This Half-Ton Hillclimber Is a Half-Sized DTM Lookalike

And it turns up to 11… thousand RPM.

byJames Gilboy| UPDATED Jan 18, 2018 1:04 PM
This Half-Ton Hillclimber Is a Half-Sized DTM Lookalike

If you hear of a race series in which there is a class with a maximum engine displacement of a paltry one liter, you would lose interest, no? One would assume that tiny engines mean power outputs measured in mice, rather than horses. The problem of terrible torque output can be solved best by the greatest trait of small engines: The ability to rev. So, when racers find draconian engine displacement restrictions imposed upon them, the cars they build and drive often make for mighty mice.

One Austrian race, the 2017 St. Anton Hill Climb, hosted a league with a 1.0-liter class, in which was entered the oddity you see below. It may look like one of Mercedes' entries for DTM, a German touring car championship famous for rev-happy silhouette racers, but in reality, the car is a low-production tube frame car called a TracKing RC01, built to resemble the DTM cars of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, depending on customer request.

The U.S. price for the car is an eye-bursting $64,500, and that's hard to justify for a car that makes an advertised 195 horsies. For just over half that figure, one could have a 2018 Ford Mustang GT, which throws out more than twice the power.

I must make a case for the RC01, though, because it has a number of things that Mustang owners can scarcely dream of, such as a curb weight under a half ton, the ability to rev to 11,000 RPM, and most important of all, a power-to-weight ratio that rivals modern supercars like the Lamborghini Huracan Performante. No, seriously. This Altoids tin has a power-to-weight ratio of 393 horsepower per ton, while the Huracan's comes in at 414 when dry. As in, with no gas, coolant, oil, hydraulic fluids, or squidgy human behind the wheel.

None of the numbers are responsible for the place in my heart this scaled-up slot car occupies. I just want to wind something on four wheels out to 11 grand or higher. Maybe one day.