2022 NASCAR Next Gen Mustang To Debut At Next Year's Daytona 500
During next year’s Dayton 500, a new era in stock car racing begins for Ford. The 2022 NASCAR Next Gen Mustang was unveiled today showcasing the next race car for Ford.
The new car, which has been under development for two years, is completely different from its predecessor – redesigned from the ground up. Unlike past versions, with the exterior being the only noticeable change, this model is built for the future, featuring flexibility for technological advances such as a hybrid or electric powertrain.
The new race car more closely mirrors its Mustang production counterpart, which maintains its title as world’s best-selling sports car.
Related story: Ford already teased this Mustang at a recent NASCAR race.
“A lot of work has been done behind the scenes to make sure this Next Gen Mustang remains relevant to our customers,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “As the automotive industry continues to change, we’ll have the ability to keep up in the racing world without having to go through a complete overhaul or redesign of the car. This is something we’ve been waiting for and we’re glad the time has finally arrived.”
Changes include rack-and-pinion steering, independent rear suspension and 18-inch tires with aluminum forged wheels. The all-new body features a wider stance, while a symmetric exterior shell, tail and smaller greenhouse area closely resemble the production Mustang.
“This car is true to the Mustang brand and we have to thank the Ford design team for working hand-in-hand with our aerodynamic engineers to ensure it is competitive on the track, while maintaining unique Mustang styling,” said Rushbrook. “That requires a lot of give-and-take on both sides, but with the new smaller greenhouse area and shorter rear deck, we were able to do a lot of things to make sure there’s no mistaking this is a Mustang.”
Next Gen Mustang NASCAR development
Development of the new car took place both in Ford’s Dearborn design center and at the Ford Performance Technical Center in Concord, North Carolina, where Ford’s NASCAR scale model and aero teams are located. Extensive development continues on full-motion simulators at the technical center, where both racing and production car work takes place.
“Mustang is an iconic brand for Ford and when I saw the Next Gen Mustang in person for the first time I was pumped,” said Team Penske driver Joey Logano, the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champion. “The aggressive look of the nose and the changes to the greenhouse and tail make the car more authentic to the street Mustang than ever before. I know the fans are going to love the Next Gen Mustang and I can’t wait to get it on the track.”
Specifications for the 2022 Ford Performance Next Gen Mustang
Here are the specs for the new NASCAR Mustang as provided by Ford:
Overall Length: 193 3/8” (Leading edge of splitter to tail)
Overall Height: 51”
Width: 78 5/8” (Wheel Band to Wheel Band)
Power: 670 hp or 550 hp (track dependent)
Transaxle: 5-speed sequential shift
Major Differences between Next Gen Ford Mustang and Gen 6 Mustang
● Independent rear suspension vs. solid axle rear suspension
● 5-speed sequential gearbox vs. four-speed manual h-pattern gearbox
● Symmetric body shape vs. rear being offset to one side
● 18-inch tires with forged aluminum wheels vs. 15-inch tires
● Wheels will only have one center lug nut vs. 5 lug nuts
● Shorter rear overhang compared to current model
● Radiator exit vents through the hood
● Complete underwing
● Engine combustion air and engine cooling air all comes through the nose
● Driver moved inboard and down
● Rack and Pinion steering
● Carbon Fiber composite body – FFCB (Flange Fit Composite Body) similar to NXS
● Coil over suspension
● Exhaust out both sides
Safety enhancements for the Next Gen Ford Mustang
● Additional roll bars for driver safety
● Form-fitted foam insert between chassis and nose/tail like production cars
● Driver positioned closer to center line of car
● Legacy hood flaps and legacy roof flap keeps race cars on ground at higher rates of speed
Mustang’s success in NASCAR Cup Series
Mustang came to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2019 and has won at least 10 races each of its first two years, including a season-high 18 victories in 2020 that helped Ford win the manufacturers’ championship.
The NASCAR Next Gen Mustang makes its competition debut on Feb. 20, 2022, at Daytona International Speedway for the 64th annual Daytona 500.
What do you think about this next gen Mustang? Who is your favorite NASCAR Ford driver? Leave me your comments below.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.