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