Fordzilla P1 goes from the virtual to the real world

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

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.

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“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.

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