The sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar, which will make its competition debut at the 2013 Daytona 500 this weekend, marks the closest thing to a “stock car” that the sport has seen in more than 20 years. No longer using just stickers to distinguish the different brands, the image above shows the lengths NASCAR and automakers went in order to create a racecar design that more closely resembles the individual cars they represent.
Ford, one of the more open and vocal OEMs regarding the Gen6 car’s development, is giving us a closer look at its racing version of the Fusion with a pretty revealing side-by-side comparison with last years’ racer (click above for an expanded view). Aside from the more realistic front end and production-like body lines, the overall shape, dimensions and proportions have also been designed to give the racecar a more stock appearance. Most of the new racer was designed by the Ford Design Center, which the automaker says was the first time it has been so involved in the design process since the 1960s. Of course, one area the Sprint Cup Fusion really differs from the production Fusion is its Ford Racing 5.8-liter V8 producing around 850 hp. Can you say Fusion SVT?
Scroll down for a quick video from Ford Racing showing a production Fusion morph into a Cup car.