Michael and Nico unveiled the new DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé for the 2012 DTM season at the IAA in Frankfurt, alongside Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division, and Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.
The new car is based on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé, which was launched worldwide in the summer of 2011, and is the first DTM car from Mercedes-Benz to be built around a new, improved safety concept, developed in collaboration with the ITR e.V, the DMSB (Germany’s motor racing governing body) and the DTM manufacturers. The new car incorporates a state-of-the-art carbon fibre monocoque with a roll cage made of high-strength steel. Moreover, each vehicle is equipped with six energy-absorbing crash structures, giving the driver additional protection to the front, rear and sides.
The DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé will succeed the AMG Mercedes C-Class, which is the most successful vehicle in the 27-year history of the DTM, having scored 84 victories in 156 races and five driver’s titles. Development, design and manufacture of the new car began in June 2010 at HWA headquarters in Affalterbach, near Stuttgart, Germany. HWA is responsible for production of the cars, including engines.
“The new 2012 Mercedes-Benz DTM car looks fantastic” said Michael. “What I find even more impressive than the car’s visual appearance is the new safety concept with its innovative safety cell and more advanced carbon-fibre crash structures. This safety standard is exemplary and constitutes, in my opinion, the benchmark for touring car racing. I’m looking forward to seeing the new C-Class Coupé in action and hopefully winning lots of races. I’ve got my fingers crossed for everyone in the Mercedes-Benz DTM team.”
Nico was very pleased to take part in unveiling the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé for the 2012 DTM season at its Frankfurt Motor Show world premiere.
“It looks really cool and I particularly like the chrome finish. The car is certainly an important step forward for the DTM, which is a great series - I began my career racing on the same weekends as the DTM, and it will attract even more fans in 2012 when the third manufacturer arrives. Whenever possible, I still follow the races on TV, and always enjoy going to local DTM events. I will of course keep my fingers crossed next year for my Mercedes-Benz DTM colleagues and hope they can bring the title home to Stuttgart with the new C-Class Coupé.”
Gary Paffett always finds the first test of a new car to be “an exciting moment”. “After getting a feel for the handling and performance of the DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé around the Lausitzring, I can say I’m very pleased with it. Of course, we still have a lot of development work ahead of us before the 2012 season opener at Hockenheim. The driving experience is quite different to that of previous DTM cars. The new Hankook tyres for 2012 are wider and have taller sidewalls, providing more mechanical grip. Also, the gear lever has disappeared for 2012 - we will change gear using paddles on the steering wheel instead - and that’s something I’m already used to from Formula One.”
For Norbert, “this new-generation vehicle, based on our Mercedes-Benz C- Coupé, signals the introduction of an even more spectacular racing car from the start of 2012. I am certain that the spectators will get their money's worth from the three-way fight between Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the DTM next year.”