Far ahead of its racing debut at next year’s Daytona 500, Ford unveiled the all-new 2022 NASCAR Next-Gen Mustang in Charlotte, North Carolina, this week.
Ushering in a new era in stock car racing, the Next Gen changes hit the entire field; Toyota has already shown off its Camry Next Gen racer, and Chevy its Camaro ZL1 entrant. The new Mustang will compete with those models in the NASCAR Cup Series beginning next season. Ford Performance and the Ford Motor Company design team endeavored to create a race car that closely resembles the Mustang production model. Under development for two years and redesigned from the ground up, the new race car features a smaller greenhouse area and a shortened rear deck for more coupe-like proportions.
The Next-Gen Mustang, unlike its predecessor, is built for the future and changes go beyond the exterior styling, making it compliant for technological advances. This flexibility would allow Ford to use a hybrid or electric powertrain down the road.
Development took place at Ford’s Dearborn design center and the Ford Performance Technical Center in Concord, North Carolina. In terms of specifications, the Next-Gen Mustang race car has a 110.0-inch wheelbase, an overall height of 51.0 inches, and measures 78.6 inches wheel band to wheel band. With track-dependent power, it can develop as much as 670 hp or as little as 550 hp.
Significant updates include an independent rear suspension, symmetrical body shape, five-speed sequential gearbox, 18-inch tires with forged aluminum wheels, and rack and pinion steering. Among other changes are a coil-over suspension, a carbon fiber composite body, a complete underwing, and radiator exit vents through the hood. Again, these same changes hit every Next Gen NASCAR racer for 2022.
Further enhancing safety, the Next-Gen Mustang comes equipped with additional roll bars and form-fitted foam inserts between the chassis and nose/tail. Ford also moved the driver inboard and down for a driving position near the centerline of the car. Moreover, legacy hood flaps and a legacy roof flap help keep the new race car grounded at higher speeds.
In 2019, the Mustang entered the NASCAR Cup Series, winning at least 10 races each of its first two years. A season-high of 18 victories in 2020 earned Ford the manufacturer’s championship. The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Mustang will be competing at the 64th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2022.
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