The Toyota Camry isn’t meant to set lap times or break speed records. Even the versions equipped with large V6 engines are just designed to get to the supermarket faster than the four-cylinder models. But if you really want to see this popular midsize sedan turning a wheel in anger, then simply head over to the United States and watch a NASCAR race.
Aside from airports and mall parking lots, this is where the all-new Camry will be getting some wheel-to-wheel action. But this is NASCAR, so the car is just a standard body shell that’s draped in a fancy paint job to convince onlookers with astigmatism that it’s a real Camry. Kidding aside, there’s plenty to like about the American race series now that it is fielding Next Gen vehicles.
Equipped with goodies such as center-lock 18-inch wheels, independent rear suspension, and a five-speed transmission mounted in a transaxle layout, these machines are a far cry from the relatively crude Generation 6 cars. In case you forgot, a tweaked Next Gen Camaro put on a good show in the hands of Jenson Button at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Toyota’s NASCAR program has claimed 18 race victories and 25 pole positions during the Next Gen era. The automaker is confident of the championship-winning potential of the new Camry race car, which will be competing in the 2024 season of the NASCAR Cup Series.