Hot on the heels of the production car’s debut at the Detroit auto show, Ford has pulled the wraps off its 2013 Fusion Sprint Cup race car. The race car, which will compete in next year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, looks remarkably like the production family sedan with which it shares a name -- something that rarely occurs in the world of “stock car racing.”
The Fusion Sprint Cup racer wears decals designed to mimic the hexagonal grille, squinty headlights, and parallelogram-shaped foglights of the 2013 Fusion sedan. The racer also apes the hood strakes and bodyside creases seen on Ford’s new midsize offering, as well as the Fusion’s sleek sloping roofline. And, of course, there are prominent decals for Ford’s EcoBoost technology, which combines direct fuel injection and turbocharging to improve both power and efficiency.
“We wanted Fusion to be the car that helped return ‘stock car’ to NASCAR,” Ford Racing director Jamie Allison said in a statement. “We had a chance to get it right once again and make sure the race cars are race versions of street cars.”
The previous-generation Ford Fusion served as the visual inspiration for Ford’s Sprint Cup car since 2006; before that, the car was named and styled after the Taurus from 1998 through 2005. A fleet of 2013 Fusion Sprint Cup cars will be tested this year before making their race debut at the Daytona 500 race in February 2013.