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Big change is coming to NASCAR next year in the form of its Next Gen car.
The all-new design that was tested at the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval this week features a composite body, independent rear suspension, bigger brakes, larger wheels and tires and a five-speed sequential transaxle, among other updates.
It’s a technological leap on several fronts compared to the current Cup Series car, but still gets all of its power from a big gasoline-fueled V8 … for now.
NASCAR had previously suggested that a hybrid powertrain could be on the way, and now we know when it might arrive.
Fox Sports reporter Bob Pockrass reports that NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the SportsBusiness Journal World Congress of Sports on Tuesday that the cars will “probably” get a hybrid powertrain in 2024.
NASCAR had previously revealed that the Next Gen car was future-proofed for such a move, which would likely involve adding an electric motor to the transaxle, which would be used to add power under acceleration and provide regenerative braking that would charge a small battery to power it.
The setup would be most beneficial on short tracks and road courses and might not even be relevant to superspeedways, where it’s possible the cars would run without it, but as it remains in development, there’s no telling what the final design will look like.
In the meantime, the Next Gen cars are scheduled to first race on a temporary track built inside of the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for the Clash exhibition event in February ahead of their competitive debut at the Daytona 500 later in the month.
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