Esports

Team Fordzilla’s extreme P1 virtual race car makes its IRL debut

Team Fordzilla will be driving this race car in the future.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Team Fordzilla P1 race car is the first first virtual gaming race car designed in collaboration between the gamers who will drive it and a car brand. Ford previously revealed digital renderings of the vehicle but have now shown a real-life full-scale model of the car, which represents the model that won't be heading to a traditional track any time soon.

It all started in March when gamers were asked to vote on the package and features of the car on Twitter, including seating configuration, engine position and cockpit definition. Nearly a quarter of a million fan votes were submitted throughout the polling process.

The exterior of the model was designed by Arturo Ariño and an interior that was the vision of Robert Engelmann, both Ford designers.

Team Fordzilla P1

Team Fordzilla P1

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The IRL car was built digitally, by a team that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had never met, worked remotely, and was spread out across five different countries, in just seven weeks. That's just half the time that it would traditionally take to build the model.

"Since launching Team Fordzilla in 2019 we've done things differently, playing to our strengths and our unique approach to gaming," said Emmanuel Lubrani, Team Fordzilla. "Our innovative P1 race car is the perfect example, using our knowledge of the automotive world to bring to life a merging of the real and virtual worlds."

The hypercar features a few special touches designed to speak to the sim-racing community. On the floor in front of the co-pilot's seat there is an AFK (Away From Keyboard) message, a #levelup graphic, and a #liftoff graphic. On the front of the car by the lower spoiler there's a message: GLHF (Good luck have fun).

Ford's team has designed the car around a monocoque structure that is partially covered by a hyper-transparent jet fighter-style canopy. Its GT-like front end and extremely sculpted bodyside panels visually connect the cockpit. The rear of the car is nearly completely exposed. It rides on 315 x 30 x r21 front wheels and 355 x 25 x r21 rear wheels.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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