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Ford’s race car collaboration with gamers is now reality

Team Fordzilla has created a racecar with esports gamers, taking it from the virtual world into the real world with a physical model.

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The Fordzilla P1 was the first virtual gaming race car designed in collaboration between gamers themselves and a car brand. Now, Team Fordzilla has claimed another first by revealing a real-life, full-scale model of its extreme Team Fordzilla P1 race car, during a livestream event on 16 December. 

Real cars have been transferred into electronic games and concept cars have been created specifically for electronic games by car manufacturers for years. However, this is the first 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 2020 when gamers were asked to vote on the package and features of the car on Twitter. This included seating configuration, engine position and cockpit definition. Nearly a quarter of a million fan votes were submitted throughout the polling process. 

“Since launching Team Fordzilla in 2019 we’ve done things differently, playing to our strengths and our unique approach to gaming,” says Emmanuel Lubrani of Team Fordzilla. “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.” 

From CAD to reality in seven weeks 

Team Fordzilla P1 was Ford’s first ever car built digitally without any face-to-face interaction throughout the process. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was designed by a team that had never met. They were all working remotely, across five different countries and built the race car in seven weeks. According to Ford, that is less than half of the time it would normally take. The finished build is a full-size model, with real exterior and interior, extreme proportions and unmistakable character. 

The P1 was co-created by gamers for gamers. The race car has a few features 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 a 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 race car being taken from a virtual world and transitioning it to the real one. On the front of the car by the front splitter there is a message. It reads GLHF(Good luck have fun), aiming to remind every gamer and racing driver to have fun and enjoy the ride. 

Inside the design 

The P1 race car features an exterior that was designed by Arturo Ariño and an interior that was the vision of Robert Engelmann, both Ford designers. 

The race car is built around a monocoque structure partially covered by a large, transparent canopy inspired by jetfighters, protecting the driver and co-driver. The transparent canopy blurs the boundaries between the exterior and the interior and aims to emphasise the race car’s F1-inspired driving position. 

The exterior of this race car is the combination of a sleek front end with sculped front fenders and bodyside panels, with their twist and floating buttresses visually connecting the cockpit with the rear wheels. The rear end is completely exposed and aims to celebrate the aerodynamics and racing circuits rawness. 

In the cockpit, there are LED notification units, keeping the driver and co-driver up to date on the track status in their peripheral view. Additionally, 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 minimise any sort of distraction during the race and heighten the enjoyment of racing. 

Dimensions 

The dimensions of the Team Fordzilla P1 race car are: 

  • Length: 4731 mm 
  • Width: 2000 mm 
  • Height: 895 mm 
  • Wheels: Front tyres 315 x 30 x r21. Rear tyres 355 x 25 x r21 

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