NASCAR has followed a similar formula of using a four-speed manual gearbox and a live rear axle in the Cup series since its inception. That all changes with the reveal of its Next Gen car. The traditional components are gone, replaced by a sequential transaxle and independent rear suspension along with a variety of other changes, including the introduction of spec parts from specialized suppliers.
NASCAR has been working on the Next Gen car with Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota and a variety of new vendors for more than two years. This is one of the biggest changes that stock car racing has ever seen, a revolutionary change in a sport built on evolution.
We were able to get a closer look at the Toyota TRD Camry Cup car and speak with David Wilson, President of Toyota Racing Development USA, and Andy Graves, the Executive Engineer Technical Director at TRD. According to Wilson, the industry agreed that change was necessary from the current business model and car and that an “evolutionary step” would not be good enough. That’s why all of the industry partners decided to take a clean sheet approach in order to upgrade the car from a technological perspective. Graves said that NASCAR investigated a variety of platforms a few years ago, from things like GT3 cars to Australian Supercars, in order to get inspiration for Next Gen. For the full story, check out this article from Road & Track.