Physical manifestations of virtual concept cars are nothing new by now. The latest brand to join the party is Ford, with an e-sports-ready race car designed and modelled in physical form.
Released under the Team Fordzilla umbrella, the P1 concept owes its design to the team's Twitter followers. A series of polls determined how the car would take shape, with users voting for what they’d like to see from the end product.
Presented by Ford’s European design director, Amko Leenarts, the P1 concept is based on a design formed via a series of eight polls on Twitter.
Team Fordzilla followers were able to select from one design theme or another, like a closed or open cockpit, or things like integrated body fairings or an open wheel design.
The surveys took place in March 2020, the virtual design was then honed via user inputs, with Team Fordzilla opening the floor to fan-based renders, as well as offering up ‘paint my number’ design proposals for users to apply their own livery to.
Virtual design reviews took place in Twitch from May 2020 and throughout June and July, Ford designers released proposals for users to vote on. The final P1 concept virtual design was officially revealed in late August.
The exterior was penned by Ford Design’s Arturo Ariño and takes inspiration from the GT40.
Leenarts describes the concept as the first car designed remotely, and the first car designed publicly, with input from almost 250,000 Twitter voters. He also claims the Fordzilla P1 is the first car designed and built completely digitally – ignoring the likes of Gran Turisomo’s Vision GT concepts that have come before it.
The Team Fordzilla P1 didn’t remain digital though, with a physical concept revealed via a livestream on December 16th, 2020.
The claimed design and engineering highlights for the concept keep at least one foot in the digital realms with construction atop a monocoque structure, featuring a large, “hyper-transparent jet fighter-style” canopy covering the cockpit, a GT-like front end design, and a completely exposed rear – as directed from the Twitter polls held through the design process.
During the concept’s presentation Leenarts claimed “gamers make the perfect co-designers.”
“Gaming, especially e-sports, is all about the thrill of movement, being fast, agile, competitive and most of all being enjoyable.” he said during the online reveal.
The development from virtual to physical model took a short seven weeks, and the created vehicle will tour European events during 2021 as a promotional tool to support Team Fordilla’s marketing efforts.
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