Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but when the Design Center at FordMotor Company went about the task of making the 2013 NASCAR Fusion look likeits production counterpart, everyone looked at it the same way.
“Thereviews on this car were a bit more accelerated. We had to go through this with a lot fasterpace than a production car because typically it takes us over a year-and-a-halfto two years to get through the design phase of a production car,” said GarenNicoghosian, design manager for specialty vehicles who headed up theproject.
“Thisone was quite a bit quicker than that because obviously you have to make it toDaytona in 2013. It was a morecut-and-dried project, but it went through the same people and approvalprocess. We looked at it in thecourtyard and we looked at it on the computer. Our design scrutiny was strong on this car and we did what we couldwithin the realm of the project.”
Whilebrand identity has been the main focal point of the new generation stock carfor NASCAR’s top series, when the topic of unveiling the car to the public cameup, another issue arose – what was the paint scheme going to look like?
Fora fresh perspective, designer Jennifer Seely was tabbed with the assignment todevise something that would accentuate the Fusion body style.
“When I think of NASCAR I think of big, boldcolors, and busy graphics almost to the point of visual overload. I wanted todesign something fresh, something that would stand out amongst the visualnoise, so I took the completely opposite approach and designed with minimalismin mind” she said. “My graphic style isusually best described as “less is more”. When Garen presented the Fusion project to me, my first instinct was to emphasizethe body design and the actual fluid lines that he created. I think he did a spectacular job with thecar, so it was easy to follow the fluid body of the vehicle. Every single graphic on the car has meaningand the intent is to further enhance the lines and framework that he’s created,so we worked together to try to achieve that goal.”
While to some it may look like just a bunchof random lines and stripes, there was a great deal of time and research thatwent into the final version. Seely wentthrough hundreds of photos and looked at all of the historic cars that make upFord Racing’s 111-year history.
“I think a lot of the influences that I foundcame from research, watching older movies, and looking at older generations of theMustang and even Henry Ford’s first race car in 1901,” recalled Seely. “Also drawing from what luxury Formula One racecars are looking like today. So a blendof old and new influences, while letting the incredible design of the currentbody shine through. One of the unmistakable elements is the double offsetstripes that run along the top of the car. This feature kind of gives the car aEuropean twist.”
Seely was also responsible for creating thedesign for the race suits worn by Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at thereveal presentation in Charlotte.
“The suit design was heavily influenced firstand foremost by the vehicle graphics. I personally was influenced by the 1960’sfilm Le Mans, which made a lasting impression with its 60’s minimalism andprimary color palette resulting in an unmistakable graphic statement.”
The result has been a one-of-a-kind paint schemethat made an immediate impact within the Ford Racing community.
“When we saw what the car looked like afterbeing painted and decaled we couldn’t believe our eyes,” said Jamie Allison,director, Ford Racing. “The styling andintegration of past Ford vehicles is very evident, so we decided that wheneverwe unveil a new race car, regardless of series, it will have this design schemebecause it’s something unique to Ford.”
Ford Racing PR