Race to Reality; Team Fordzilla’s Extreme P1 Virtual Race Car Make its Real World Debut
A unique co-creation process It is the first virtual gaming race car designed in collaboration between gamers themselves and a car brand. Now Ford's Team Fordzilla esports team is moving the game on again by revealing in a livestream on December 16th a real-life, full-scale model of its extreme Team Fordzilla P1 race car.
While seeing real cars transferred to computer games is commonplace, this is the first-ever time an auto-manufacturer has brought to life a gamer-collaborated virtual car – yet to be featured in a game – with a physical model.
The journey of the Team Fordzilla P1 race car started in March this year 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.
Team Fordzilla P1: enjoyment at its core The innovative Team Fordzilla P1 race car features an exterior designed by Arturo Ariño and an interior that was the vision of Robert Engelmann, both Ford designers.
The race car is built around the monocoque structure partially covered by a large, hyper-transparent jet fighter-style canopy, protecting the driver and co-driver. The transparent canopy not only blurs the boundaries between the exterior and the interior, but it also emphasises the race car's unique F1-like driving position.
The exterior of this race car is the combination of a sleek GT-like front end with beautifully sculped front fenders and extremely sculpted bodyside panels, with their highly memorable twist and floating buttresses visually connecting the cockpit with the rear wheels. The rear end is completely exposed and celebrates the aerodynamics and racing circuits rawness.
In the cockpit, you'll find LED notification units, keeping the driver and co-driver up-to-date on the track status in their peripheral view. In addition, an integrated screen on the steering wheel enables live data exchange with the team at the pit wall. The whole interior is designed to help the race car driver to minimize any sort of distraction during the race and heighten the enjoyment of racing.
From CAD to reality in seven weeks Team Fordzilla P1 is Ford's first ever car built digitally without any face-to-face interaction throughout the process. Due to the current pandemic, it was designed by a team who had never met, working remotely, spread across five different countries and built in just seven weeks – that's less than half of the time it would normally take. The finished build is a full-size, inside-outside model with extreme proportions and truly unmistakable character.
Co-created by gamers for gamers, the hypercar features a few special touches that 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 playful reminder that occupants of that seat are away from keyboard. A #levelup graphic acknowledges that gamers and racing drivers aim to better themselves each time they play or race, while a #liftoff graphic is a nod to the lifting off of this race car from a virtual world and transitioning it to the real one. On the front of the car by the lower spoiler there's the most important message; a GLHF (Good luck have fun) reminder to every gamer and racing driver to truly have fun and enjoy the ride.
Dimensions The dimensions of the Team Fordzilla P1 race car are as follows:
- Length: 4731 mm
- Width: 2000 mm
- Height: 895 mm
- Wheels: Front tyres 315 x 30 x r21. Rear tyres 355 x 25 x r21
Quotes "What a stunning vehicle. I love every bit of the car. What was critical to me when we reviewed various designs earlier this year was that it needed to be unmistakably a Ford. And the Team Fordzilla P1 definitely fits that criteria: it looks both gorgeous and purposeful. And it's innovative in many ways, not least how it was born, as a co-creation between a highly passionate and knowledgeable gaming community and our super talented design team." Stuart Rowley, President, Ford of Europe
"Enjoyment is at the very core of all human centred design. Is it amazing to look at, to sit in and to drive? Well, in the case of the Team Fordzilla P1, the answer to all these questions is a resounding YES!" Amko Leenarts, Design director, Ford of Europe
"This project had so many firsts. It was the first fully digital project for us. It was the first car to be designed publicly with full transparency and the first we've ever designed remotely with designers located in five different countries, some of whom have never met face to face. That we completed it all in less than half of the usual time is a real testament to the team and the passion they had for the project." Boris Ferko, Design Manager, Ford of Europe
"Since launching Team Fordzilla in 2019 we've done things differently, playing to our strengths and our unique approach to gaming. 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." Emmanuel Lubrani, Team Fordzilla