► A virtual car, designed by social media
► This time from Ford
► What are all these virtual cars for, then?
You’re looking at the Ford P1, a virtual-only racer that’ll spearhead the Blue Oval’s Esports exploits. Called the Team Fordzilla P1 race car in full, it’s actually months in the making and was partly designed by Ford’s own Arturo Ariño and Robert Engelmann – but also fans on social media.
Over several weeks, Ford asked Twitter uses to vote on key design aspects of the car including engine position, cockpit-style and more; around 250,000 votes, the spaceship you see above is the result.
‘What was critical to me when we reviewed various designs earlier this year was that it needed to be unmistakably a Ford,’ said Stuart Rowley, president of Ford Europe. ‘And the Team Fordzilla P1 definitely fits that criteria: it looks both gorgeous and purposeful. And it’s innovative in many ways, not least how it was born, as a co-creation between a highly passionate and knowledgeable gaming community and our super talented design team.’
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The P1 is dominated by a fighter-style cockpit, with the rest of the car’s features essentially splaying out from there. The wheels are mostly covered, and the front of the car is relatively open, directing air more than using it for cooling. At the rear, ambitious spoilers and diffusers work to gain as much virtual downforce as possible.
Ford says the project took seven weeks to turn from a CAD fule to a finished model, and it was also the first car created by the Blue Oval without any face-to-face interaction during the process.
What’s all this for?
Ford’s P1 isn’t going to race in real life, but it’s not been announced in any games yet either. However, we expect it’ll be a Vision concept car in the next instalment of Gran Turismo on PS5 – and it’ll possibly feature in Microsoft’s Forza Motorsport series, too.
And why is Ford making it in the first place? Because Esports is a new market full of an age group that’s previously been accessible to OEMs – and it’s also a good chunk cheaper than the real thing. It’s why we’re seeing similar digital concepts from the likes of Jaguar and McLaren – and it’s also why brands such as BMW and Porsche are now working more with sim-racing titles such as iRacing.