Posted May 22nd 2012 7:00PM
NASCAR may have once been a form of motorsport in which only American automakers competed. And that's largely still the case, with one notable exception: Toyota. The Japanese automaker faced some difficulty breaking into the Good Ol' Boys racing series, but though some purists may still malign it, Toyota is in NASCAR to stay. And this is its latest car.
"Based", in design anyway, on the latest Camry, the new stock car from Toyota Racing Development is set to compete in the Sprint Cup next season, alongside the new Ford Fusion (among other competitors from Dodge and Chevy). The result of "an aggressive redesign", the new racer was developed with input from the company's Calty Design studio to look more like the road-going Camry than ever before.
Yes, it does bear a resemblance to its road-going cousin, especially in the fascia. That said, it's still a composite body over a tube frame powered by a V8 engine driving the rear wheels. In other words, this is a Camry in name only.
Of course it doesn't hurt Toyota's case that the Camry is built in America with more American components than most "domestic" vehicles, and now the stock car looks more stock, too.
Keep reading below for the full press release.
Related GalleryToyota Camry Stock Car
AMERICA'S BEST-SELLING CAR TUNED UP FOR 2013 NASCAR SEASON
Camry Race Car Now Shares More Similarities to Production Sibling
SALISBURY, N.C. (May 22, 2012) -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) and TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) today formally introduced the new 2013 Toyota Camry that will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) beginning next season at TRD's Salisbury, N.C. facility.
The introduction of the new 2013 Camry for NASCAR competition marked the culmination of an aggressive redesign to provide the 2013 Camry with an updated and more-unique identity. TRD worked together with Calty Design, part of Toyota's global network design team, to create an on-track Camry that incorporates design elements which give America's best-selling car its distinct character.
"We're thrilled to finally unveil our new 2013 Camry and we think NASCAR fans will really appreciate that our new on-track Camry looks like the one in their driveways," said Ed Laukes, TMS vice president of marketing communications and motorsports. "Our 2013 Camry looks more like the production vehicle than ever before, and we hope this helps revitalize the long-standing relationship between fans and manufacturers in NASCAR. Never before have we had a Camry competing in NASCAR that looked so similar to its production counterpart."
A new front grill-area that matches the production model, distinct character lines down the side of the vehicle and an updated rear bumper make the redesigned 2013 Camry stock car more relevant than ever before to its showroom sibling.
"We're extremely proud of the new Camry and the development of the car was truly a unique process," said Lee White, president and general manager of TRD. "NASCAR and all four manufacturers were brought together to guide the direction of the new cars. We all worked together to put the 'S' back in NASCAR -- we all wanted race cars that look more like our stock, production models -- and together we accomplished that. Our new Camry for 2013 is a great looking race car. Everyone at Toyota is eager to have our drivers in a race car that more resembles the street Camry."
For 10 straight years, and 14 of the past 15 years, the Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in America. Built at Toyota manufacturing facilities in Georgetown, Kentucky and Lafayette, Indiana, the 2012 Toyota Camry was recently named the 'Best Redesigned Vehicle' by Kelley Blue Book. In addition, the Camry has been named the 'Most American Car' by Cars.com's American-Made Index for three consecutive years.
In an effort to create more distinct and stock vehicles for the race track, NASCAR worked together with the four series manufacturers to determine what areas were either 'locked in' or 'open' for unique design. NASCAR also allowed for the exchange of glass for solid body pieces.
"When everyone at Toyota first saw the design of the 2013 Camry, the first reaction was, 'They're actually going to let you race a car that looks like that'," said Andy Graves, TRD's vice president of chassis engineering. "That just demonstrates how excited everyone was about the new design of the Camry stock car."
The new 2013 Toyota Camry will make its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Daytona International Speedway's 'Speedweeks' in February.
About Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion. Established in 1957, TMS markets products and services through a network of nearly 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers which sold more than 1.64 million vehicles in 2011. Toyota directly employs over 30,000 people in the U.S.and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion.
For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com, www.lexus.com, www.scion.com orwww.toyotanewsroom.com.
About TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development)
Powering all of Toyota's American racing programs is TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Salisbury, N.C. A subsidiary of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., TRD serves as the North American racing arm for design, development and assembly of Toyota's factory racing engines and chassis. TRD powers Toyota's racing activities in NASCAR, NHRA and USAC, among other series.
News Source: Toyota Racing