Gamer-designed Team Fordzilla P1 virtual race car unveiled

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The 647-horsepower GT is no longer the flagship of the Ford lineup; at least not in the video game world. The company introduced a virtual race car named Team Fordzilla P1 that explores what a track-bred hypercar could look like in a few decades. It’s not headed to production, but enthusiasts will get the chance to race it.

Ford noted gamers from all over the world played a significant role in designing the P1. They notably selected its seating position, the type of dashboard it’s fitted with, and the drivetrain that powers it. Blue Oval engineers then used these suggestions to create the final product, which was unveiled at the 2020 GamesCom event.

Penned by Arturo Ariño, one of the company’s exterior stylists, the final design stands out with a low front end dominated by LED lights and a backlit Ford emblem, a transparent roof, partially covered rear wheels, and a back end that’s almost completely exposed. It also features shape-shifting panels that allow racers to make the body longer for tracks with long, high-speed stretches (like Le Mans) or shorter for narrower tracks such as Monaco.

Blue lights enigmatically embedded into the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires add a futuristic touch to the design, though Ford hasn’t revealed what they’re for. We also don’t know what the P1 looks like inside, or what it’s powered by. It sounds like it uses an internal-combustion engine, but exhaust tips are nowhere to be seen. It looks like there’s enough space between the passenger compartment and the Batmobile-like rear end to fit a big enough engine, though we’re not expecting anything bigger than a V8. Hybrid technology is possible, too.

Ford stopped racing the GT in 2019, and we have no reason to believe it will return to Le Mans with something resembling the P1. It’s currently preparing to tackle the 2020 edition of the Baja 1000 with the Bronco R. It announced it’s in “advanced talks” about making its virtual racer available in what it described as “a well-loved game,” however, and it asked its German division to build a life-sized version of the car by the end of 2020.

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