Stock cars in NASCAR share nothing with their road-going counterparts save for a traditionally cartoonish front-end design. Manufacturers pick a name and slap it on their race cars. Chevrolet fields the Impala, Ford the Fusion, Dodge the Charger and Toyota its best-selling Camry.
Earlier this month, Ford introduced the redesigned 2013 Fusion at the North American International Auto Show. You know what that means – time for a new stock car design. Mid-size sedans have traditionally been one of the biggest segments, so Ford has used the Fusion since 2006. Prior to that it was the Taurus. The new 2013 Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup car was introduced today at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Ford says it is a product of a years worth of design and aerodynamics work.
The company put a particular emphasis on making it look closer to the standard car then it ever has before. In that respect, we’ve really got to hand it to them. The Fusion race car looks closer to the road-going Fusion than anything we’ve seen out of NASCAR in a long time. The car includes pretty realistic proportions up front, with replicated headlights and Ford’s gaping maw grille. The Ford logo also features very prominently on the front and sides of the vehicle – it is part of an effort to boost the brand. Jamie Allison, director of Ford racing, talked about the project:
“We wanted Fusion to be the car that helped return ‘stock car’ to NASCAR…..I think fans, when they see the car, are just going to smile and cheer. It is going to reengage them with the sport and make the sport better because there is just something natural about seeing race cars that look like cars in their driveways.”
Many design hours were put in to do just that. It’s an attention to detail and effort that just hasn’t been put into these cars by other manufacturers. You can check the 2013 Ford Fusion race car in our gallery below. The car is set to make its racing debut next January for the 2013 race campaign.