UPDATE 2: The advent of hybrid power in NASCAR is "a matter of when, not if" according to Ford Performance’s motorsport boss Mark Rushbrook, as the series looks to develop a next-generation powertrain from the 2022 season.
Speaking at the Le Mans 24 Hours test at the weekend, Rushbrook suggested that hybrid power would only be used on suitable tracks, such as road courses and short ovals, both of which would generate the braking energy required to power a KERS-style system.
"There’s a lot of open discussion of hybrids in NASCAR," said Rushbrook. "It’s just a matter of when, not if. It’s probably in the 2022-2023 timeframe.
Rushbrook also said that the hybrid would give the extra power required on road tracks and short ovals that would mean the internal-combustion engines would be the same spec at all races.
"It would be the same combustion engine with an electric motor added onto it or not," he added. "In some sense today the series is already there. At the big tracks they run approximately 550 horsepower, on road courses it’s 750 horsepower.
— Motorsport —
UPDATE: NASCAR and manufacturers have discussed the hybridization of future cars but one manufacturer executive said it won’t happen soon.
"Relative to hybridization and electrification, quite simply, it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of how and when," David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development said Thursday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "A hybrid type of strategy is absolutely something that we’re looking at.
"Candidly, it won’t be something that we see as early as ’21. That’s, realistically, a little further down the road."
Hybrids have become more important for manufacturers, Wilson said on "The Morning Drive" on Thursday.
"You look across the motorsports landscape, you’re seeing hybridization and electrification everywhere you look," he said. "That again is simply a reflection of the automotive culture on a global basis. Today, Toyota has eight different hybrid vehicles in their lineup."
Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, also was on "The Morning Drive" on Thursday and expressed the value of the Gen 7 car being able to incorporate hybrid elements in the future.
"I think Gen 7 gives an opportunity to bring more relevant elements of the car and the technology to what we’re selling in the showroom or what we’ll be selling more of in the future," Campbell said. "Along with that is the ability of if we do that have an opportunity to attract more (manufacturers). So it all does really fit together. There’s still much work going on with the Gen 7.
— NBC Sports —
ORIGINAL POST: Expected to debut in 2021, development of NASCAR’s Gen 7 car is underway, with some components included in the All-Star race package.
– Mike Helton hit on hybrids on @DaleJr podcast last week: "If the automobile and racing industries go down the road with electrification, the chassis should have room for that."
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) May 28, 2019
Interviewed last month, Ford Performance global director Mark Rushbrook said the cars need to be more ‘technically relevant’ …And he wants hybrid power to be on the cards when the package makes its debut in 2021.