Ford revealed the next-gen Mustang NASCAR racer back in May following a camouflaged track teaser and an early leak that showed off the new race car in the flesh. Since then, we’ve gotten a chance to hear its V8 soundtrack as well. The design of the car itself is a bit of a throwback, as it looks far more like the road-going Ford Mustang than its predecessor. But in terms of powertrains, the next-gen Mustang NASCAR racer is much more forward-thinking.
“We’re excited about what this platform does,” Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports, told Ford Authority executive editor, Alex Luft, in a recent interview. “It’s an opportunity to future proof. We’re great today with what’s going to be racing in 2022, but we know as our world is changing with hybrid powertrains, full-electric powertrains, if we were going to do this new car as an industry, we have to make sure it’s able to grow with the automotive world – what people are going to be parking in their driveways and garages.”
“The ability to have a hybrid in there very easily in the very near future was important to us, something that NASCAR and the industry have already worked on,” Rushbrook added. “We’re able to do that. That’s going to be important so that we can continue learning the technical innovation of hybrid systems, and beyond that to full electric cars, too. The future is coming pretty quickly. I think we’re ready for it.”
In addition to future-proofing the new NASCAR Mustang in the powertrain department, it’s also considerably different from its predecessor – which has been in service since 2013. The new racer is wider, with a smaller greenhouse area, a new independent rear suspension, and new 18-inch aluminum wheels.
The next-gen NASCAR Ford Mustang will compete in the Cup Series starting next season when it makes its racing debut at the 64th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20th, 2022.