With about seven months on the clock before the green flag waves at the 2013 Daytona 500, all four automakers involved in NASCAR continue to tune and test what will be the next generation of the Sprint Cup racecar. For Ford Motor Company, it unveiled the 2013 Ford Fusion Cup car in January, but at this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway, Ford will show off a revised body that is closer to what the actual racecar will look like next year. NASCAR is finally on the verge of once again racing cars that actually look like what customers can find on showroom floors, and Ford continues to lead the way with its 2013 Ford Fusion.
The newest version of the Fusion Cup car will be on display this weekend for the Sprint Cup's Quicken Loans 400, and it sports a few new changes to make it ready for racing duty next February. All the changes were made to the car's front end, but the new fascia received most of the attention with more intricate lines around where the fog lights would go on a passenger car and a grille that now has more of a production look to it rather just than being a decal (as was the case with the car displayed earlier in the year). Like the Fusion that will be in dealer showrooms later this year, the hood of the racecar now features more detailed body lines including a power dome look up the middle of the hood. It is not clear if NASCAR and the automakers have agreed on a final design for the 2013 Sprint Cup racecar, but judging from what we've seen so far, they're sure to look good.
“We had an opportunity to add more personality and detail to the race car,” said Garen Nicoghosian, Ford design manager in charge of the NASCAR project. “We took advantage of this opportunity and sculpted a more aggressive front end and we added grille bars that are identical in design to the production car. We also added more detail to the fog light housings, and created a more detailed headlight area as well. In addition, we also sculpted a more aggressive hood, and were able to achieve a closer look to the production car. Our race car is even closer in design to the production car now, and we are very pleased with the results.”
Since the new Ford Fusion body was unveiled ahead of this year's Daytona 500, the new designs for next year's Toyota Camry and Dodge Charger racecars have been introduced as well; Chevrolet's new Cup car, likely to be called either the SS or SS Performance, has still yet to make its official debut, but Chevrolet did release some pictures of the car testing before the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
All four of the next-generation Sprint Cup racecars will be fighting for the checkered flag at the 2013 Daytona 500 which is scheduled to be held Feb. 24, 2013. NASCAR's Nationwide Series will continue to run separate cars from the Sprint Cub including Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, but no word yet on which car Chevrolet plans to run in this "minor league" series.
photos courtesy of Ford Racing