CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR’s Next Gen race car, which will debut in the NASCAR Cup Series next year, represents a radical departure from any previous technical specifications ever utilized in the sport.
But while the ins and outs of the new generation of stock car are seismically different, the look of the cars is meant to “put the stock back in stock car racing,” according to NASCAR President Steve Phelps.
So what exactly are the nuts and bolts of Next Gen? Here’s a deep dive into NASCAR’s newest race car:
- Elements that are common to all three manufacturer models include a lower greenhouse, shorter deck lid and wider track width, meant to give the Next Gen car more of a coupe look. In addition, a transaxle setup, rack-and-pinion steering and independent rear suspension also take center stage with the seventh generation of Cup Series race cars.
- A fully symmetrical body that removes much of the “skew” seen in the rear ends of the current-generation Cup Series car is aimed at removing aerodynamic force, putting greater emphasis back on setup and driver skill.
- Larger, single-lug aluminum wheels will allow for softer tire compounds in the future. The updated styling and wider wheels replicates those currently found on passenger cars.
- The Next Gen car will also utilize a composite body similar to those on NASCAR Xfinity Series cars, meaning that drivers will be able to beat and bang while incurring less damage that could negatively impact aerodynamic performance at race speeds.
There are even more than the above changes under the surface that fans might not immediately see.
Below are all the numerical specifications and other facts pertaining to NASCAR Next Gen:
NASCAR Next Gen: By The Numbers
- Length: 193.4 inches
- Width: 78.6 inches
- Height: 50.4 inches
- Wheelbase: 110 inches
- Weight: roughly 3,300 pounds
- Spoiler: TBD*
- Body: Composite symmetric body featuring integral flap systems, camera mounts and OEM-specific design elements
- Underwing: Full carbon undertray w/center stepped splitter and rear diffuser
- Chassis: Steel tubing w/bolt-on front and rear clips and front/rear bumpers
- Transaxle: 5-speed manual sequential with ramp and plate differential
- Suspension (Front and rear): Double wishbone billet aluminum control arms w/adjustable coil over shock absorbers
- Steering: Rack and pinion
- Wheels: 18-inch x 12-inch forged aluminum
- Tires: Goodyear Eagle
- Brakes: Six piston monobloc front calipers/four piston monobloc rear calipers – heavy duty and light duty disc packages
- Front Brake Rotors: 15 inches
- Rear Brake Rotors: 14 inches
- Engine displacement: 358 cubic inches
- Induction system: Naturally aspirated
- Fuel system: Fuel injection
- Oil system: Dry sump
- Horsepower: TBD*
- Engine cooling: Air exits radiator through hood louvers
- Exhaust: Split-side exit exhaust
- Fuel cell: approximately 20 gallons (Sunoco Green E15)
* Race package elements to be finalized based on track type and size
What does it all mean? According to NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell, this evolution in machinery is hoped to lead to closer on-track competition.
“When you look at the aspects of the car, particularly around the aerodynamics with reducing some of the downforce that’s out there, the cars will be harder to drive in the corners,” O’Donnell noted. “With the composite bodies, NASCAR is all about beating and banging on the race track … and we’re really looking forward to our drivers going out there and showcasing their abilities. They’re the best in the world at doing what they do. So we believe that the car that our engineering team and the entire industry has put together is going to enable us to do that.
“We expect the racing to even elevate above where it is now, but also contribute to the health of the sport for our team owners and the OEMs, with reducing the overall cost associated (to racing),” O’Donnell continued. “As we look to the future, there’s an avenue for future OEMs to come join us as well. The future is bright and I’m looking forward to seeing our drivers tackle this challenge in 2022.”