Is NASCAR Going Electric? Series Launching EV Racing With SUVs in 2023

These hybrids would burn gas and rubber. NASCAR is apparently considering a new racing series that SUV and EV people can get behind. In a leaked NASCAR doc, there’s news that by next summer we could star seeing a prototype EV race car – and it could be an SUV. In leaked documents, it looks like the premier racing series in the U.S. is all-in to develop a new EV SUV racing series.

Is NASCAR going electric?

Bubba Wallace, #23, and Tyler Reddick, #8, a the Ambetter 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Bubba Wallace, #23, and Tyler Reddick, #8, at the Ambetter 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway | Tim Nwachukwu Getty Images

According to the New York Post, the leaked document shows that NASCAR is, to nobody’s surprise, looking at electrifying its race cars. The racing would include 12 cars in 30-minute events with no pit stops or charging allowed. Interestingly, the doc says that SUV body styles could compete.The current generation of Next Gen Cup Series cars have an innovative transmission design that, in theory, would allow teams to add a hybrid motor to boost the already incredibly-powerful V8 engines the race cars use.

Which EV SUVs would NASCAR race?

2024 Chevy Blazer SS
2024 Chevy Blazer SS | Chevy

It’s hard to say today what NASCAR would race if NASCAR’s going electric. But who wouldn’t like to see a Mustang Mach-E vs. Chevy Blazer EV track battle? The Mach E and Blazer EV are both amping up their performance rivalry with the Mach-E coming in high-performance GT trim and Chevy adding an SS badge to the Blazer. Honda is also involved in American racing, and the 2024 Prologue could be an interesting racer. Could we see a Toyota bZ4x racer?

NASCAR EV racing would be late to the game

NASCAR’s move could mean almost anything from full EVs like Formula E, or it could mean hybrid race cars like Formula 1. Many don’t realize that Formula 1 cars today have both a combustion motor and a hybrid drive.

Since 2014 F1 cars have been hybrid-powered. The hybrid engines add a lot of complexity, and weight, to F1 cars. But, the new cars are as quick as even the might V10 engines of the 1990s and don’t need to fuel up at all during a full race. The combustion V6 engines still sound amazing, too.

Indycar will debut EV racers in 2024

IndyCar has been trying to put hybrid engines in its race cars for years and planned to release them in 2023. But, due to pandemic-related supply chain constraints the racing series hybrid cars will now debut in 2024 built by Honda and Chevrolet, according to IndyCar.

The 2024 IndyCars, which race at the Indianapolis 500, will be similar to modern F1 cars. They will have a 2.4-liter twin-turbocharged V6 paired with a hybrid motor. The target is to make 800 horsepower, while the hybrid will boost that to 900 horsepower. The cars are already being tested.

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