You’ll be able to see the redesigned Toyota Camry at this year’s NASCAR Series months before the road car’s release.
The Toyota Camry has a reputation for being dreadfully dull. It’s reliable, of course, but its conventional styling means you won’t remember it if one drives past you. That’s all about to change, however. We were pleasantly surprised when Toyota revealed the all-new, radically restyled 2018 Camry sedan at this year’s Detroit Auto Show with its appealing sporty body. And if that wasn’t surprising enough, the manufacturer has now revealed its race car sibling which will compete in this year’s NASCAR Series.
The 2018 NASCAR Toyota Camry will retain the aggressive styling of the production model, with some additional performance tweaks under the hood to make it ready to race. Whereas the range-topping road car will be fitted with a 3.5-liter V6, the NASCAR-spec Camry will be powered by a 5.9-liter pushrod V8 churning out 725 horsepower to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission. “The 2018 Toyota Camry NASCAR race car has been years in the making, and to unveil it simultaneously with our new production Camry is a milestone moment for our organization,” said Ed Laukes, Vice President of Integrated Marketing Operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A.
“The collaboration between Calty Design Group and TRD has produced a NASCAR Camry that showcases aggressive styling that is sure to turn heads on the race track and among our fans in Toyota showrooms across the country. Reimagining both the Camry race car and its production counterpart has been a tremendous undertaking and our goal has been to maintain parallel design characteristics so our fans can enjoy driving a Camry that closely resembles the one their favorite NASCAR driver races each weekend.” Toyota's successes in NASCAR includes its first driver's championship win in 2015, followed by its first manufacturer’s championship in 2016.
Drivers Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth will be competing in the new Camry at this year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Series which kicks off next month at Daytona, so this will be the first time we’ll get to see it in action before it debuts in showrooms this summer. It’s rare to see both a race car and the road-going production model it’s based on announced simultaneously, so this is an unprecedented move. Apparently, the design process was kept highly secretive to make sure NASCAR fans were unaware of its existence until its debut at Detroit. Well played, Toyota.