NASCAR Reveals 1,300-HP EV Prototype For The Next Generation Of Racing


One of the quickly approaching realities car enthusiasts must face is that racing will eventually have to go electric. NASCAR is getting the ball rolling on the future, debuting an EV prototype racer over the weekend at this year’s Chicago Street Race.

Developed in conjunction with the electrification company ABB, the EV is part of NASCAR’s effort to reduce its emissions to zero by 2035 with an initiative called NASCAR Impact. The NASCAR/ABB partnership will help NASCAR hit certain sustainability targets.


The EV Prototype was a team effort between NASCAR R&D, ABB and OEM partners. NASCAR described the effort in its release:


The prototype was developed in collaboration with NASCAR’s OEM partners — Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota — and was built by the NASCAR engineers responsible for the Next Gen car and the Garage 56 entry into the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Throughout the process, NASCAR and the OEMs collaborated on the design and elements of the vehicle.

The result is a tri-motor — one motor up front and two in the rear — EV crossover, more akin to a Ford Mach-E than a tradition stock car. There’s a 78-kWh liquid-cooled battery that NASCAR says can produce 1,000 kW of peak power. That power gets routed through an all-wheel-drive system to specially designed Goodyear Eagle Racing Tires.

NASCAR driver David Ragan told the Associated Press driving the car is a sensory experience unlike anything he’s experienced before:

Ragan said the sound and smell were unlike anything he has experienced since first hitting the racetrack at age 11. He could hear squealing tires. He could smell the brakes. In gasoline-powered cars, the engine’s sound and smell and heat from the exhaust overpower everything else. But after hundreds of laps, this time Ragan’s ears weren’t ringing. It was really wild, he said.

Unlike typical sports coupes, the new car is actually a crossover utility vehicle. A huge wing on the back makes it aerodynamic enough to be a racecar.It accelerates almost twice as fast as top gas-powered racecars and can stop almost immediately. But its lap time at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia was two-tenths of a second slower because it takes the corners slower due to being heavier. Ragan said it may go even faster; he wasn’t pushing the one-of-a-kind vehicle to its limits. Risk-taking is for racing, not testing, he said.

As part of its sustainability efforts, NASCAR even made sure that parts of the EV itself were sustainable, like making the body panels from flax-based composites. The EV sits on a modified version of the platform that underpins the Next Gen racer that debuted in 2022.

Any of you on the fence about NASCAR going electric through should come on down. From the looks of things, the next generation of NASCAR racing should be fantastic.

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