Ok, so it’s really not a Camry at all. Like all NASCAR participants, Toyota’s Sprint Cup Series racer is just a Camry-shaped shell over a steel tube chassis, but Toyota wanted to keep it as close to the production model as possible.
Manufacturers can only take that so far, of course. NASCAR puts stringent requirements on everything from engine size and power output to chassis design and decal placement. However, that didn’t stop Toyota from working fervently with its own design teams to incorporate aesthetic aspects of production vehicle into the racecar.
“A lot of hard work has gone into redesigning the 2015 Camry race car for NASCAR competition,” said David Wilson, General Manager of Toyota Racing Development (TRD). “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 racecar that looks similar to its production counterpart — and provide a performance upgrade on the race track.”
The upgrades to which Wilson refers are solely aerodynamic, as TRD’s Sprint Cup racer wears a slippery new front end that mimics the road car’s wide mouth. The aft section and quarter window have also been reshaped.
Toyota is the first manufacturer to offer an update to the ‘Gen-6’ series model that debuted for the 2013 season.
The changes aren’t major, though. The Camry is still powered by the same 5.86-liter pushrod V8 and accompanying four-speed manual transmission as before. The car will also be featured in next year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series.
In the 2014 Spring Cup season, Toyota vehicles have performed respectably. Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing is currently ranked third overall in his Toyota vehicle, with one win and 14 top 10 finishes as of this writing.