Photos courtesy of NASCAR
If NASCAR's 2007 re-think on the shape and design of its top-tier car, dubbed the "Car of Tomorrow," left a lot of room in the visuals department, its makeover of the COT bodies from Chevy, Ford and Toyota for 2013 should have its fans singing their praises.
most substantial gains with the 2007-2012 COT specification have been found beneath the sheet metal, with significant improvements in driver safety serving as the biggest leap from the pre-COT cars, but the boxy, cookie-cutter shape employed with the COTs made it hard to distinguish the three brands without large stickers identifying each model. Minus paint and stickers, only diehard fans could call out the different models from the grandstands.
The direction taken for 2013 shows a fundamental shift in how the stock car organization wants to present itself in the coming years as it edges closer to more road-relevant styling cues-something it tried with great success in its mid-tier NASCAR Nationwide series.
A first look at the 2013 Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry Sprint Cup bodies highlights the trend taken in Nationwide, with distinctive front bumper profiles and clear grille identification that make it easy to tell the cars apart bydesign instead of sticker packages. When the new Chevy SS body is completed, all three cars should be easily identifiable without paint or graphics, which is nothing but a positive in my book.
Although it's hard to quantify, the 2013 bodies are more sleek and rakish, with similar levels of brand separation found with the rear bumpers as well.
It goes without saying that NASCAR is not keen on drastic, overnight changes to its most popular series, and despite the slow pace of evolution with the look of its Sprint Cup cars, I like where the motorsports giant istaking the visual appeal of its next-generation vehicles.