Dodge has unveiled the new Charger model that will carry the manufacturer's hopes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup next year. The new car, launched in Las Vegas, mirrors the concept of Dodge's Nationwide Series Challenger, which began racing two seasons ago, in that both bear more of a resemblance to the road-going versions than previous machines.
Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of Dodge motorsport, said that this had only been possible due to a relaxation of NASCAR's rules regarding the appearance of Cup cars.
From the start, it's been a collaborative effort with NASCAR," said Gilles. "NASCAR provided the manufacturers with basic specifications, but offered encouragement to venture beyond the look of the current racecar. Our design and engineering group, working with Penske Racing, seized the opportunity.
"We had a fantastic benchmark – the Dodge Challenger, introduced in 2009. This endeavor goes beyond the trend the Nationwide Series Challenger started with a Dodge Charger that amazingly embodies many of the design features of the street version into the race car."
Following Penske's recent announcement of its switch to Ford in 2013, Dodge has only one Cup team committed to using its machinery next year; Robby Gordon Motorsports. Gilles, however, confirmed that "the phone is still ringing" and that he hopes to have at least one more squad signed to the manufacturer by the summer.