It looks like the street car on top, but it's much different underneath.
The Nascar family of Ford, Chevy and Toyota reveled their Next-Generation race cars for the 2022 Nascar Cup Series season on Wednesday. Below we have the new Chevy car, based on the Camaro ZL1. All three teams made a big deal this year about bringing their track cars close to their street cars and it looks like Chevrolet succeeded.
"Chevrolet engineers and designers worked alongside our race teams to develop this race car while staying true to the styling essence of the Camaro ZL1," said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of performance and motorsports. "This cooperation will benefit Chevrolet both on the track and the street."
The racers are spec cars, meaning underneath the body shell, they're all the same. This year the Camaro ZL1 car, along with the Ford Mustang GT500 and Toyota Camry, will get a ton of changes that should make the racing better. Upgrades include new 18-inch wheels with lower profile tires, a new transaxle that combines the transmission and rear gears into one unit, independent rear suspension, a sealed bottom with a full underbody and rear diffuser, new bumpers, a redesigned chassis, a composite body, a longer airbox, and new hood exits for cooling.
As for the size, they'll all measure 193.3-inches long, 50.2-inches wide and 78.4-inches wide. Weight comes in at 3,200 pounds with a wheelbase of 110 inches. Horsepower will be track dependent at either 670 hp or 550 hp, and transmissions will all be five-speed sequential-shift units.
"The Next Gen Camaro has a much stronger link to the production Camaro ZL1 in terms of styling integration, improved proportions and relevant technologies," said Eric Warren, Chevrolet director of Nascar Programs. "From an engineering standpoint, this is a seismic shift. It's a completely new car that brings with it a lot of opportunity from a technical standpoint."
The Camaro ZL1 has been in Cup competition since 2018. It was replaced in 2020 with the Camaro ZL1 1LE. Over the past 60 or so years the company has campaigned 14 different nameplates including Chevelle, Laguna, Monte Carlo, Lumina and others. In total the manufacturer has 798 victories, 39 Manufacturer Championships and 32 Driver Championships to lead all manufacturers.
The Next Gen Camaro ZL1 race car, along with the Mustang and Camry, will make its debut at next season's Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 2022.