Could NASCAR Use Turbo V6s And Carbon Fiber Frames By 2017?

After the success of NASCAR's "Generation 6" program (which has accomplished it's main goal by creating more unique cars for each brand while also accomplishing the auxiliary goal of making passing easier on bigger, more aero dependent tracks), the stock car racing sanctioning body has already begun to look towards what to do for it's next generation of cars, expected to debut in 2017, and if a report from Stock Car Engineering is to be believed, things could get far more technical very quickly.

According to the report, planning for the new generation car has just recently begun, and everything's on the table right now, even the engine rules that have gone largely unchanged since the early 70s and the steel tube frames that have been used since the late 60s.

The most notable of the new engine options potentially on offer is that of the turbo V6, which would be popular with heavily invested manufacturers Ford and Toyota while also helping court new manufacturers (most notably Volkswagen, who's been considering joining the sport on-and-off for the past three years). If the decision is made to switch to turbo V6s, NASCAR would join IndyCar and F1 in going a V6-only route, though it'd be safe to assume that all three would keep different specific rules, and by extent safe to assume that we're not just four years from seeing an F1 engine in a stock car.

Also on the table is a switch from frames built out of steel tubes to a DTM style hybrid chassis, half carbon fiber tub and half steel tube frame. Considering NASCAR has already announced a plan to run a North American DTM series starting in 2015, the success of that series could very well dictate whether or not this idea comes to fruition.

It's early and at this point everything is just speculation, but both of these major changes could be likely as NASCAR continues to attempt to keep their current OEMs interested while also attracting new manufacturers. With Dodge leaving at the end of 2012 and Chevrolet having seriously considered leaving the sport as recently as last year, these measures have never been more important to the health of NASCAR.

(via Stock Car Engineering, hat tip to Laziers for Fears)