The motorsport world has been given its first insight into the future of Supercars with the category releasing imagery of the new generation of vehicles.
Confirmed to appear in 2022 and beyond, the new Gen3 cars will incorporate a new technical design and modern look, as well as sporting a closer visual connection to standard road cars.
While the Ford Mustang will continue to run in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship having made its debut in 2019, General Motors will introduce the Camaro ZL1 as a replacement for the Holden Commodore.
The new Gen3 car designs feature a lower, safer and ‘hybrid-ready’ chassis and will be significantly lighter and cheaper, with the target cost reduction to the current model sitting between 30 and 40 per cent – making it more accommodating to a greater range of cars.
The Gen3 car will also continue the critical power-to-weight ratio with changes to the engine rules expected to make the cars cheaper to buy and operate and offer other benefits such as greater engine life and a reduction in fuel consumption.
Also under consideration is the possibility of a Supercars-branded engine, which will allow other brands an easier pathway to join the championship.
Supercars CEO Sean Seamer was excited with what the near future had to offer.
“We are thrilled to welcome a brand new race car design to the track in 2022,” Seamer said.
“The cars will retain their signature V8 engine format to ensure they’re fast and loud, but will be ‘hybrid ready’ and more closely resembling the road cars they are based on.
"These are incredible looking race cars that give a nod to the Supercar of the past, with as much attention given to the design and appearance of the cars as the new technologies.
“The Gen3 project will support the longevity of Supercars by increasing relevance to our fans and partners, reducing operating costs, and making the racing even fiercer.
“The cars will have a lot less downforce than the current car, making the racing more spectacular and putting more reliance on driver skill."
Interim Chairman & Managing Director of General Motors Australia & New Zealand, Kristian Aquilina echoed Seamer’s comments and was thrilled the company could stay involved with the championship.
“It is fantastic that GM is able to continue its long and proud involvement in Australasia’s premier motorsport category,” Aquilina added.
“The Camaro ZL1 Supercar will undoubtedly attract passion and excitement, as well as showcase the Chevy bowtie that is integral to our new GM Specialty Vehicles business in Australia and New Zealand.
“We loved every minute of our 51-year involvement through Holden. There will never be another Holden, but we now welcome Camaro to the stage and hopefully a whole new generation of fans with it.”
President and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand, Andrew Birkic was also looking forward to the new program.
“Ford and Supercars share a rich heritage and a strong future, and we’re excited that fans, today, can see how that’s developing for 2022 and beyond,” Birkic said.
“We’ve said before that Ford Performance exists to win races and series that matter, and the development of the Gen3 rules is an opportunity to ensure that fans in Australia continue to enjoy a world-class Supercars series that delivers the spectacle and intense competition that has made it worth winning and, ultimately, great to watch."
A number of representative from Supercars teams have also been involved in the program design, including Ryan Story (DJRTP) and Roland Dane (Triple Eight Race Engineering), Tim Edwards (Tickford Racing), Brad Jones (Brad Jones Racing) and Carl Faux (WAU), as well as Adrian Burgess and John Casey from Supercars.
The current Gen2 cars will stay on track for the 2021 season with the new Gen3 car to make its debut in 2022.