Team Fordzilla is hitting Europe’s roads this summer to bring fun to children with disabilities and support local charities using a specially-modified Gaming Transit van.
Members of Team Fordzilla – Ford’s own esports gaming team – will drive a unique Ford Transit equipped with accessibility features and the latest high-tech gaming technology to visit charities, care providers and alternative provision schools that support children. For children with limited mobility, the van includes items like adaptive controllers that allow external buttons, switches or joysticks to be connected to create specific custom set-ups.
The marathon road trip will include stops in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK helping to bring fun and exciting new experiences to young people who will be able to play a variety of family-friendly games.
“Team Fordzilla believes that gaming is for everyone and that laughs are more important than high scores,” said Emmanuel Lubrani, senior manager, Brand Communications and Content Development, Ford of Europe. “Our Gaming Transit - which we nicknamed ‘Vanzilla’ during development - road trip will take that fun directly to children across Europe, and will include a few surprises to help the wonderful organisations who support them every day.”
The Vanzilla road trip begins at Rosa Llácer school in Valencia, Spain, on June 14-15, where approximately 100 young people aged between six and 21 will be able to join the fun before the tour continues to other cities in Spain.
It has been designed to deliver an exciting and engaging experience for children with disabilities as part of Team Fordzilla’s drive to share accessibility, inclusivity and competition with gamers. The van’s eye-catching design includes styling features by MS-RT, who produce race-inspired versions of Ford’s Transit Custom and Connect vans, as well as the striking Ranger MS-RT pick-up.
Gaming Transit is designed to be safe and accessible for players. Ford’s partner vehicle modifier Allied Mobility have added a wheelchair lift and folding ramp to make entering and exiting easy, while adaptive game controllers can be configured to meet players’ individual needs.
Inside, the three gaming suites are separated by dividers and feature easily-cleaned surfaces. Gaming Transit also features a pop-up event space and two racing game rigs with steering wheels, pedals, racing seats and a dual-screen setup to create an even more immersive experience for gamers at each leg of the tour.
“I cannot wait to be part of the Gaming Transit road trip and see how much fun we can bring to children across Europe,” said Angelo Bülow, Team Fordzilla Germany captain. “Team Fordzilla is all about grassroots talent, so who knows – maybe the road trip will help us find our next star signing.”
Ford launched Team Fordzilla – its first ever esports team – in 2019 with individual teams in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Each team competes in national competitions with dedicated team captains, with the best drivers representing Team Fordzilla at a European level.
The Gaming Transit initiative follows Team Fordzilla’s recent inclusivity campaign “Women to the Track”, which seeks to improve the representation of women in sim racing. For further updates, follow them on Twitter (@TeamFordzilla), Instagram (@teamfordzilla) and Twitch (@TeamFordzilla).
Ford created Vanzilla in collaboration with established partners from previous vehicles. The exterior style and in-cab upgrades were carried out by MS-RT, while accessibility experts Allied Mobility – a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier – fitted the wheelchair ramp for easy access, without sacrificing interior space. Envy Create were responsible for developing the gaming station fit-out to the ideal specification.