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Supercars unveils 'hybrid ready' Gen3 Camaro, Mustang

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Supercars unveils 'hybrid ready' Gen3 Camaro, Mustang
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Supercars has formally unveiled its 2022 Gen3 concept with 'hybrid-ready' versions of the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang.

According to Supercars, the new-for-2022 regulations will be an "evolution" of the existing platform, underpinned by more control components to help drive down costs.

The concept has been put together by a Gen3 committee made up of team representatives Ryan Story (DJR Team Penske) and Roland Dane (Triple Eight Race Engineering), Supercars Commission member Tim Edwards (Tickford Racing), Board and Commission member Brad Jones (Brad Jones Racing), Adrian Burgess and John Casey from Supercars, and consultant Carl Faux (Walkinshaw Andretti United).

The plan is to reduce costs by 30 to 40 per cent, the control parts set to be available to either buy directly from Supercars or fabricated, depending on what it is.

As promised the regulations will focus on two-door body shapes, a licensing agreement with General Motors paving the way for the Camaro to replace the Holden Commodore, while the factory-backed Ford Mustang will undergo a Gen3 transformation.

Talks to secure IP agreements with other manufacturers are underway.

 

Thanks to the 100 millimetre lower roll hoop and 100 millimetre wider track the cars will better represent the two-door shape than the current Mustang, with the doors, roof, bonnet and windows all required to match the dimensions of their road-going counterparts.

The likeness to road cars is helped by a significant reduction in aero, visibly smaller rear wings helping drop overall figures by 200 kilograms, more than half of the current figures.

As for the engine, for the time being the cars will continue to run V8 power units. While power is set to be reduced to around 600 horsepower, the power-to-weigh ratio will be unchanged due to a lighter chassis.

A Supercars-branded engine is under consideration to give potential manufacturers and easier entry to the category.

There is also scope to future proof the formula through what Supercars describes as a 'hybrid ready' chassis, opening the door to add new technology to the V8 power plants.

There will be control suspension front and rear as well as detachable sub-frames.

The transaxle, control dampers and rear suspension will be carried over from the current car.

“We are thrilled to welcome a brand new race car design to the track in 2022," said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.

"The cars will retain their signature V8 engine format to ensure they’re fast and loud, but will be ‘hybrid ready’ and more closely resemble the road cars they are based on.

"These are incredible looking race cars that give a nod to the Supercar of the past, with as much attention given to the design and appearance of the cars as the new technologies.

“The Gen3 project will support the longevity of Supercars by increasing relevance to our fans and partners, reducing operating costs, and making the racing even fiercer.

“The cars will have a lot less downforce than the current car, making the racing more spectacular and putting more reliance on driver skill."

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Ford, which will become the category's only active manufacturer next year, is backing the Gen3 concept.

“Ford and Supercars share a rich heritage and a strong future, and we’re excited that fans, today, can see how that’s developing for 2022 and beyond," said Andrew Birkic, president and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand.

"We look forward to continuing to work with Sean Seamer and the team at Supercars on our common goal of Ford competing in a highly competitive, entertaining and accessible series.

“We’ve said before that Ford Performance exists to win races and series that matter, and the development of the Gen3 rules is an opportunity to ensure that fans in Australia continue to enjoy a world-class Supercars series that delivers the spectacle and intense competition that has made it worth winning and, ultimately, great to watch."

The licensing of the Camaro, meanwhile, means that Holden fans will have a GM product to support once the Holden brand disappears.

"It is fantastic GM is able to continue its long and proud involvement in Australasia’s premier motorsport category," said interim chairman and managing director of General Motors Australia and New Zealand Kristian Aquilina.

"The Camaro ZL1 Supercar will undoubtedly attract passion and excitement, as well as showcase the Chevy bowtie that is integral to our new GM Specialty Vehicles business in Australia and New Zealand.

“We loved every minute of our 51-year involvement through Holden. There will never be another Holden, but we now welcome Camaro to the stage and hopefully a whole new generation of fans with it."

Triple Eight, which has been running Holden's factory team since 2017, has confirmed it will move to the Camaro in 2022 – and will offer ready-to-race Camaros to customers.

"It’s very pleasing to bring such an iconic car, the Chevrolet Camaro, back to Australia’s race tracks," said Triple Eight boss Roland Dane.

"Personally, I have enjoyed a long motorsport relationship with General Motors, dating back to the 1990s in the British Touring Car Championship, so I’m happy to be able to continue that.

"We’re very pleased that GM have entrusted development of the Gen3 Camaro to Triple Eight for this exciting new era of Supercars racing. The Camaro looks fantastic as a road car and there’s no doubt that it will make a spectacular, aggressive race car."

 

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General Motors Camaro ZL1 of Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
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Series Supercars
Author Andrew van Leeuwen