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This weekend in Hockenheim, Audi, BMW and Mercedes will lace up their gloves, smother their faces in Vaseline and begin 11 rounds of fisticuffs across some of Europe’s most demanding rings.

That’s right, it’s DTM time.

You might think then, the car enlisted to ensure these gladiators are safe would be something sensible; something warm, cuddly and homely to provide solace across the battle-strewn canvas of the circuit. You’d be wrong, because it is not. It is the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series: a car more bonkers than the competitors it’s protecting.

It’s only the most powerful C-Class Merc of all time and as such, is said to require only minor modification from production car to safety car in order to do its job. That’ll be the massive light bar on the roof, then.

Otherwise it’s the same 517bhp 6.3-litre V8 - that exceeds the 500bhp of the racecars - with enough torques to liquidise the metal in the tyres in just a handful of miles, as Jeremy found out here. Mercedes has however, turned up the noise on the Black Series safety car, fitting a modified AMG sports exhaust, because they had to keep “the spectators at the race track and TV audience in mind”. This is partially terrifying, because the standard Black Series sounds like the Apocalypse.

The safety car also comes with AMG’s track, aero and carbon fibre packs, as well as 19in forged light alloy wheels in matt black. Inside, the AMG bucket seats remain, but with plum-shrivelling four-point harnesses attached, along with a TV, two-way radio system and lots of buttons.

The first race kicks off this weekend, 29 April, so stay tuned to TopGear.com later this week - we’ve had a quick chat with Audi motorsport chief Dr Wolfgang Ulrich for a season preview.

Seconds out, round one…

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