Is this the next Ford GT? Team Fordzilla P1 unveils virtual concept car

Car will move from video game to full-scale model later this year

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Team Fordzilla P1 was designed for video game competition, but may hint at a future generation of the Ford GT | Ford illustrations

It used to be that concept or “dream” cars were unveiled at the world’s major auto shows. But to capture the dreams of a younger generation of future car buyers, automakers have created futuristic vehicles specifically for video games.

Which begs the question: Is the Team Fordzilla P1 concept just for the virtual world or are we looking at a potential design for a future Ford GT?

The virtual vehicle is the first for Ford and its gamer partner, Team Fordzilla esports, and was officially unveiled at gamescom 2020. Ford said the “car” should be featured in a racing game launching in 2021.

Ford also said it will build a full-scale model of the car later this year, “furthering the company’s exploration of the parallels between the virtual and real worlds.”

“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,” Ford said. “Gamers decided on elements including seating position, cockpit style and drivetrain before Ford designers working in the company’s studio in Cologne, Germany, 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.”

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By the way, nearly 225,000 people took part in the voting 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,” Ford said in its news release. 

“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,” Ford added.

“The reason why I became a car designer in the first place was to design something never seen before and something that pushes the boundaries,” Ariño is quoted in the Ford announcement. “This vehicle will be visually stunning, and while it will push the gamer to the limits of focus and reflexes, it will also be hugely rewarding to drive.”

Team Fordzilla launched in 2019 with teams in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. Each team competes in national competitions, with the best drivers representing Team Fordzilla at a European level.

“The Team Fordzilla P1 concept has been an incredible project for our designers as it let all of our imaginations run wild,” added Amko Leenards, Ford Europe design director. “We hope gamers are as excited about the outcome of their choices as we are.”

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For more information, visit the Team Fordzilla website or @teamFordzilla on Twitter.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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