A non-manufacturer specific version of the car has been tested on-track twice now with another test scheduled in January at Homestead-Miami Speedway. An updated engine is expected to follow in the 2021 season.
In an exclusive interview this week, Motorsport.com spoke with Mark Rushbrook, the global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, on a variety of topics related to the ‘Next Gen’ car…
Q: Last month, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the goal of the Next Gen car was to ‘put the stock back in stock car.’ What does that mean to you?
We’re very excited about Next Gen – full stop. We want to be able to race a product that is similar to what we sell on the street. That doesn’t mean it’s the exact same parts but the architecture (is similar). So, being able to update the chassis or the suspension architecture, the steering, the tires and wheels, the body dimensions – all of those things in the Next Gen car are taking a very big step forward in those areas to tie the relevance from our race car to our road cars.
Q: The word ‘hybrid’ brings up a red-flag to some NASCAR fans. Can you explain why that is important to a manufacturer like Ford?
Where our entire world is going, the plan across all manufacturers across the world, is everybody’s cars and trucks will be shifting toward hybrid and electric. It’s not going to happen overnight but it’s going to happen over the next several years. For us, the great thing about hybrid is you still have an internal combustion engine and you have an electric motor. That’s why it’s a hybrid. A lot of people hear ‘hybrid’ and think ‘electric’ but they’re not whole electric, they’re just partial electrics. You still have a fantastic internal combustion engine in your hybrid street car or hybrid race car and you can add some excitement and performance to it with an electric motor providing even more assists as well.
See much more at Motorsport.