It’s no secret that the popularity of racing videos games like Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsports has elevated over-the-top virtual concept cars in recent years. Still, we’ve never seen a polygonal prototype quite like the Ford Team Fordzilla P1. That’s because the futuristic speedster was not only dreamt up for gamers; it was designed with their help.
On Thursday, the Detroit automaker’s European wing and its e-sports team, Team Fordzilla, unveiled the bold, new digital creation at the gamescom 2020 tradeshow. The GT-inspired racer is noteworthy for a number of reasons, but chief among these is that it is the world’s first car, virtual or otherwise, designed in collaboration with video game players.
While a team of Ford designers handled most of the heavy lifting, key decisions were crowdsourced on social media along the way, according to a press release. Over a quarter of a million people voted on things like seating position, cockpit style and drivetrain. The final collaboration was on the car’s exterior, with Arturo Ariño’s mock-up emerging victorious, having garnered over 83 percent of the vote.
Though Ariño was inspired by the GT, his design looks more like something out of a future-set movie like Minority Report than any supercar we’ve seen. The Team Fordzilla P1 sits low to ground and is marked by dramatic lines, an entirely glass cockpit, giant vents and an equally prominent rear wing. While Ford hasn’t mentioned any theoretical performance specs, it did reveal that the car, which it calls “the ultimate virtual racer,” will be able to rocket down straightaways in record time while handling even the tightest corners with ease.
“Project P1 took me to the beginning of it all,” Ariño said. “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. 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.”
Unfortunately, like the overwhelming majority of concept vehicles, there are no plans for the Team Fordzilla P1 to ever go into production. But Ford has committed to building a life-size model of the virtual vehicle later this year. Even if you never get to see the car in person, you will get a chance to get behind its wheel: The automaker said it expects the vehicle to star in at least one video game next year.