Their high-pressing approach and boundless levels of energy had them on the precipice of UEFA Champions League glory last term, before losing to FC Bayern München in the final, and if their recent group stage win over Olympique de Marseille is anything to go by, we can expect much more of the same from die Schwarz-Gelben's marathon men in 2013/14.
'A lot of effort'
The Dortmund players ran their socks off at the Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday night, covering as much as 126.3 kilometres of ground - almost 16 kilometres more than the Ligue 1 visitors. To put that into perspective, Dutch outfit AFC Ajax were the only side to outdo them in head-to-head Champions League meetings (127.1 km) last season.
"It's in their bones that they have to run harder than the opposition," explained head coach Jürgen Klopp, who had to watch his side's lung-busting display from the stands through suspension. "The team put into practice what we talked about before the game perfectly. Marseille are a strong side if you let them play their game. We needed to prevent that by putting in a lot of effort."
Dortmund, however, do far more than simply hound the opposition. Once they have the ball back at their feet, they instinctively look to turn defence into attack. Robert Lewandowski's Tuesday night opener is but one example of such a blistering move.
Chasing down a Marseille free-kick, six BVB players swiftly put on the afterburners, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang included, and made a break for the Marseille goal. Within seconds, Dortmund were ahead. "He's exploded onto the scene, but he will get even better," said Klopp of the lightning-quick Gabon international.
As well as the usual suspects, 21-year-old Erik Durm made no less of an impression on his Champions League debut at left back. "I'm really happy with his composure to set up the first goal," beamed Klopp. "Had the Marseille goalkeeper not produced a world-class save, he would even have scored a debut goal. His performance was exceptional."
Boasting an engine room like no other, a game-changing philosophy, a winning mentality, oodles of existing talent and an emerging star to boot, it's no wonder young Durm expects Dortmund to "take something" from their upcoming Champions League tussle with Group F leaders Arsenal FC on October 22.