Posted Mar 13th 2012 7:00PM
According to Chevrolet, the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will kick off without an Impala on the starting grid. That's news itself, considering how intertwined the Impala is with Chevy's NASCAR presence, earning 70 wins since 2007.
Even more intriguing, though, is that Chevy says it "will be racing a vehicle based on a new nameplate to the brand's lineup." That means the 2013 racer won't be a Malibu or Cruze. Whatever it may be, Chevrolet says that both the race version and the production version will be debuted "in the coming year."
As far as speculation goes, it's hard not to point a finger in the direction of the Chevrolet Caprice, which is currently available for police duty only. Will everyday consumers finally get another crack at a high-performance rear-wheel-drive Chevy sports sedan? If so, what will it be called, and will it wear the coveted SS nomenclature?
We have no idea. What we do know, however, is that Jim Campbell, vice president of Chevrolet Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, says the automaker is testing camouflaged vehicles and that the production version will be "just like" the race car. We'll just have to wait and see about that... In the meantime, see the complete press release past the jump.
New Chevrolet Racecar to Debut for 2013 Season
DETROIT – The countdown to the debut of Chevrolet's next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racecar is underway. Chevrolet announced today that for the 2013 season, Team Chevy will be racing a vehicle based on a new nameplate to the brand's lineup.
Taking advantage of the new NASCAR rules, which allow manufacturers to display more of their brand identity in their racecars, the new Chevrolet racecar will closely resemble the production version. Both cars will be unveiled in the coming year.
"We are keeping the wraps on the new car for now and will continue to prepare for next season by testing camouflaged vehicles," said Jim Campbell, vice president, Chevrolet Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "We know that Chevrolet fans are eager to see the new racecar and we hope that the prospect of being able to own one just like it will make the wait a little more bearable."
The current Chevrolet racecar, the Impala, took three out of top five spots at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday including the win by Tony Stewart. Since 2007, the Impala has dominated the series, taking the checkered flag 79 times. Chevrolet drivers have also won five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers' Championships, and Jimmie Johnson (4) and Tony Stewart (1) have collected five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver's championships in the Impala.
"The Impala has been a critical part of Chevrolet's success in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we are confident the new racecar will allow us to remain the most successful name in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history," Campbell said.
A legacy of racing competition runs deep in Chevrolet's 100-year history, dating to co-founder Louis Chevrolet's passion for racing automobiles. Chevrolet has won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers' Championship 35 times. Chevrolet Corvette Racing has taken seven class trophies at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A Chevrolet-branded V-8 racing engine won the Indianapolis 500 seven times between 1988 and 2002.
As Chevrolet continues to define itself as a 21st Century global automotive leader, motorsports remain integral to the plan. The racing version of the Chevrolet Cruze, which since its 2009 debut has become the bowtie brand's best-selling car globally, claimed the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) Cup in 2010 and 2011, and is the first ever General Motors-branded vehicle to win such honors in a FIA-organized series.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com