Win on Sunday, sell on Monday. It's a marketing motto nearly as old as racing itself, but while today's NASCAR stock cars may have about as much in common with the cars they represent as a Halloween superhero costume from Walmart will actually give your kid superpowers, NASCAR remains the biggest spectator sport in America. So you can imagine that participating automakers would think themselves foolish to pass up the opportunity to make the connection in fans' eyes to cars they can actually buy at their local dealership.

That's why the "stock cars" packing Chevrolet engines carry the name and tacked-on fascia of the Impala SS, Dodge racers that of the Charger, while Toyota models are made to look like the Camry and Ford makes its racers resemble the Fusion. The Blue Oval has gone with the Fusion since 2006, but before that it was the Taurus, and for the better part of two decades prior, the Thunderbird. Now that Ford has released a radically redone Fusion, however, it has updated its NASCAR racer to reflect its new look.

Unveiled today at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the 2013 Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup car is the product of a year's worth of design and aerodynamics work, and it's intended to bridge the widening gap between production and race car. It will undergo what you can bet will be rigorous testing throughout this year in preparation for its race debut at the Daytona 500 in February 2013, but you can check it out now in our high-res image gallery and the pair of press releases after the jump.
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New 2013 Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup Car Brings the "Stock Car" Back to NASCAR

- Ford Racing unveils 2013 Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup redesign at Charlotte Motor Speedway during NASCAR Media Tour.
- 2013 Sprint Cup car features full redesign by Ford designers to mirror 2013 Fusion production car and return brand identity to the track.
- New Fusion race car will debut at Daytona 500 in February, 2013.

CONCORD, n.c, Jan. 24, 2012 – Manufacturer brand identity is back in NASCAR.

The 2013 Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup car, unveiled today as part of the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour, was worked on by Ford designers in an effort to bring brand identity back to the sport. The result is undeniable with the 2013 Sprint Cup car mirroring the recently unveiled 2013 Ford Fusion production car.

Featuring a completely redesigned sleek new silhouette and fresh face, the 2013 Fusion Sprint Cup car was designed to be the face of a new era of stock car racing.

"We wanted Fusion to be the car that helped return 'stock car' to NASCAR." stated Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "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."

This marks the third time Ford simultaneously launched production and NASCAR versions of a new model. The first dual launch came in 1968, with the sleek fastback Ford Torino. Legendary NASCAR driver David Pearson drove the Torino to back-to-back NASCAR championships in 1968 and 1969. The second time came in 2006, when the then newly introduced 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 the early design development, freeing up the Ford race teams to concentrate on weekly NASCAR competition.

"This is a seminal moment in the sport where we had a chance to get it right once again and make sure the race cars are race versions of street cars. And I am proud because I believe we have accomplished just that," continued Allison. "The 2013 Fusion is a stunning car and the 2013 NASCAR Fusion is even more stunning and I can't wait to see it perform on the track and connect with race fans."

Ford designers, led by Nicoghosian, addressed three main issues to mirror the 2013 Sprint Cup Fusion to the 2013 production Fusion found on showroom floors.

Design Features of the 2013 Fusion Sprint Cup Car
- Designers addressed the overall proportion of the race car to reflect proportions found in the production Fusion.
- Brand and design cues in the side of the vehicle.
- An identifiable front end grill with the distinctive look of a Ford.

"It looks fun to drive and very much eager to go and tear up the track. It has a very aggressive stance from the outside and the inside. From all angles the vehicle exudes performance and I think it reflects our general attitude of how we go about setting up our cars very, very nicely," said Nicoghosian. "It brings a certain level of nimbleness and lightness and agility to the NASCAR platform, much like we do in our production cars, because all of our production cars have that nimbleness and agility and eagerness about them."

The new NASCAR Fusion entries will be tested throughout the 2012 campaign in preparation for their racing debut at the 2013 Daytona 500 in February.



2013 NASCAR Fusion Sprint Cup Stock Car
Sculpted by Ford Design Center

- The all-new 2013 NASCAR Fusion was developed by Ford Racing with major input from the Ford Motor Company Design Center.
- The design process included 40-percent and full-scale clay models to help assess the overall look and aerodynamics of the car.
- This will be the second version of the NASCAR Fusion, which debuted as Ford's flagship model in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2006.

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 24, 2012 – World-class design is something that has made Ford Motor Company one of the top automakers in the world, and now NASCAR fans are going to have a chance to see the latest example up close and personal with the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion stock car.

"Back in the day, designers influenced race cars because they were essentially stock cars," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "The more we went away from 'stock car' racing, the more the role of design diminished. However, the role of the aerodynamicist and the motorsports engineer increased because we were designing purpose-built race cars."

The process behind developing the 2013 NASCAR Fusion was much different than some of the previous models when race teams actually built and designed the car. For example, Penske Racing, along with Roush Racing, did the majority of the development on the NASCAR Taurus prior to its debut for the 1998 season while also having to maintain their current fleet and concentrate on winning races.

"We started going back to our design community and nosed around with guys that have been with the company the longest and we can't remember the last time designers have been involved with helping NASCAR," said Ford Racing NASCAR Operations Manager Andy Slankard. "This time, we have had the luxury of support from the Ford Design Center to give us these sleek shapes and new look. Only designers could do that, not a bunch of engineers or race car guys."

One of the people heading up the Design Center part of the project is Garen Nicoghosian, Design Manager for Specialty Vehicles. A self-professed race fan, he embraced this opportunity and called it one of the highlights of his time so far at Ford.

"It was a passionate project for everybody that worked on it," said Nicoghosian. "Those who contributed their time did so because they wanted to and, as a result, everybody went above and beyond the call of duty."

Some of the challenges the design team faced centered around various NASCAR rules and common areas that all of the manufacturer vehicles will share, but there were other more obvious ones that had to be overcome.

"There is a size difference between the production and the race car, and the proportions are so different. The street Fusion is a front-wheel drive, front engine car, and race car is a front engine, rear-wheel drive car with a really long hood, and a much lower and wider stance," said Nicoghosian. "The fundamentally different profiles and proportions of the two vehicles, as well as other constraints, presented a bigger challenge than simply taking a Fusion and putting NASCAR stickers on it.

"The challenge was to design a race car with the look and feel of the production car," Nicoghosian said. "To do this, you have to rely on design identity. We paid close attention to the way we shaped the details on the racer, such as the headlight, grille, and foglight openings, as well as the bodyside sections, character lines, and overall surface language. When parked side by side, the racer and the street car 'feel' the same, even though the two share no common surfaces."

"We've really embraced the Design Center's philosophy and process of how they would design a car for the street," said Pat DiMarco, Ford Racing NASCAR program manager. "We started with some conceptual drawings that our design team did, and worked with the aerodynamicists to see what was feasible and what was not."

That resulted in some 40-percent sized clay models that helped assess the overall look of the car and how it would react aerodynamically in the wind tunnel. Eventually, a full-size clay model was constructed and reviewed in the design center, much like production models are assessed. Top Ford executives, including Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally, President of the Americas Mark Fields, and Board of Directors member Edsel B. Ford II all viewed the car.

"It looks fun to drive and very much eager to go and tear up the track. It has a very aggressive stance. From all angles the vehicle exudes performance and I think it reflects our general attitude of how we go about designing our production cars very, very nicely," said Nicoghosian. "It brings a certain level of nimbleness and lightness and agility to the NASCAR platform. Our production cars have that nimbleness and agility and eagerness about them as well."

Even though there is still a great deal of performance testing to be done throughout the 2012 season, the overwhelming impression is that from a design standpoint, the 2013 NASCAR Fusion is already a winner.

"I don't think we could do any better. With help from guys like Garen and the whole design community, every time we went in there they shaped that car a little better," said Slankard. "You can't imagine the talent these guys have and how they're able to make that car look so good. I think this is a nice sporty version of the Fusion, and a lot of people will be excited about it."

"I am most proud that it looks like the 2013 Fusion, plain and simple. I think this will bring back the fans to NASCAR," said DiMarco. "A lot of people have said the cars all look the same and they can't tell the difference. There is very little brand identity in the sport right now. In 2013, they will not be able to say that."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 124 Comments
      Bavarian818
      • 2 Years Ago
      She looks like she's ready to kiss some paint!!!
      XJ Yamaha
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whoooweee Jim-Bob, lookee what we gots here!!!
        Jesus!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @XJ Yamaha
        I bet it took all 5 of your brain cells to come up with that one.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Shiftright
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is why NASCAR sucks
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        Why does NASCAR suck? Because they use cars that aren't even related to their production counterparts? Well how about not singling out NASCAR for this? There's DTM, Rolex Grand Am (they're actually getting smarter and have now incorporated GT3 rules), NHRA Pro STOCK, Australian V8 Supercars (Go look at their new Car of the Future just unveiled not too long ago. The cars have the same basic shape except for the headlights, grilles, and tail lights) and many other silhouette racing series.
          Dirty_Chicane
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Nice try trying to draw away attention to NASCAR's stickers and they call then stock cars...so why aren't they? The other series have REAL lights and real doors with functional windscreen wipers, that was my point! All series have spec parts.......NASCAR is just the only one applied with 3M tape. Also why don't they just make the cars 4 doors ? So, enjoy the redneck riviera wearing your Digger t shirt.
          Dirty_Chicane
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          And let's not forget "Digger" the cartoon gopher and starting races with Boogity,Boogity,Boogity! That's another reason why it's now a joke of a Motorsport.
          Dirty_Chicane
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          DTM, Australian V8 Supercars, WTCC, BTCC, and any Le Mans Car along with almost every other type of racing feature functional "real" parts. NASCAR uses stickers for front and read lights, doors don't open, decide that 2012 is the time for fuel injection " made by McLaren International" and exaggerate attendance numbers and don't get me started on throwing yellows for the reason of "enhancing the show"! It's like a children's program with prototype cartoonish cars at this point.
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Yeah, and you're comparing a LMP to a NASCAR race car. You know, you seem to post in the same manner as M, and many other names.
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Dirty Chicane, you've just confused non-production parts for "real" parts. DTM uses tubed chassis with cars that LOOK like their production counterparts (much like the future NASCAR race cars as shown here) that are powered by engines that haven't trickled down to their production counterparts, let alone have technology that has trickled down. Aussie V8 Supercars, as I've just explained, has just become a silhouette series. They are now going to use one engine that isn't even related to Ford or GM, unless you count in the actual design of the engine. They all use 1 chassis, and both Ford and Holden bodies are made to fit around this one chassis. The only thing relating to the actual production cars is the roofline, headlights, and tail lights (oh look, much like this car minus the headlights and tail lights). I didn't even bring up BTCC/WTCC and Le Mans. Prototypes are called that for a reason and their GT cars are CLOSELY related to their production counterparts.
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Is that really your only complaint? That they don't have doors, lights, or windshield wipers? Well I can also make you look stupid with explaining why they don't.... These cars travel over 200mph. Doors provide very little protection from the outside elements during a crash. Having a weakness in the structure of the rollcage where the door opens would be a very dangerous defect. Lights flying through the air, along with the broken lexan/glass coming at a car going 200mph. Yeah, that would look like a murder scene. Same goes for windshield wiper, except a little bit added. Try keeping a windshield wiper on the car at over 200mph.
          Thaddeus Reeves
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          For me, my main issue is that it's referred to as "stock car" racing. If they just call it NASCAR but don't even hint at a pretense that there's a relationship or trickle-down between NASCAR vehicles & what's in the showroom, then it wouldn't be irksome. I just wish folks flocked to watch showroom stock the same way the did NASCAR. I'd love to watch NASCAR drivers actually duking it out on the track with stock Camry's, Fusions & Impalas.
          Krishan Mistry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          It's not going at 200mph that prohibits functional exterior bits on NASCAR cars, it's crashing at 200mph.
          Krishan Mistry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          It's not going at 200mph that prohibits functional exterior bits on NASCAR cars, it's crashing at 200mph.
          Dirty_Chicane
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Well Elmo I'm glad I made you look like the ass you are with my post about the TOYOTA LMP1 and how those silly things like doors, headlights and windscreen wipers work on 200+mph cars. It's called aerodynamics and like NASCAR you are good at excuses and not at execution. Funny how you don't reply to my post on that article only harp on this one, which still makes you l
          Krishan Mistry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          It's not going at 200mph that prohibits functional exterior bits on NASCAR cars, it's crashing at 200mph.
          Krishan Mistry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          LOL, I spammed the submit button. My bad.
          Krishan Mistry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          It's not going at 200mph that prohibits functional exterior bits on NASCAR cars, it's crashing at 200mph.
          Krishan Mistry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          It's not going at 200mph that prohibits functional exterior bits on NASCAR cars, it's crashing at 200mph.
          Dirty_Chicane
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          All I am saying Is that NASCAR is behind and needs to step up!!!!!!! We are all enthusiasts and love automobiles and NASCAR needs to get up to speed !!!! No more excuses just make a modern car that we can say this feature comes from NASCAR! We both agree the LMP1 TOYOTA has things that will trickle down to production ( hybrid to LMP1 is actually trickle up for Toyota ) so let's hope they make a light weight battery hybrid system that we can benefit from!
      stclair5211
      • 2 Years Ago
      NASCAR is the biggest fraud ever. Nothing about these cars is "stock", so slapping a brand on one is ridiculous.
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @stclair5211
        I'm pretty sure you're the biggest fraud, given that you're not this much of an ass in real life.
        Rysdyk88
        • 2 Years Ago
        @stclair5211
        and nothing about funny cars are funny and footballs don't look like feet.
      brian
      • 2 Years Ago
      This suddenly makes me NOT want to own a Fusion
      Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      You haters can hate Nascar all you want. Its still the biggest Motorsport in the United States and is only second to the NFL in total sports viewership. I personaly like Nascar on a sunday afternoon. Wow that is the closest Nascar has had a car that looks production in a long time. Goood job Ford and Nascar.
        David Donovan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike
        And the Camry is the best selling car in America so that makes it the best then? NASCAR is for simpletons. WEEEEEEE!!!!!! I GOT TO WATCH MY FAVORITE DRIVER GO AROUND THE TRACK 400 TIMES! OMG IT WAS SO AWESOME!!!
          weside29
          • 2 Years Ago
          @David Donovan
          It takes less brain cells to come up with that dimwitted slam on Nascar than to actually understand the intricacies to the sport.
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @David Donovan
          You make us true Cowboys fans look like complete idiots...
          David Donovan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @David Donovan
          @TopGun. The difference between NASCAR and golf is night and day. In golf you have 18 different holes ot play on and each is different. In NASCAR a mile long oval is exactly the same if you do 1 lap or a billion. I love motorsports! I've done the Doug Foley drag racing school, I drag race my own cars, I've done some auto crossing, as well as done a couple of road races on actual road circuits that require to go left AND right. How anybody can watch a car do 400 laps and actually come away blown away by what they just saw is a simpleton. I live about 10 minutes away from a NASCAR track and I won't go to the races because after 20 laps I'm ready to stab my eyes out.
          Mike
          • 2 Years Ago
          @David Donovan
          @Top Gun Perfect point. Some people just feel the need to bash something they arn't into i guess
      Carlos Vargas
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow those stickers look great. Too bad it isn't a Fusion.
      rmkensington
      • 2 Years Ago
      Only in Nascar would they change the shape of the fiberglass and expect everyone to get excited.
      Nikolas Malechikos
      • 2 Years Ago
      "biggest spectator sport in America..." ???? hardly.. NASCAR is outpaced by MLB, NFL, NHL, NCAA Football and MANY other spectator sports. A simple visit to Wikipedia could have told you that Noah! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sports_attendance_figures NASCAR gets WAYYYYYYY too much credit for the wrong things, and WAYYYY too little credit for what it has truly done: ruin professional motorsports in North America.
        dklkse1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nikolas Malechikos
        Calling the kettle black, much? You're basing your OPINION on "biggest" purely on attendance figures alone. You're just as guilty as disguising opinion as fact as is the writer of the article. Don't act like it's anything otherwise.
          Nikolas Malechikos
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dklkse1
          How else should "biggest" be interpreted? Most TV viewers? no, not there either. Most sales of souvenirs and other paraphernalia? No, not there either. Most revenue? No, not there. Tell us how YOU interpret biggest, as it pertains to this article? And no, I don't hide my disdain for NASCAR and what they (along with the OEM's) have done to motorsports here in the United States.
        Mike
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nikolas Malechikos
        Umm thats mutiple Games. I was talking about a single event or single sports cast. Like the Datonya 500 is only second to the Super Bowl.
          David Donovan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mike
          What's the difference? If you're going off of that then it's even worse for NASCAR that a regular season NFL game draws a bigger TV audience most NASCAR races is just sad. Hell the attendance figures speak for themselves. Before Dover Speedway would sell out every race. Now adays, at least half of the stands are under tarps on race day with sponsors logos on them instead. So keep on kidding yourself when you think NASCAR is the biggest spectator sport in America.
          Nikolas Malechikos
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mike
          We'll see what dklkse1 has to say with his reply.. However, the author of the article says "NASCAR is the biggest spectator sport".. he didn't write "The Daytona 500 is the biggest spectator event". Don't get me wrong, I agree that the Daytona 500 is HUGE.. but is it bigger than the Indy 500? In the larger discussion, I like what NASCAR is doing with their GrandAm property much more than I do with Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World series.
      jamiescale
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gotta love the dichotomy.... The New Ford Fusion: cutting-edge, technology-laden, sleek, forward-thinking design! NASCAR: old...ummm..dumb...uh...oh yeah: homogeneous
      Sixspeed
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ecoboost...lol...if only they could use those, but the hillbilly's wouldn't like that!
        Mike
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sixspeed
        So i am a hillbilly when i live in SoCal and 30 minutes from the beach and still love watching Nascar??
          Sixspeed
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mike
          I'm just saying Nascar fans can't except change. I've tried to watch and like it, but honestly for me PBS Nova is more exciting! If they actually put a ecoboost motor in the cars I would start watching, but most your fans would throw a fit!
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sixspeed
        I just love that people confuse "hillbilly" with redneck/hick. Hillbillies live in up in the "hills" of Appalachia and the Ozarks. My way of seeing it? A hillbilly has barely any outside influence on his behavior and is almost like an Amish person. They're not too technologically savvy. They're basically stuck in time.
          KaiserWilhelm
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          True, I believe the term hes looking for is "Redneck"
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