Leaked images show that the future of electric NASCAR racing is in the form of a crossover
NASCAR has been quietly exploring electric racing since it began winding down work on the original Next Gen Cup Series platform in 2021, but no one saw what an electric NASCAR car would look like. No car shown. There are no photos, no renderings, NASCAR has not shared anything with the public, and nothing has been shown. Now, there’s a clearer picture of what the series’ electric future could be. Road path newly Got a leaked image of an electric crossover that sources say is currently testing as a concept for an electric NASCAR race car.
The above illustration is based on a look at an EV concept shared with research and development From sources familiar with the project research and development He agreed not to share the original photo at the request of our sources. While the car seen here appears to share many distinct design details with the upcoming Blazer SS EV, a source working with a NASCAR OEM partner suggests the concept may be a generic, unbranded car that coincidentally looks like a Chevrolet. This would be in line with the original next-gen test car, which was unbranded but looked more like the current Camaro. Multiple additional sources familiar with the project confirmed this research and development The illustration above matches the concepts evaluated by the racing series.
Like the current next-generation Camaro, Mustang and Camry-branded cars that race in the top-level series, EV racers are expected to look like over-the-top, over-aggressive take on their production car counterparts. Instead of traditional two-door sedans, here we see a crossover shape familiar to anyone who has shopped for an electric vehicle in the past few years. Unlike the coupe-like Next Gen, the crossover-like EV concept uses a rear spoiler instead of a spoiler.
Multiple sources around the series indicate that the car is based on the Next Gen chassis used in the top-level Cup Series since 2022, with some changes made to accommodate electric powertrain components. The rear end has also been shortened to fit the design of the electric crossovers, which multiple sources have indicated is the expected body style for any NASCAR EV racer since at least 2022. Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota are all current competitors in NASCAR’s major series, suggesting that these cars could eventually race the Blazer EV, Mustang Mach-E and bZ4X brands. While neither Chevrolet nor Toyota have previously shown off a track-ready version of their crossovers in the segment, Ford has shown off a stunning 1,400-horsepower inline-six concept based on the Mach-E since 2020.
If these partners knew the exact details of this concept, they were not willing to share this information yet. Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, and Nascar declined to comment on this concept directly.
Nascar said research and development In a statement, “At this point we have nothing further to share about the project.” Chevrolet said its “focus remains on bringing our best to the track with the cars currently competing.” Ford acknowledged the existence of projects like the EV concept without saying anything about this particular car, noting that “(Ford) is working in partnership with NASCAR and other OEMs on the future generation of cars to compete in the sport we love, but beyond that.” . And we don’t have anything else we can add.”
TRD President David Wilson also acknowledged the goals behind the electric vehicle project without specifying the project itself, noting that “Toyota, along with our competitors, continues to work closely with NASCAR on technologies and initiatives targeted at carbon reduction.”
While the specific details of the concept are still unknown, a leaked document shared by KickinTheTires last July indicated that the goal of the NASCAR EV was performance parity with the current Next Gen car used in the Cup Series. Sources within the sport believe this is still the goal. Given the common basic structure and the expected weight of the batteries needed for the electric car to race even on short ovals, this would likely mean peak output in excess of 1,000 horsepower. The latest track-focused EV concept from a NASCAR OEM is Ford Performance E-Transit Supervan 4.2 That ran Pikes Peak this year with over 1,400 horsepower.
How the vehicle will actually be deployed is another question. A leak last summer suggested a 12-car series would launch in late 2023, which would include two 30-minute races with support from every manufacturer currently participating in the series, but those plans never materialized. This concept appears to be at the point where the NASCAR Next Gen car was during the 2019 to 2020 season. At the time, the series planned to debut the Next Gen car in 2021.
While CEO Steve O’Donnell confirmed that the EV concept exists and has an “alternative body style” at the annual State of the Series press conference last Friday, he noted that he “wouldn’t be looking for us to go racing specifically” with the concept the series has today. O’Donnell also stressed that the series wants to “kind of test every form” of electrification. In particular, he mentioned that he will be heading to Japan on Thursday to take a look at hydrogen-powered racing. With these two facts in mind, this Blazer may be more of a concept meant to showcase the potential electric series than a race car ready to compete against similar competition in the near future.
KickinTheTires has since reported that an EV concept of some sort, likely this one with a Blazer look, has already been tested at Charlotte’s zMax Dragway and plans to test again at Martinsville Speedway’s short oval track in December. The same report reveals a concept, most likely the one he saw research and development, As early as January 2024.
Wherever electric race cars go, they raise questions about the spectator experience of motor racing without engine noise. In NASCAR, where V-8 cars have dominated every level of the sport for 75 years of competition, selling electric racing will be especially difficult. Will NASCAR fans embrace crossovers with wings and electric motors? Getting this concept on the right track and showing what it can do may be the only way to find out.