How Toyota transforms America's best-selling car to compete for other titles
Safety equipment on the street Camry includes airbags all around the passenger cabin. The NASCAR Camry has a steel roll cage and foam pieces in the door panels.
The street Camry gets modern four- and six-cylinder engines with modest power driving the front wheels. The racing Camry gets a low-tech V-8 putting out 750 hp to the rear wheels.
The NASCAR Camry's drivetrain is rooted in a bygone era of muscle cars. "It's dated," says David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development. "But it is highly evolved."
Grille shape is closely matched: "The Camry has a strong V shape in the front end that comes to the emblem. We were able to keep a lot of that," says Calty's Kevin Hunter.
Side pods and lower fascia are exaggerated but match: "The front of these race cars are the money shots that you see on TV," Hunter says. "We spend a lot of time in that area."
Designers have little control back here. "A lot of the rear is dictated by NASCAR," Hunter says. "There's a perimeter shape around the ending point of the rear that we have to keep."
The racing Camry gets massive tires that have almost nothing to do with those on the production model. "They're both rubber," says Wilson. "That's about the only similarity."
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.