Team Fordzilla Makes Good on Ultimate Virtual Racing Car Promise, Unveils the P1

Ford P1 13 photos
Photo: Ford Motor Company
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Worldwide lockdowns in place this year have changed so many facets of our society – including the way people consume automotive and motorsport events. But even before these were in effect Ford’s Old Continent arm decided it was high time it became serious about esports, setting up Team Fordzilla since last year. That gave them enough time to present their virtual racers with a model of their own – the P1 concept.
We first heard about the Project P1 initiative back in March when the automaker also showcased the initial computer-generated sketches. Jump forward just a few more months and the final design has already been approved – no need for a huge development cycle like for a real-world car since the P1 prototype is forever confined to the virtual realm.

Ford and Team Fordzilla naturally took their P1 prototype to the proper environment, unveiling the virtual racing car during “gamescom 2020”, also dubbed as the “The Heart of Gaming.” The event is taking place digitally in Cologne, Germany, between August 27th and 30th.

Developed under the not-so secret Project P1 codename, the P1 concept (given that we are dealing with a highly innovative realm you would think they would have a little more imagination when it comes to monikers) was created as a collaboration between Ford’s stylists and the gaming community. As such, during the development process fans had the opportunity to vote on Twitter various aspects, such as the seating position, the cockpit layout, and even the powertrain.

The final decision was only made after a fan poll of almost 250k votes took the battle down to just two designs, the one coming out on top belonging to Ford exterior designer Arturo Ariño, with an overwhelming 83.8% score. Styling inspiration was taken from the Ford GT for the project, although the resemblance is clearly far-fetched.

Instead, the P1 virtual racer concept looks more like a car from the future, with its body morphing technology that enables it to elongate for the high-speed straights of circuits such as Le Mans or shorten itself for highly technical courses such as the one in Monaco.

While the P1 concept was created specifically for the needs of the Team Fordzilla esports endeavors, the carmaker has dropped a major hint during the presentation that fans will also have the chance to virtually drive the racer.

That will happen once it wraps up the advanced negotiations with an important game developer for inclusion of the car in its 2021 iteration of a very successful racing simulation game. Also, Ford has already started working on a real life-size scale model of the P1 at its design studios in Cologne, Germany.

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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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