find it has 25 wings. Twenty- five. Roll that figure around in your mind for a minute, and compare it to other bewinged inventions - a 747, for instance. That’s only - technically - got five. British Touring cars, the UK equivalent of Germany’s DTM, have just one. If there were a world championship for wings, the DTM would sew up the podium every time.
But every single flick and flap has a purpose. This year more than ever, because the DTM - Deutsche Tourenwagen-Meisterschaft, to give it its full title - will be contested for the first time by the cars you see here. The German Big Three. Mercedes vs Audi vs BMW. The three biggest rivals in car manufacturing will all be hammering the same bit of tarmac with full works backing. Three makers that strive every day to launch a road car that bests the others.
And now they’re going racing.
Words: Piers Ward
Photos: Ripley & Ripley
This article was first published in the February 2012 issue of Top Gear magazine