While the hillclimbing cars featured here are typically stunning pieces of homebrewed ingenuity, the majority of them simply cannot compare with the focus and urgency of a frill-free DTM machine. Underneath the silhouette body of Klaus Hoffman’s Opel Astra V8 lies a 4.0-liter Judd V8 making 530 horsepower—as well as an incredible soundtrack which uses the surrounding forest as a massive speaker box to deafen the bystanders. With only 2,127 pounds to push around, the Astra V8 streaks to 62 in 3.9 seconds and 124 in just 8 seconds. To quell that frightening acceleration, the Astra wears AP Racing‘s 380 mm carbon discs mated to six-piston calipers up front and 340 mm discs with four-pistons in the rear. Quite a serious list of ingredients for a car that’s used on a public road.
There are more powerful cars on the hillclimb, but few deliver their grunt as cleanly as this DTM machine can. With plenty of aerodynamic grip from that dual-plane wing and the broad diffuser, it administers every one of its ponies to the asphalt without a hiccup. When it does occasionally break sideways, it appears predictable, controllable, and reassuring.
Even on a wet road, the Astra deploys its power so smoothly. Some of that has is due to the progressive, high-revving nature of the racing engine; it makes its peak torque figure of 394 lb-ft at 6,850 rpm, and seems to reward a patient, progressive right foot.
Factor in the incredible steering response and composure over undulations on the Homburg Hillclimb, and Hoffman’s commitment is understandable. He might be getting on in years, but with a confidence-inspiring machine underneath him, he’s still a force to be reckoned with in the German Berg Cup.