Did you know that Ford has an eSports division? Now you do. Launched in 2019, Team Fordzilla has more than 40 drivers spread across multiple European countries – like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK – all competing on the virtual stage. But they do more than just play games.
Team Fordzilla recently partnered with Ford's design department to create the custom virtual supercar pictured here. Dubbed the Team Fordzilla P1, the concept debuted earlier this week at Gamescon 2020 in Germany, and it looks absolutely bonkers.
Developed under the codename "Project P1," Ford exterior designer Arturo Arino penned the final look, drawing inspiration from the iconic GT supercar and employing a number of futuristic elements. The morphing body panels, in particular, can stretch or shrink the vehicle as needed. Ford says that those configurable body panels would make the Fordzilla P1 good for both the "high-speed straights of Le Mans… or tighter circuits like Monaco," if it were real.
Ford and Team Fordzilla used social media to help finalize the look, asking fans on Twitter for input on things like seating position, cockpit style, and even drivetrain. All told, more than 250,000 social media followers voted on individual elements before multiple concepts were shown, but Arino's concept garnered more than 83.8-percent of the votes.
Gallery: Ford Team Forzilla P1 Hypercar Concept
For now, the Team Fordzilla P1 concept is just a digital dream. But there is good news for those hoping to get behind the wheel (ourselves included): Ford will produce a full-size, real-world version of the P1 concept, headed by its Cologne, Germany, design department. It's very unlikely that you'll be able to buy one – but the company also said it is currently in talks with a "major games developer" to potentially get the car on the track in the virtual world.
Ford and its Team Fordzilla esports team have unveiled a world-first at this year’s gamescom event; the ultimate virtual racing car designed with collaboration between Ford designers and the gaming community. The full reveal can be seen here.
The Team Fordzilla P1 concept was developed under the code name Project P1 and was created with fan votes on Twitter at different design stages. Gamers decided on elements including seating position, cockpit style and drivetrain before Ford designers worked up their interpretations of the brief.
Two designs were put forward for the final poll, with the car by Ford exterior designer Arturo Ariño emerging victorious, gaining 83.8 per cent of the votes. Close to 250,000 fans let their preferences be known throughout the polling process.
With inspiration from the Ford GT, Ariño’s design employs unique touches like morphing technology on the body to offer the stability of a longtail racer on the high-speed straights of Le Mans, or a shorter body for tighter circuits like Monaco. For fans wondering when they may get to drive the vehicle in-game, Ford hinted it is in advanced discussions with a major games developer to introduce it into a popular racing game in 2021.
Ford also announced that it will build a life-size scale model of the Team Fordzilla P1 concept before the end of the year, something it has already started to create at its design studios in Cologne, Germany. This is part of its continuing theme of exploring the parallels between the real-world and the virtual one, with learnings from design in the digital world being applied to concepts for reality.