Throughout its history, NASCAR’s Cup series has always been a bit slow to embrace innovation, as advanced aerodynamic designs and improved safety precautions were only introduced within the last 20-30 years. In fact, up until 2012, the cars themselves still used carburetors, only switching to EFI once the ban on the technology was finally lifted.
But with the unveiling of the ‘Next Gen’ Cup race cars — from the likes of Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota — NASCAR appears to be making some pretty radical changes for the 2022 season. Take, for instance, the body designs. Now intended to more closely resemble the cars’ road-going namesakes, they’ve been updated with unique front and rear clips as well as a symmetrical carbon fiber construction (previously sheet metal) to ensure that the Camaro looks like a Camaro, the Mustang a Mustang, and the Camry a Camry. What’s more, each car has been given a carbon fiber undertray, ducted hoods, and some re-engineered rear diffuser flaps to efficiently cut through the wind. And while the V8 output remains the same at either 550hp or 670hp, the addition of some independent rear suspension, rack and pinion steering, and a five-speed sequential gearbox should make them more capable than ever.