Chevrolet announced Thursday afternoon the 2018 Camaro will replace the departing Chevy SS in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series. For the most part, this wasn’t a well-kept secret but rather a secret everyone anticipated. Thursday afternoon in Detroit saw Jimmie Johnson drive the #8 Chevy Camaro in front of GM headquarters in downtown Detroit as his Team Chevy friends looked on. With the SS model being discontinued by the company and they settled on the Camaro to mirror the Xfinity series.
Toyota debuted a new Camry body for the 2017 season which undoubtedly prompted Chevy to speed up the process of introducing a new model or at the very least a new body. Instead of the latter, they settled for a new model, a model that they have molded to their advantage the same way Toyota molded the 2018 Camry body.
Loads Of Front Downforce
The 2018 Toyota Camry was designed to enhance the front downforce on their car. With NASCAR taking away downforce on the car in 2017 there was a push to find more downforce than what the rules would allow for. On the Camry, the front end is designed to promote aero grip and get the most front down force on the car as possible. In the picture below the front down force enhancements are highlighted;
On each side of the nose the “air ducts” are angled in a way to enhance the downforce on the front end. Combine that with the indent of the air ducts and you have an extension of the splitter essentially. Same goes for the grille area by the Toyota emblem. Right above Camry the body rolls in and that lip creates more downforce. The front end of this Camry was designed with downforce in mind, really smart design when you look at it.
The 2018 Camaro that the Chevy teams will be running exploits the same areas as the Toyota did. Chevy took it a step further though and the entire grille/head light area is essentially an IndyCar wing on the front end.
When you look at the front end area, especially the areas highlighted you can see just how much that lip will help to create downforce. The same goes for the ducts on the side of the front end much like the Camry’s. Chevy took design queues from the Camry and exploited them even more. There is an arms race going on in NASCAR right now to find downforce, Chevy held the edge to start 2017, Toyota has found that edge now.
Starting in 2018 Chevy is coming for the Toyota style of dominance. The Camaro is a strange choice considering it’s a niche vehicle but it’s a throwback to when NASCAR’s Cup cars were coupes on the street and the track. Now the Camry, Fusion, and SS are all 4 door family sedans. The rear end looks a little weird in some of the pictures because it’s not a Camaro rear end but it’s not about the looks, it’s about the advantage.
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