With some big changes coming to the Australian V8 Supercars series, Mercedes-Benz may be looking to get in on the action. Starting in 2012, the Australian NASCAR-meets-Touring Car series will follow after the U.S. stock car series by introducing a Car of the Future platform, essentially making the championship more of a spec series.
The new cars would trade the out-dated live-axle setup for a fully-independent one, while DOHC engines would replace the current pushrod ones – both updates that are more consistent with Mercedes’ high-tech engineering capability. A series dominated by Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores, the fan following has done great things for the domestic Australian automakers, who have seen a rise in sales of high-performance FPCs and HSVs. Mercedes, quite reasonably, isn’t prepared to sit back and watch other automakers take over the market for big V8-powered rear-drive sedans.
Adding to the speculation is word that Mercedes has commissioned the renowned Brock Engineering team to build a C63 AMG-based track taxi to take VIP guests around for hot laps ahead of this year’s races – no doubt drumming up interest and testing the waters.
The rule change doesn’t take place until the 2012 season, so there won’t be any Mercs competing in V8 Supercars until then, but when and if Mercedes does arrive, they might not be alone. Reportedly, both Nissan and Hyundai are examining the possibility of getting involved as well.