Ford has announced a new race car, and it will never hit the track—at least not in real life.
Called the Team Fordzilla P1 Concept, the car gets its name from Ford’s own esports team, which it launched last year.
The car was designed with the input of over 250,000 fans over social media. Throughout the design process, these fans were able to vote in polls that helped define the final shape of the P1 Concept.
The resulting vehicle is a stunning, futuristic-looking racecar that bears more than a few design cues from past Ford racers.
The biggest inspiration seems to be Ford’s GT90 concept. Unveiled at the 1994 Detroit Auto Show, the GT90 was a futuristic take on Ford’s Le Mans winning GT40 race car from the 1960s.
The GT90 was also the vehicle that Ford used to debut its “New Edge” design language that defined the looks of its cars such as the then-new Focus during the turn of the millennium.
Lead designer Arturo Arino, however, claims that he took more inspiration from the current Ford GT. This is most evident in the large “flying buttresses” over its rear haunches—something that the current GT also has.
Beyond being just an homage to past Ford GT racecars, the P1 Concept also innovates with its ability to change its shape. The car is set to be able to use “morphing technology” to provide two styles for racers.
The first shape is a longtail configuration, perfect for blasting down long, high-speed straights, like a Le Mans car. It’s second configuration, on the other hand, is a shorter one, meant to navigate tight street circuits such as the one used for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Virtual concept car, coming to a racing game near you
Virtual concept cars aren’t a new thing. For years, Sony has been enabling manufacturers and race teams to create their own virtual concept cars as part of the “Vision GT” program in its Gran Turismo games. This program has resulted in some jaw-dropping stunners from the likes of Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, Lamborghini and even the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team.
The P1 Concept, however, is one of the few virtual concepts that seemingly isn’t tied to that program. That said, Ford has confirmed that the car is set to debut in a “popular racing” game sometime next year. (Read: Expanded Reality poised to grow in 2020 even with COVID-19)
Both Sony and Microsoft have new installments of their popular sim racing franchises coming next year. The former already revealed Gran Turismo 7 in June, while the latter has also confirmed that a new Forza Motorsport is also in the works.
As for those who would want to actually see the P1 Concept in the flesh, Ford has announced that it also plans to build a scale model of the car in real life.