2013 NASCAR Dodge Charger Sprint Cup Car
  • 2013 NASCAR Dodge Charger Sprint Cup Car
  • 2013 NASCAR Dodge Charger Sprint Cup Car
  • 2013 NASCAR Dodge Charger Sprint Cup Car
  • 2013 NASCAR Dodge Charger Sprint Cup Car
  • 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Dodge Charger
  • Image Credit: NASCAR
Dodge has teased its 2013 Charger car for the Sprint Cup series, and perhaps it goes farthest with NASCAR's switch to bodies at its top level that look more like their street counterparts. In the deep red and shadows above you can make out the same greenhouse and character lines from the Charger in the showroom.

It will be revealed in full on March 11, just before the Sprint Cup race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. While we'll know what it will look like then, we probably won't know who'll be driving it in the aftermath of Roger Penske's announcement that he's switching his team to Ford.

The Charger body, however, has already been revealed accidentally. Scale modeler Randy Ayers paid a visit to Roger Penske's shop to get details on liveries for other modelers, and while he was there in the public area, two shop employees wheeled the new body across the floor. If it's any conslation to Dodge, we agree with Sam Hornish: it does look good.

Follow the jump for Dodge's press release on the new car.
Show full PR text
SRT Motorsports: 2013 NASCAR Dodge Charger - Brand Identity Is Back

March 2, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Yes, NASCAR driver Sam Hornish, Jr, might be a bit partial to the 2013 Dodge Charger that debuts in the Sprint Cup series at the Daytona 500 next year.

But when he's right, he's right: "The car looks the best out of any of the new cars, that's for sure -- nice, sharp lines -- and you can see a lot of the street car in the race car. It brings the Charger's identity back onto the racetrack."

Hornish was the first Dodge driver to test the 2013 Charger, at a closed test earlier this year at the Homestead-Miami Speedway that was attended by all four manufacturers. Over the years, NASCAR race cars -- in the interest of parity and safety -- have strayed farther and farther from the appearance and character of the road-going vehicles they are based on. For a series that originally appealed to manufacturers with a "Race on Sunday, sell on Monday" philosophy, it has been challenging to maintain a level of by-brand enthusiasm when the cars look so similar on the track.

This is especially important to Dodge -- while the current rules in NASCAR prevent much sharing between the street car and race car, Dodge fans remain proud that the Charger street car is the only rear-wheel-drive model in Sprint Cup Series competition that is available with a V-8 engine. .

Soon, the relationship between the Dodge Charger street car and the Dodge Charger NASCAR race car will be unmistakable.

In 2010, NASCAR held a summit with representatives of all four brands. A central issue: Returning brand identity to the cars on the track. The concept was launched full-time for the 2011 racing season in the Nationwide Series, where Dodge debuted the Challenger, which looked very much like the road-going counterpart. "The response was phenomenal," recalls Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of Street & Racing Technology (SRT) Brand, which includes motorsports. "The fans were like. 'Hallelujah, finally, the race cars look a lot like the cars I can buy and drive.'"

Key to the stunning looks of the 2013 NASCAR Dodge Charger is the fact that NASCAR eased the ruling on where manufacturers could put "glass," and where they could put solid body pieces. This freed designers to make the "greenhouse," the area above the doors, hood and trunk lid, to much more closely resemble production cars. Rules were also eased for the front and rear, and especially the sides, allowing for character lines that come directly from the street car.

It is still important for NASCAR to performance-balance all four models, and that is being done in the wind tunnel, as well as on the track.

The new design has invigorated even people within Chrysler Group's performance division, like Mark Trostle, who heads the design team for motorsports, as well as SRT, and who worked on the Nationwide Series Dodge Challenger before the Charger.

Trostle said he found his own interest in Sprint Cup Series racing on the wane in recent years because the cars "did not look much like the car built by the company I worked for. But when I worked on the Challenger program, all of a sudden I became a huge NASCAR fan. I started watching because I could turn on the TV and say, "Hey, there's the Challenger!' I knew right away what it was without having to memorize the car numbers. I feel like we're helping change the feel of the sport and putting design and brand identity back into NASCAR. I think we've taken all the ingredients, and we've done a pretty awesome job with them."

The public debut of the NASCAR 2013 Dodge Charger comes March 11 at 10:30 a.m. in the Neon Garage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, just before the green flag falls on the Kobalt Tools 400.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      Arnie Bigster
      • 2 Years Ago
      With Penske going to Ford in 2013, why did they build a 2013 Dodge race car?
      SloopJohnB
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a tease...all the Sprint Cup cars look the same anyway.
      Erik
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are they "teasing" because someone will be excited or titillated by the car's shape? A NASCAR racecar is less visually interesting than the Camry, Fusion, Charger or Impala it is named after, which is to say it is as visually interesting as a block of wood, a block of concrete, or a sheet of blank, white paper folded into the shape of a block. What exactly is there to tease?
      Brian
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not a big fan of Nascar however that is a pretty nice looking race car design. The Charger body line down the side actually makes the car much more visually interesting to look at. It'd be nice to the other automakers who race in Nascar do something similar with their cars.
      pickupmiami
      • 2 Years Ago
      eer, they wont have a team in 2013, so who is kidding who. Penske is gone boys too little too late. Keep building the 500 it's cute.
      Bill Burke
      • 2 Years Ago
      There are three factors here. First NASCAR has finally realized that brand identity is necessary Two Dodge is committed long term to NASCAR and the Penske decision caught Dodge by surprise.
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bill Burke
        Yeah, I'm kind of wondering about this. Who's going to move to Dodge? Penske signed with Ford for next year. It seems to me that NASCAR is trying to push out Dodge again.
      Brian
      • 2 Years Ago
      One thing that I realized after looking at the Charger race car a little closer is that Dodge needs 2 door Charger for the street. If Dodge could make a street version of the red anodized-looking Charger picture, that would be one hot car.
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian
        If you want a 2 door Charger, go buy a Challenger...
        Allen Aventador
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian
        we do need a road going 2 door Charger. Even in the 70's the two coexisted side by side and people loved them both equally but sadly both left in 1974 (i could be wrong). The Charger was the B-Body and the Challenger the E-Body (which was a chopped B-Body frame). Love them both regardless. hope they make a 2-door Charger.
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Um... they switched to a common template years ago for a reason. Next we're going to hear all the Dodge drivers complaining about the fact the front of their cars have the aerodynamic prowess of a brick wall while the sleek-nosed Camry, Impala and Fusion drivers are drafting away from them. :-/ And what's with the fender flares? The street Charger doesn't even have those, and Cup cars have never had it.
        Michael H
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dwight Bynum Jr.
        Um... 2012 Dodge Charger Cd: 0.297 2012 Ford Fusion Cd: 0.33 2012 Chevy Impala Cd: 0.33 2012 Toyota Camry Cd: 0.28 That is to say the Charger is more aerodynamically fit than the Fusion and Impala and not far off the Camry.
          Dwight Bynum Jr.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Michael H
          If you're going to comment, at least get your facts straight. The 2012 Fusion is irrelevant since the 2013 Fusion (which is what will be running) is all new and has a Cd "below 0.27," according to Ford. http://www.automotiverhythms.com/auto-reviews/auto-preview/1857-2013-ford-fusion-north-american-international-auto-show-debut.html And IIRC, a new Impala will debut for or in 2013 as well. Since it's based on the XTS, a car which GM hasn't released numbers for but says has "exceptionally good aerodynamics," I think it's safe to assume the Charger will be at the bottom of the "slippery" list.
        threefortyduster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dwight Bynum Jr.
        The flares may be required to meet the minimum width, which may allow them to use the scalloped sides like the street car has and make it look a bit more like what you can buy. You know, since people bitch that the cars that race in NASCAR look nothing like the street car currently (which they don't, if you see the cars without the stickers, they are all the same). Not real sure, just an idea as to why they needed them.
      Murad
      • 2 Years Ago
      Next step: electronic fuel injection.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Murad
        Already done, I believe. But I hardly think carbs were hindering the engines all this time, I mean up to 900hp from an NA 5.8L revving over 9000rpm doesnt sound like a slouching dinosaur to me, but EFI will probably save a little bit of fuel to last more laps per fillup maybe.
          Murad
          • 2 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          I hope there becomes a closer relationship technology-wise between what races on Sunday and sells on Monday. Racing historically helped spearhead and develop tech for road cars.
        threefortyduster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Murad
        1. They are running EFI this year. 2. These cars with carburetors were making 800 hp and getting 4.5-5 mpg running at WOT for hours at a time...hardly low tech.
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @threefortyduster
          And also hitting 9500RPMs.
      FR12
      • 2 Years Ago
      People need to realize that Penski has hundreds of dealerships throughout the US. This was most definitely a business deal but Penski, although he has won almost everything in auto racing, he has never won a NASCAR championship.Penski owes Dodge nothing. Penski has won more races with a Ford (26 Dodge-27 Ford) Penski wants a championship. He had no help from other teams with Dodge as he was the only team running a Dodge. He realizes that there is strength in numbers and he has a much better chance to win a championship in a Ford. Dodge fans also need to realize that this is Penski's business. He and only he is in the position to where the buck stops. His money, his company, his decisions. IT WAS A VERY SMART MOVE.
      Devil_X
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mhhhhhhhhh............I wonder how it will look like.......
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