According to AutoWeek.com, Ford designers took center stage in the development of this model.
In previous years, race teams built and designed Cup cars. For example, Penske Racing and Roush Fenway Racing designed the Ford Taurus that debuted in the series in 1998. This time around, NASCAR worked with the automakers’ designers to give the cars more brand identity.
Andy Slankard, of Ford Racing, said:
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.
Garen Nicoghosian, who is heading up the Design Center portion of the Cup Fusion redesign, said:
There is a size difference between the production [car] and the race car, and the proportions are so different. The street Fusion is a front-wheel-drive, front-engine car and [the] race car is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive car with a really long hood and a much lower and wider stance. 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. … We paid close attention to the way we shaped the details on the racer, such as the headlight, grille and fog-light openings, as well as the body-side 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.
I think this is a nice, sporty version of the Fusion, and a lot of people will be excited about it.