How can a spec car radically change a sport?
Competition. Cost containment. Manufacturer relevance.
The Next-Gen car, first proposed in 2018 and originally slated to debut this season until the pandemic delayed it until 2022, is a first-of-its kind collaboration between NASCAR and its partners with everyone focused on the future. All parties had to work toward creating a car that served the entire industry.
“I think the world is just going to look a lot different at NASCAR once you get to the Next-Gen car,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said. “The dynamics are going to change so significantly. There are many things that Next Gen will do for us as a sport when it rolls out.”
The unveiling was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, when Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota at long last got to uncover their designs. It’s the most significant change to the stock car since the present “Car of Tomorrow” model was introduced in 2007.
For the first time in NASCAR’s 73-year history, single-source manufacturers will build the chassis, provide parts and supply the carbon composite body. But each individual manufacturer has the flexibility to design the shell to at last resemble the Camaros, Mustangs, and Camrys sold on the showroom floors.
That critical manufacturer relevance stretches far beyond, say, a Chevy on the race track actually looking like a Chevy that catches your eye at a stoplight.
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