NASCAR unveiled its seventh generation of Cup Series car, known as the Next Gen car, Wednesday. The sanctioning body will transition to the new car in its premier series in 2022.
“The Next Gen Camaro has a much stronger link to the production Camaro ZL1 in terms of styling integration, improved proportions and relevant technologies,” Chevrolet Director of NASCAR Programs Eric Warren said. “From an engineering standpoint, this is a seismic shift. It’s a completely new car that brings with it a lot of opportunity from a technical standpoint.”
The new car is being touted as more closely resembling its production counterparts – the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Toyota Camry. Models from each manufacturer were unveiled during Wednesday’s event.
Changes to the Cup Series car include a move to 18-inch, single-lug, aluminium alloy wheels with wider tires; independent rear suspension; rack and pinion steering; and larger brakes than the series’ current car. Front and rear bumpers also were redesigned with the aim of improving safety, and a move was made to a composite body, like the bodies used in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
“Mustang is an iconic brand for Ford, and when I saw the Next Gen Mustang in person for the first time I was pumped,” Team Penske driver Joey Logano said. “The aggressive look of the nose and the changes to the greenhouse and tail make the car more authentic to the street Mustang than ever before. I know the fans are going to love the Next Gen Mustang and I can’t wait to get it on the track.”
The new car originally was scheduled to make its debut this season but a suspension of testing last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted NASCAR to push the debut back a season. Teams are expected to begin receiving their 2022 cars next month.
“For Toyota and TRD [Toyota Racing Development], we’re committed to the principle of continuous improvement and we believe that’s reflected in this Next Gen TRD Camry,” Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson said. “While we know the margins available with this new race car are smaller when it comes to adjustability, we know our race team partners and our team at TRD look forward to the challenge of learning about this car and discovering the performance opportunities that will help put the TRD Camry into victory lane.”