Ford of Europe is starting on a new car design, but it's a bit different from your usual car. For one thing, it may not ever be realized in the physical world. It also won't rely entirely on Ford's design team. This car is one that Ford will be asking video gamers to help design, and it's only meant for the virtual world.
The company announced it would begin working on a car design of some sort with the help of the captains of Team Fordzilla, the company's European esports team competing in games such as Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo Sport, as well as that of other gamers around the world. Part of the idea behind the project is to design a vehicle that is unencumbered by the limits of the real world, whether that's cost, technology or practicality. It's also a chance for gamers to create a vehicle for themselves, not just a representation of a real car. A representative from Ford told us that the company hopes to have the car, which is currently being referred to as Team Fordzilla P1, featured in at least one if not multiple video games, though that will depend on discussions between Ford and game developers.
The design process begins this week, and the first decision to be made is what sort of car it should be. The official Team Fordzilla Twitter account will share updates as well as polls to help make final decisions on the design. The first poll goes up on March 11, and the company says it plans to finish it within months, so presumably by March next year at the latest. We'll be curious as to how the design will differ from a car designed for the real world. Perhaps it will prioritize visibility so it's easy to see in the cockpit mode on a smaller TV screen. Or maybe it will eschew visibility and instruments altogether because you can use a bumper camera and have your instruments on a heads-up display.
This entire project also seems like a combination of the Vision Gran Turismo series of vehicles and the design process for the Local Motors Rally Fighter. The former was a collaboration between Polyphony Digital, the developer of Gran Turismo, and automakers to design special vehicles exclusive to the game. The latter relied on crowd-sourced car designs and voting to create what ended up a crazy LS V8-powered off-road sports coupe. Both projects gave us some pretty cool vehicles, so we're optimistic about the Team Fordzilla project.