or the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, teams will race what NASCAR calls the “G6” or sixth-generation cars. Chevrolet will compete with the SS, based on its soon-to-be-revealed, front-engined, rear-wheel-drive sedan. Lining up against it, Ford will campaign its new-for-2013 Fusion sedan, while Toyota will stay with the Camry, which was updated for the 2012 model year. The CliffsNotes version of the G6 centers around two key points: The cars had to look much more like street cars than the “Car of Tomorrow” (COT) introduced in 2007, and they had to race better, especially on the high-speed ovals that make up so much of the Sprint Cup calendar. But the back story is how it all happened. And the key to that is that NASCAR went to the four manufacturers — Dodge F
“Those first meetings, there were
a lot of quiet times – no one
really trusting each other”
was still in the sport when the G6 project
was launched two-and-a-half years ago —
and said, in essence, “You guys figure it
out.” NASCAR briefed representatives of
the four automakers on the key points,
then told them to design the car – a historic
and unprecedented change of philosophy.
Suddenly, the fierce rivals had to work
together to build a car that raced well, but
all four models had to have distinct looks
that clearly set them apart from each other.
Needless to say, it was a new experience.
“That first meeting we were all together,
the paranoia was kicking in like you have
no idea!” laughs Alba Colon, Chevy’s
NASCAR Sprint Cup program manager.
“They’re my competitors, and when I get to
the track I want to beat them. Those first
meetings, there were a lot of quiet times
— no one really trusting each other. It took
time to realize that we all had to work
together on this. After it’s done, then we
can go beat each other at the track.”
Once the initial wariness wore off, the
hard work really started.
The Chevrolet SS will be raced
in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint
Cup by a roster of top teams
including Hendrick Motorsports,
Richard Childress Racing,
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
and Stewart-Haas Racing.