Currently reading: Ford unveils virtual P1 concept ahead of video game debut
Radically styled racer was designed in partnership with gamers and will make its digital debut in 2021

Ford’s esports outfit, Team Fordzilla, has unveiled the P1 concept as a virtual racer designed in partnership with gamers.

Due to be added as a playable car in an as-yet-unspecified video game next year, the P1’s final design - penned by Ford designer Arturo Ariño - was chosen via a public poll on Twitter, with nearly 225,000 users voting.

Gamers continued to contribute to the design process, with Fordzilla inviting their opinions on elements including the seating position, cockpit style and drivetrain - although technical details have yet to be confirmed. 

Ariño is said to have been inspired by the Ford GT supercar when creating the P1, with its low-slung, heavily angled form bearing a similarity to top-rung prototype GT cars. 

Although Ford has yet to reveal any performance details, the design suggests that maximum downforce and aerodynamic efficiency were the main priorities for the design team.

Sitting close to the ground, the P1 features a prominent carbonfibre front lip that channels air through gaping air dams at the side of the car, much like its real-life GT inspiration. Covered rear wheels, a sizeable rear diffuser and sharp spoiler likely enhance downforce.  

The P1 also uses what Ford calls "morphing technology" to offer “the stability of a long-tail racer on the high-speed straights of Le Mans or a shorter body for tighter circuits, like Monaco”. 

The interior has yet to be shown, but a preview shot suggests it will be a single-seater, with the driver situated centrally, like the McLaren Speedtail. 

Speaking at the concept's unveiling, incoming Ford CEO Jim Farley - a known motorsport enthusiast - said: "This is an example of us getting people excited about Ford as a performance brand. We continue to invest in our performance products, and that needs to extend into the virtual world.

“I don’t think there’s a bigger influence than the gaming experience - and the gaming community - on vehicle design and execution.”

While there’s no indication that Ford will bring elements of the P1 to its real race cars, a full-scale model of the concept is currently being built at Ford’s European design studio in Cologne, Germany, and will make its public debut later this year. 

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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Peter Cavellini 27 August 2020

For the players.

 That's the quote we hear on the Tv add, nothing wrong with it, you can do virtually ( no pun intended) anything so I'm told, as for back engineering it for the real World?, well who knows?!, have to be better roads for a start, and drivers come to think of it.

xxxx 27 August 2020

Production rather than fantasy please

Good to see Ford messing around with playstation games etc, back in the real world where is the promise e-mach, and don't get me started on the other 10 or so BEVs promised by 2022