Ford Racing has unveiled its new 2013 Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup redesign. It was shown at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Media Tour and is meant to echo the 2013 Fusion production car, giving Ford a return to brand identity on the racetrack.
This new Fusion will debut at the Daytona 500 in February 2013, when we’ll discover if its sleek new silhouette and fresh face will make a difference in lap times.
“We wanted Fusion to be the car that helped return ‘stock car’ to NASCAR,” stated Jamie Allison at Ford Racing. “I think it is going to reengage fans with the sport and make the sport better because there is just something natural about seeing racecars that look like cars in your driveway.”
This marks the third time Ford has simultaneously launched production and NASCAR versions of a new model. The first came in 1968 with the fastback Ford Torino. Legendary NASCAR driver David Pearson drove the Torino to back-to-back championships in 1968 and 1969. The second came in 2006, when the then new Ford Fusion appeared in showrooms and on the track.
Ford took a different approach with the development of the 2013 Fusion racer. Ford Design Center staff, led by Garen Nicoghosian, and Ford aerodynamicist Bernie Marcus, spent the past year doing design development, allowing the Ford race teams to concentrate on NASCAR competition.
Ford designers addressed several issues to mirror the production Fusion in the Sprint Cup version. Firstly, the designers addressed the overall proportions of the racecar to reflect the production Fusion. Secondly, an identifiable grille will give it a distinctive look.
The new NASCAR Fusion entries will be tested throughout the 2012 campaign in preparation for their racing debut at the Daytona 500 in February 2013.