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The Team Fordzilla P1 Virtual Hypercar is becoming real

February 10, 2021


Gamers are used to driving digital recreations of real-world performance cars. But the Team Fordzilla P1 is something else: A virtual hypercar created purely for gaming.

The P1 idea originated with Ford's vehicle design team. But their vision was about more than design. They wanted to involve our esports team, Team Fordzilla, and the wider gaming community in the process to create the ultimate virtual racer.  

So, in March 2020, a unique collaboration between gamers and car designers was born. It's codename, Project P1.



Taking to Twitter, we asked Fordzilla fans to vote on eight key design attributes ranging from engine position to cockpit shape. More than 225,000 votes were cast, crowd-sourcing the fundamentals of the P1 design.

In another original twist, Fordzilla drivers got to choose key design features, but only by racing each other for the privilege! Digital mirrors, hybrid power source, HUD steering-wheel were just some of the cool features our drivers competed to select.


Next, Ford designers took on the challenge. Eight of our best went head-to-head, with the gamer-driven design choices as their brief.

Their eight concepts were judged by a panel of Ford execs led by our European Design Director, Amko Leenarts. After much deliberation, they shortlisted two interior and two exterior designs.

The final choice was now down to the gamers.

In a final twitter poll, over 80% of Fordzilla fans voted for designer Arturo Ariño's breath-taking vision.

The winning design

Based on the elements defined by the gamers, Arturo's design draws inspiration from the Ford GT. But then it goes its own way with incredible styling and unique features. 

Man with welding torch
P1 chassis rear view
P1 chassis front view


Like body-morphing technology, which gives drivers the option of a long-tail racer for high-speed straights at tracks like Le Mans, or a shorter body for tighter circuits like Monaco.

The final design also incorporates the winning interior concepts, including Robert Engelmann's laid-back cockpit with HUD (heads-up display) steerer.

The big reveal

In August, we unveiled the P1 at Gamescom. Like many events in 2020, the world's largest gaming event went online. A natural stage for a virtual concept car like the P1, and one that drew more than 2 million spectators.


From twitter post to full blown concept, project P1 has already been quite a ride. But it's not over yet.

At the launch, we promised a full-scale model of the P1 by the end of the year. And on December 8th the build was completed in Turin and transported to our design centre Cologne. There, our Ford designers saw the P1 in the flesh for the very first time.

P1 side view
P1 rear view


Making it (virtual) reality

For the designers, experiencing the physical model was a thrill. But for the gamers and Team Fordzilla, the real endgame is racing the P1 in its natural, virtual habitat.

And they won't have to wait long. In spring 2021, the P1 will be available in Project Cars 3, winner of best simulation game at Gamescom 2020. Making Team Fordzilla the world's first esports team with their own original virtual racer.

Find out more about Team Fordzilla and the P1.