• 2020 Fordzilla P1 Virtual Race Car

It’s out of this world in more ways than one

The coronavirus pandemic has jogged a lot of our memories of 2020, but if you can clear your head long enough to remember what the world was like in March, you might remember a certain project that Ford was developing for the world of video games. It was called the Fordzilla P1, a virtual race car that gamers would have a huge hand in developing. It’s been nine months since Ford announced the Fordzilla P1, and while the world has completely turned upside down since that time, it’s nice to be reminded of much simpler times. The Fordzilla P1 has arrived in real-life form, and while it’s really nothing more than a mock-up of the digital race car, it’s still nice to see it in its physical form. At the very least, all that effort that was put into creating this insane racer bore a seriously forbidden fruit.

2020 Fordzilla P1 Virtual Race Car Exterior
- image 960092

As a refresher, Ford solicited inputs from gamers back in March on what the P1 should look like. Thanks to a series of Twitter polls, around 250,000 responses came in, each with a suggestion on what the video game race car’s cockpit, body, wheels, and seats should look like. If you’re going to have too many cooks in that kitchen, chances are you’re either going to create the dish of all dishes or what amounts to edible garbage.

2020 Fordzilla P1 Virtual Race Car Exterior
- image 960090

Fortunately, Ford had some very capable designers — Robert Engelmann and Arturio Arino — leading the way, and together, the two sifted through all the suggestions that came in and created an astonishing piece of machinery that defies the boundaries of real-world physics.

2020 Fordzilla P1 Virtual Race Car Exterior
- image 960095

The Fordzilla P1 looks like a video game race car, which, I suppose, is Ford’s objective for the vehicle from the beginning. It appears like a two-seat hypercar, though judging by the how short cockpit is, it’s unclear on the kind of seating position the driver — and perhaps, his passenger — will have when he’s racing the car. Maybe they’re both lying down? That’d be a neat trick.

Everything else about the Fordzilla P1 is straight out of the video game car design book, which is to say all the rules of actual car design are thrown out the window in favor of creating shock value. On that end, we can all agree that the folks behind the Fordzilla P1 accomplished that hand over feet. It’s even equipped with what Ford describes as “morphing technology,” the ability to change its appearance and aerodynamics depending on the part of the race track it’s racing on.

2020 Fordzilla P1 Virtual Race Car Exterior
- image 960094

What kind of powertrain does the Fordzilla P1 carry?

2020 Fordzilla P1 Virtual Race Car Exterior
- image 960093

Your guess is, literally, as good as ours. Ford didn’t disclose what kind of powertrain the video game version of the Fordzilla P1 will carry. We’re assuming that it’s going to be some kind of futuristic setup, maybe a hybrid that runs on electricity and corn. Who can tell, really, the level of imagination these people have?

As for the real-life Fordzilla P1? There’s no engine in it, and we wouldn’t be surprised if you can even open that almost-flat canopy and gain access to the interior.

All I can tell at this point is that even without all these details, it’s incredible that Ford managed to create a real-life version of a video game car that it plans to use to wreck esports racing in 2021. It should be the other way around, but since this is 2020, we’ll take all the victories we can get, even if it comes in the form of a hypercar that belongs in a world where the rules of physics are about as flexible as our answers to questions about our growing waistlines.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: