For once, it closely resembles the production car.
This week was a landmark week for the mighty Mustang, as the ten millionth model rolled off the production line. However, it turns out this wasn’t the only new Mustang revealed this week, as Ford Performance has unveiled the new Mustang NASCAR Cup race car. Set to make its competition debut at the Daytona 500 next year on February 17th, this marks the first time the Mustang has ever competed in the top-level Cup racing series, where it will replace the Fusion.
While NASCAR racers often don’t bear much of a resemblance to the production car they’re based on, Ford Design and Ford Performance worked to “translate Mustang's signature style to meet NASCAR rules, ensuring Mustang will look as great on the oval as it does on the street.”
As a result, the NASCAR Mustang closely replicates its production car counterpart apart from the reshaped headlights and revised fascia. It still looks different to the standard Mustang, however, since Ford styled the NASCAR racer after the Mustang Shelby GT 350.
"Ever since we announced in April that Mustang would be going to the Cup level in 2019, we've heard nothing but positive feedback," said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. "Our Ford Performance team has worked hard with the Ford Design team to create a Mustang that will be competitive on the track while remaining true to its proud heritage. We can't wait to see it winning races in the NASCAR Cup Series next year."
While this is the first time the Mustang will enter the NASCAR Cup series, it has competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2011 and has won a championship in all but one season. Next year, the Mustang will compete with the Camaro ZLR, which entered the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this year. Both the Mustang and Camaro will also race alongside the new Toyota Supra at next year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series.