What makes a racing car different from a road car?

Have you been watching the 2019 British Touring Car Championship? If so, you may be wondering exactly what makes a road car different from a racing car. Luckily, Kwik Fit has recently released a great infographic which goes into this in detail, so be sure to check it out.

This infographic looks at the difference between a BTCC Toyota Corolla and a 2019 Toyota Corolla. And there are some massive differences, mainly because the BTCC Toyota Corolla needs to be as fast as possible, and therefore must be as light as possible. Every aspect of the car must be considered, including the engine, brakes, and gearbox. While road cars are packed with comfortable conveniences, these are all removed from race cars, since they need to be so light.

Removing all this extra weight makes a massive difference when it comes to speed. While a road car can only reach a speed of up to 112mph, the race car can get as fast as 150mph. That’s because the race car weighs just 1280kg compared to the road car, which weighs 1735kg.

There are a few key differences in the engines of these cars. While both have a 2.0L engine, the road car’s engine is just 180 BHP, and has been designed to ensure comfort and safety are a priority. The BTCC is different however, with a 360+ BHP, allowing it to quickly generate a lot of power.

The suspension is a little different too. The Toyota Corolla road car has a Macpherson strut front suspension option, while the shock absorbers ensure a smooth ride. The BTCC has a multi-adjustable double wishbone suspension system.

The gearboxes are also different. The Toyota Corolla road car has a typical six-speed manual gearbox. However, the BTCC’s gearbox is an Xtrac 6-speed sequential-model. This is because a driver needs to be able to change gears as quickly as possible, and this type of gearbox allows them to push the gear forward and back with a   movement.

Obviously, the interiors of these cars are also different. The BTCC has been completely stripped, and is ‘bare-bones’ compared to the road car. This ensures that it will be as light and fast as possible on the track. The car is also designed for the best possible airflow, so the car will stay cool. The BTCC also has a bespoke steering wheel.

I had no idea just how different these two cars were. I was also super interested to know how stripping the car and optimizing which parts are used can make it so much lighter than the road car version.