The NASCAR 'Car of Tomorrow' is now in its sixth generation after barely as many years roaring round the nation's speedways.
Luckily, this latest design rulebook allows the cars to look much less generic, and more like their actual namesake road car models.
The first out of the gates for the 2015 season of the Sprint Cup and 2015 Xfinity (formerly Nationwide) racing series is the new Camry. It really does look like the production car!
ANIMATED OVERLAY ANALYSIS: Camry v 'NASCamry'
In this transparency of the production Camry XSE versus the NASCAR Camry, we can see how similar these two really are. In fact, the biggest change is the overall height of the NASCAR appearing to be about two inches lower than the production XSE. The race car's design mostly pinches the current look slightly in only the height direction, and adds a larger Toyota badge.
Locked aspect ratio of production Camry v Nascar Camry
Slightly compressed height
A similar road and race Camry will be helpful for making a connection between track tech and the new Camry street model -- as well as for distinguishing the car brands on the track itself. For the last few years, the designs and headlight stickers have been so interchangeable that each car has needed a huge 'FUSION' or 'CAMRY' in the bumper to even tell them apart at speed. The big branding continues for 2015, but will hopefully be less necessary.
Stay tuned for the Ford and Chevrolet designs, which are not likely to include the level of detailing and 3D depth to the racecar's grille as the latest CALTY-penned Camry NASCAR. It is also a good excuse for CALTY to spend hours in wind tunnel simulators.
This expertise with 200-mph air flow will come in handy ahead of the hotly-anticipated ~2017 Supra Turbo production car, which has high performance goals and design aims thanks to the FT-1 concepts.
Gen-6 Toyota Camry NASCAR
Toyota Reveals 2015 Camry Race Car
First Manufacturer Redesign of NASCAR ‘Gen-6’ Model
October 11, 2014
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 11, 2014) -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) and TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) today introduced the new 2015 Toyota Camry race car that will compete in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) competition beginning next season.
With the announcement of the 2015 Camry race car, Toyota becomes the first manufacturer in the series to update the NASCAR ‘Gen-6’ model -- which was initially introduced in 2012 for competition beginning during the 2013 season. In addition, a redesigned Camry will also be used in next year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series, currently the Nationwide Series.
The 2015 Camry race car marks the culmination of a redesign to provide the vehicle with a more unique identity -- and a look similar to the 2015 production Camry that was introduced earlier this year. TRD worked together with Calty Design, part of Toyota’s global network design team, to update the on-track Camry and incorporate design elements from the new 2015 production Camry into the race car.
“We’re thrilled to finally be able to show off our new 2015 Camry race car -- becoming the first manufacturer to update the ‘Gen-6’ model that was introduced before the start of the 2013 season,” said Ed Laukes, TMS vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience. “We anticipate that fans will appreciate the development behind this bold Camry design -- both on the race track and the showroom floor. Fans will have the chance to get an up close look at our new 2015 Camry in our NASCAR activation and fan engagement activities.”
The boldest change to the new 2015 NSCS Camry is the aggressive front end and grill area, which looks exactly like its production counterpart. In addition, the new Camry boasts an all new, sleek hood and nose, along with a new tail of the car. A distinct change in the quarter windows also adds to the sleeker look.
“A lot of hard work has gone into redesigning the 2015 Camry race car for NASCAR competition,” said David Wilson, TRD’s president and general manager. “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 race car that looks similar to its production counterpart -- and provide a performance upgrade on the race track.”
For 12 straight years, and 16 of the past 17 years, the Camry has been the best-selling car in America. Built at Toyota manufacturing facilities in Georgetown, Ky. and Lafayette, Ind., the Camry has been named the ‘Most American Car’ by Cars.com’s American-Made Index for four consecutive years.
In an effort to create more distinct and stock vehicles for the race track, NASCAR worked together with the three series manufacturers prior to the 2013 season to determine what areas were either ‘locked in’ or ‘open’ for unique design. NASCAR along with the manufacturers have also worked together to allow for updates to each manufacturer’s design -- with Toyota being the first manufacturer to work through that update process.
“The redesigned Toyota Camry race car is a byproduct of the vastly improved collaboration that has taken place between NASCAR and its auto manufacturers during the past three years,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “Toyota’s dedication to remodel its Gen-6 race car to more closely resemble its street production counterpart has been exemplary, and we look forward to watching it perform on the track each weekend in 2015.”
The new 2015 Toyota Camry will make its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Daytona International Speedway during February’s ‘Speedweeks.’