Are Gundams robots? This question has been the topic of heated debate regarding the Japanese anime series since its 1979 inception, so we’ll save that for later. But are they F1 cars? According to this rendering, the answer is a clear “yes” and, if you think about it, there are a few similarities between Japan’s Gundams and Formula One race cars.
Sure, the contraptions that make up the world-famous Japanese franchise are large, bipedal humanoid vehicles, while F1 cars are… well… cars. However, they’re both controlled by a human pilot sitting inside a cockpit, so perhaps the idea of dressing a racer as a Gundam is not that crazy.
Besides, this series is credited for introducing the so-called real robot subgenre of the anime/manga mecha productions. Animator Yoshiyuki Tomino decided it was time for mechas (giant machines controlled by people) to exhibit more realistic traits, such as experiencing tech issues or running out of ammunition in the countless combat scenes, which can be viewed as yet another link to how F1 drivers need to be aware of tire wear and fuel consumption.
The said description will also see traditionalists going on a rampage whenever somebody calls Gundams robots. Then again, Japan built a real-life 18-meter version that moves on its own, which grabbed two Guinness World Records back in 2020 when it was unveiled. Those would be the “Largest mobile humanoid robot” and “Largest mobile Gundam”.
Based on the original Gundam unit released back in 1979
As is the case with the said statue, which is dubbed, RX-78F00, this digital Gundam F1 is an ode to the original RX-78-2 of 1979. And you can tell thanks to both hardware bits on the car (e.g., the louvered side air intakes) and, of course, the color scheme of the motorsport toy.
Speaking of which, this stopwatch animal is modeled based on the F1 cars from the early 2000s. Those were the days when the Great Circus ran glorious N/A V10 engines, with BMW even giving the E60 M5 such a configuration as a result of its involvement in the sport.
The era was dominated by Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, though and even putting it like that is an understatement—the seven-times world champion is still working to recover from a terrible skiing accident he suffered in 2013 and hasn’t retuned to public life since. However, his son Mick is making his own way in F1 these days.
Small teams were on their way out twenty years ago, with one of the most striking examples being Ford’s effort, which morphed into the now-a-giant Red Bull team.
The pixels of Walter Kim
This cross between the world of anime/manga and motorsport might seem familiar and that’s because it is the work of Walter Kim (you might’ve seen his Evangelion Le Mans racer).
Based in LA, the enthusiast has designed the Orange Flame widebody kit for the Porsche 911, as well as countless pieces for the city’s RBDLA shop, which handles celebrity cars, among others.
And while you’ll find a turntable animation of this RX-78 F1 car below, the YouTube video at the bottom of the story will introduced you to the magic of the real-life Gundam mentioned above.