The 2022 Cup Series car has officially been unveiled.
The three versions of NASCAR's new Cup Series car became public on Wednesday as Chevy, Ford and Toyota showed off their car designs for the first time. NASCAR is implementing an all-new car design in 2022 as it looks to lower ownership costs for teams at its top level.
Each of the three manufacturers' cars will have numerous parts that come from a single supplier. That sole supplier model is designed for teams to save money. According to NASCAR, 26 vendors will supply spec parts for the cars from radiator ducts to bumpers, tailpipes, and more.
The cars are also designed to have a stronger connection to passenger cars available to consumers. A big theme of Wednesday's announcement was putting the "stock" back in stock car. And while Cup Series cars are going to be far from stock — you will not be able to go to a dealership and buy a Cup car — they are going to have things like an independent rear suspension, rack and pinion steering and bigger brakes.
The car will also have a five-speed sequential transmission. Current Cup cars have four gears.
Present-day Cup cars are also offset to help them turn. That will disappear with the new car. According to NASCAR, the new car "is fully symmetrical which will reduce aerodynamic forces and put an emphasis back on race car setup and driver control."
Horsepower and downforce levels will depend on the type of track. And it does not look like NASCAR will be in the business of increasing horsepower levels with the new car. Cup cars are currently limited to 550 HP at tracks 1.5 miles and longer with a lot of added downforce and cars have 750 HP and less downforce at smaller tracks.
The bodies of the new car will be made of a composite material like what's seen on the current Xfinity Series cars. That composite body will ideally be easier for teams to fix and damage won't impact performance as severely when cars make contact with each other or the wall.
The car is set to be implemented for the full 2022 season at the Daytona 500, though NASCAR hasn't currently tested more than two cars out on track together yet.
NASCAR also hopes that the introduction of the new car will help lure other manufacturers into the series. The Cup Series has been at three manufacturers ever since 2013 — the year the present car was introduced — after Dodge left NASCAR. There are, however, no current public plans for a new manufacturer's entry into the series.
While startup costs for the new car will be relatively high — teams are constructing completely new cars ahead of next season — NASCAR believes the promise of lower costs once the car is implemented will help bring in more new owners into the Cup Series.
Teams like 23XI Racing and Trackhouse Racing bought charters ahead of the 2021 season and Xfinity Series team Kaulig Racing has said it will run full-time in the Cup Series in 2022.
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