Meant to commemorate some of Ford’s past racing triumphs, three of these controllers are painted and numbered like the vintage race cars they represent. A desaturated blue controller wearing the number 5 pays homage to the Shelby Daytona Coupe which won the GT class at Le Mans in 1964. The car was driven by Bob Bonderant and Dan Gurney, and although the shell’s origins are traceable back to British firm AC, the car was powered by a 4.7-liter Ford V8.
Even more notable is the black, No. 2 XBox One controller, which commemorates the Ford GT40 Mk. II and its podium sweep at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Car No. 2 placed first, in the hands of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon, marking the first time that an American manufacturer had ever won the prestigious race. And what the Mk. II did in 1966, the Mk. IV did again the following year – although it didn’t quite manage to sweep the podium, with second and third place going to a pair of Ferraris. Still, it remains an historically significant achievement as it marked the first “all” American victory at Le Mans: an American car, prepared by an American team, raced by American drivers. Those drivers were A. J. Foyt and Dan Gurney.
But Ford has also designed a new, fourth XBox One controller without any such historical significance. Shod in the same Liquid Blue color as the concept which appeared at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, this fourth controller is all about celebrating the new, 2017 Ford GT. It features plenty of carbon fiber to stay strong and light, not to mention giving a shout out to its inspiration. The left thumbstick is inspired by the Ford GT’s state-of-the-art steering wheel, and tilts toward the gamer for improved ergonomics. Custom paddles on the back of the XBox One controller resemble the paddle shifters of the Ford GT, and they can be programmed on the console to upshift, downshift, and engage the clutch.
For now, this XBox One “Elite” controller – like the three previous gaming controllers – remains just a design exercise, and isn’t planned for production. You can check it out for yourself later this week at the 2015 SEMA aftermarket show.