One piece of news coming out of the race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway that may have been overlooked following the Brad Keselowski incidents may be that there's a really cool new race car ready for 2015.
The NASCAR version of a Toyota Camry may look more like the production version of the retail consumer model but that’s about where the comparisons stop. But one thing is for sure, its one "Sleek" looking race-car.
Toyota introduced the latest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series version of the Camry earlier this week. The new model will take to the track during the 2015 season. As you would expect the car is basically a Camry shell built around a highly developed racing machine. That’s just the way things have to be when NASCAR tells competitors what goes into a race car.
The days of buying a “stock” car and fitting it for the track for a NASCAR race are long gone but don’t worry Camry fans. David Wilson, General Manager of Toyota Racing Development, said that a ton of work went into making the 2015 NASCAR Camry a great ride! It was essential that the car look like a Camry but race like a… race car.
“A lot of hard work has gone into redesigning the 2015 Camry race car for NASCAR competition,” Wilson said.
“It was a challenging process balancing performance and design, but working closely with Calty Design, NASCAR, and our race team partners, we were able to develop a racecar that looks similar to its production counterpart — and provide a performance upgrade on the race track.”
According to Toyota the new 2015 NASCAR Camry will be represented in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series which will be called the Xfinity series starting in the 2015 season. The nameplates two versions will look similar but be designed for the rules packages for each series.
Starting with the 2014 season both NASCAR and the manufactures made more of an effort to have the Nationwide series cars look more like their consumer counterparts. That move was successful and now it looks like the same effort will be put into the Sprint Cup Series.
Things are moving away from the days only a few short years ago when all of the cars were basically the same with minor differences in the front end grill and the stickers used to mimic the headlight shapes of each car brand.
Toyota Leads the Pack
Toyota has taken the lead in releasing the newest version of the Gen-Six car among the manufactures. The 2015 season will include cars from Chevy, Ford, and Toyota. Dodge will once again sit the NASCAR season out after a brief return a few years ago. It’s the first redesign of the Gen-Six car since 2013.
Toyota 2015 version of the NASCAR Camry includes a front that more like the production version with sweeping wife mouth. The back end and window openings have also been redesigned to allow for better aero dynamics. The Camry will be powered by a 5.86-liter pushrod V8 engine with a four-speed manual transmission as it was in 2014 with adjustments per the new NASCAR rules package.