News & Media


Ford close to rolling out first 2013 Cup prototype

June 16, 2011, Mark Aumann, NASCAR.com

Roush: Process under way for some time; models coming from body shop 'soon'

The redesigned NASCAR Cup chassis is still 18 months away from making its on-track debut, but team owner Jack Roush said fans may soon get a sneak peek at the 2013 Ford Mustang.

Speaking Wednesday during a manufacturer teleconference, Roush said NASCAR has required each of the four manufacturers to meet a series of "hard points," places where the sanctioning body wants the chassis to be similar across each make, without significant aerodynamic advantages.

"I think there has been great effort made to give as much room as possible for the manufacturers to show the brand identity things that are of interest to them while at the same time maintain parity in regard to performance."

--JACK ROUSH

"For instance, it will be a common roof even though the quarter windows will be different," Roush said. "It will be a common deck lid configuration even though the rear fascia will be different. The side-panels, the door sides and quarter-panels and fenders will be brand identifiable but the areas around the wheel wells and the areas around the front and rear fascia contacts will be the same.

"I think there has been great effort made to give as much room as possible for the manufacturers to show the brand identity things that are of interest to them while at the same time maintain parity in regard to performance."

The key, according to Roush, is to add manufacturer-specific styling touches without affecting the competitive balance currently seen in the sport. That worked well with the new Nationwide Series car that was unveiled last season and NASCAR fully expects the 2013 rollout to go as smoothly.

"They are going to try to aero match the car with downforce and drag that we have today," Roush said. "I am not aware of how close they came with the spoiler dimensions and the splitter adjustment dimensions. I am not aware of how close they got on aero matching.

"I don't think it is a big challenge and it should be easily accomplished. The roof is defined. The deck lid is defined. The front fascia profile and silhouette is basically defined."

That process has been under way for some time, Roush said, and the first prototypes of Ford's 2013 entry should be rolling out of the body shop soon.

"The artwork and detail of the shape within the parameter of NASCAR's hard points is being worked on at this point," Roush said. "I know that the first cars that are being built are being built as marketing and image cars. Those cars will be done off the clay model configurations that are at the point of being finished. My understanding is we will have the bodywork ready to start assembling the car in the next couple of weeks."