NASCAR‘s Next Gen race cars are the next big thing for the motorsport. While the 2022 season marks the first for the seventh-generation NASCAR stock car, there’s a clear difference in the Gen 6 – which was used from 2013-2021 – and the Next Gen, and that’s a positive.
The new Next Gen cars are just that – new. They’re literally a brand new advancement that has taken over NASCAR this season. While they look like more of what someone could purchase from an ordinary dealership, the Next Gen cars have changed the way NASCAR drivers approach races – and it’s seemed to have been a smooth adjustment so far.
As the Next Gen cars pretty much make every single NASCAR vehicle evenly-matched, they are also proven to be much more safe than past generational stock cars. That’s the biggest reason why NASCAR decided to take the Next Gen route, and it was a smart choice.
In terms of the cars’ safeness, NASCAR partnered with AB Dynamics to autonomously crash test them, with the help of driving robots. As can be seen in this video, the design of the Next Gen cars – in conjunction with NASCAR’s advanced crash barriers – make the new vehicle advancement one of a kind.
Take a look for yourself. It’s simply incredible.
More Background Information on the Advanced Crash Test
NASCAR and AB Dynamics’ partnership brought the dynamics company’s technology to Talladega Superspeedway in October 2021 and featured a test vehicle being driven at 130 miles per hour with a robot driver. As part of the test, the robot drove the test car into one of the safety barriers on the track at a 24-degree ankle – and it showed the car not suffering much damage after making contact.
“This is a truly innovative way to test the safety of vehicles in motorsport,” said John Patalak, who serves as NASCAR’s managing director for safety engineering. “The data we obtained from the test was extremely important and was not possible to get from any crash test facilities at the time. The test provided valuable information for correlation with our computer crash simulations and confirmed that the predicted vehicle impact performance from the simulation was duplicated in this real-world crash test.”
Just as the crash test showed, the new Next Gen cars are exactly what NASCAR needed.