Typically it takes an automaker’s motorsport department a little while to come out with the racing machinery to match the road-going production car on which it’s ostensibly based. But not Toyota – not with the new Camry.
Alongside the eighth-generation production sedan, Toyota took the wraps off the NASCAR Cup-spec Camry at the Detroit Auto Show this week.
So where you’d expect to find a four- or six-cylinder engine, this Camry packs a 5.9-liter pushrod V8 kicking out 725 horsepower to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission.
The design process, undertaken in collaboration between Toyota Racing Development and the company’s Calty Design studio, was kept highly secretive so NASCAR fans would have no idea what was coming until its debut.
Now that it has, the new Camry is set to hit the track next month at Daytona – months before the production model reaches showrooms in the summer. Star drivers Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth are already lined up to drive it in the newly rebranded Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Busch took the Cup in a Toyota in 2015, and the manufacturer won its first championship last year, so the new Camry has big shoes to fill.