HomeCar CultureFordzilla P1 goes from the virtual to the real world

Fordzilla P1 goes from the virtual to the real world

Are we looking at the next-generation Ford GT?


Back in August, Ford of Europe unveiled the Team Fordzilla P1, a virtual concept car that the company said would be featured in a video racing game in 2021, and also would be produced as a full-scale model “furthering the company’s exploration of the parallels between the virtual and real worlds.”

We speculated at the time that while the Fordzilla P1 might, indeed, have been designed for video racing, it also could be a preview look at the next-generation of the Ford GT. 

Well, Ford has unveiled that “real-life, full-scale model” of the car, and noted, “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.”

Here are some photos. You can use the Comments section below to let everyone know what you think, and if you’d accept this as a third-generation Ford GT.


“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,” Ford said.

“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 emphasizes 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 sculpted 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.”

Ford also noted that the car is the first built digitally without any face-to-face interaction between the designers and builders. 

“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,” Ford said. 

The car is 186.25 inches long, 78.7 inches wide and only 35 inches tall, and rides on 21-inch tires. In other words, 1.5 inches longer, a smidge narrower and 9 inches lower than the current GT, which rides on 20-inch wheels

Ford added that the car features a few sim-racing touches, such as an AFK (Away From Keyboard) message on the co-pilot seat’s floor; a GLHF (Good Luck Have Fun) reminder on the front lower spoiler; a #levelup graphic to acknowledge that gamers and racing drivers aim to better themselves each time they play or race; and a #liftoff graphic as a nod to the lifting off of this race car from a virtual world and transitioning it to the real one. 

Aha! As we thought — it’s a preview of the next Ford GT.

For more information, visit the Team Fordzilla website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
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.


  1. I bleed Ford blue, always have, always will. This is an abomination, and certainly should not replace the current GT as the fourth (not third) generation, unless you wish to dismiss the actual race car GT40 from the 60’s (“as a third-generation Ford GT.”)

    There is such a thing as ‘good taste’ in a car that will easily top out at above 500k in its next iteration…and this isn’t it. It looks like seven weeks of work by ‘big boys’ who need to do a tad more thought in their designs. This is fine for sims and video and all of that, but as a GT replacement; fogetta bout it.

  2. Oh, haters gonna hate. To me, looks like the crew that did the GT90 (‘member that beauty?) played alotta Forza and watched Formula 1. I guess the Romans were correct, “de gustimus non disputandum” (or something like that, Latin long ago): taste cannot be disputed. I’m an old school GTO guy, but I like it; it speaks to me of the future, and hyperhybrids that can break 300mph with range (and the a/c on).
    I see function made into form, as Porsche did with the 917 series, and lately with the 918. To me, it appears as if every surface, every break, every transition, all were carefully designed to maximize both performance and visual impact. And like all exceptional design, I can’t really say any one thing that appeals to me; certainly, viewed in pieces, it appears overly angular, slightly out of proportion, squished, if you will, and quite foreign to conventional design language.
    As a whole, however, it exudes a design confidence and purpose as if maybe not Lucifer, but Belial would use it as an everyday.
    I would.

  3. Love ❤️ it! 1st, 2nd generations had their time, is time for the 3rd generation! Maybe later will come an electric version…😉👍
    PS as soon as she is available I will buy one!(of course I have to win the lottery) 🤣


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