It looks like the open source model can work for building new cars after all. We finally managed to track down the Local Motors Rally Fighter here at SEMA, and it is even more awesome in person than in pics. The interior on this pre-production car obviously still needs some work, but the rest is really impressive. Looking like some crazy mashup of a fighter plane and a SCORE rally truck, we hope this is the vehicle Mel Gibson picks to replace the last of the V8 Interceptors in Mad Max 4.
We spent some time around the vehicle, soaking in all of the details, listening to the reactions of passers-by, and talking to the folks from Local. The passion of the principles is obvious and it's clear that the vehicle has been well thought-out. While much of the Rally Fighter is unique, they weren't bashful about borrowing off-the-rack parts where they knew good ones already existed – Ford F-150 uprights that have been proven at Baja, a Mercedes bumper support system, Fox off-road shocks, a healthy but frugal BMW diesel from the 335d, and the list goes on and on.
Local Motors CEO, Jay Rogers, also pointed out some of the fighter plane styling cues that made it into the final Sangho Kim design. We especially like the cockpit-like greenhouse and the P-51 Mustang-inspired underbody flaring. Jay says the company has already taken 34 orders and that customers will be able to help build their cars by June of next year.
That's right, you get to spend some time with the Local Motors gang, either at their current home in Massachusetts, or at a future facility in Phoenix. They'll spend two weeks with you teaching you how to build your own Rally Fighter, never assuming too much of the owners. We like to think of it as a type of Habitat for Humanity for car people where you put some sweat equity into your new property. We look forward to getting behind the wheel of this beast soon, heck, we'd love to build one ourselves, but until then you can read the press release and view the gallery below.
Photos copyright ©2009 Frank Filipponio/Weblogs, Inc.
Local Motors Premiers the Rally Fighter Off-Road Desert Racer at SEMA
November 3, 2009 -- The Off-Road Racer designed for car enthusiasts, by car enthusiasts is debuted at the biggest industry event of the year at SEMA, in the 'Making Green Cool Zone'
It's one of the most exciting cars to hit the road in ages. Aggressive, sleek and inspired by old War Birds, the Local Motors Rally Fighter has the heritage of legacy with fresh appeal.
The story of this vehicle is in its revolutionary yet simple development process - it was designed and developed by a community of car enthusiasts. New American car company Local Motors invites anyone with a passion for cars to collaborate in an open design process to help choose and shape the look of each Local Motors vehicle. Now home to over 4,000 car designers, engineers and enthusiasts, the Local Motors community is the largest of its kind - and the only to bring a new car to market.
The Rally Fighter is a premium, authentic off-of-road experience, custom designed and built for the deserts of the American Southwest. It was designed by community member Sangho Kim while many Local Motors' members participated in the open development process. Together with the company they helped collaborate on body design details, side vent creation, interior and even accessory design.
Undiluted design, power and efficiency is the result. The Rally Fighter is powered by a BMW 3.0 liter twin-turbo clean diesel sporting 265 ponies and a striking 425 pound-feet of torque at only 1750rpm that are directed to the rear wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Rally Fighter is lightweight at only 3,200 pounds which allows for exceptional performance and efficiency.
Build process and end product are so efficient the car is debuting in SEMA sponsored 'Making Green Cool Zone'. At 30-36mpg, the Rally Fighter is competing for most efficient in its desert off-road class. In addition, Local Motors utilizes a sustainable build methodology and builds cars 'Just-In-Time'. This process creates little or no waste, and allows customers to actually participate in the build process of their own Rally Fighter. Local Motors builds cars with customers in regional Micro-Factories which double as service stations. The first Micro-Factory is in Wareham, Massachusetts, and the second will be built in Phoenix, Arizona in 2010. Local Motors plans for 50 Micro-Factories around the country.
This enthusiast experience continues as Local Motors allows customers to host 'Custom Car Skins' Competitions on local-motors.com. Local Motors designers compete to create custom graphics to for Rally Fighter owners based on desired specifications- every outcome is unique. The graphics are applied with vinyl, not paint, which is lightweight, customizable, and recyclable.
Local Motors is introducing a heart-pounding new vehicle for enthusiasts, and with it, a new automotive experience. Participate in the car design process; build the car you want; choose a custom car skin. It's all part of the new, sustainable Local Motors experience.
Rally Fighters are now available for reservation: http://www.local-motors.com/rf
Early builds will begin this Summer, 6/8/10.
Local Motors premier vehicle, the Rally Fighter, will premier at SEMA on November 3, 2009.
Rally Fighter Key Stats:
- Designed by community member Sangho Kim of Pasadena, California
- Original, welded steel tubular space frame with lightweight thermoplastic and carbon fiber body panels
- BMW M57 clean diesel engine
- Eye-popping 36mpg on the highway, or 30mpg in an off-road setting
- 425 lb-ft of torque, 265 horsepower, and only 3,100 lbs
- 18' of suspension travel, to take on any desert - jumps and all
- Manually adjustable dual ride-height options, to go from the desert to the city with ease
- Seats for 4 adults, or 2 adults & 3 children
About Local Motors
Local Motors is a new American car company setting an exciting and sustainable course to design, manufacture, and sell cars.
Revolutionary yet simple, Local Motors creates a direct connection with customers who guide design development based on personal desires. The outcome of this open, collaborative process is meaningful, exciting cars designed specifically for car enthusiasts in local areas. Local Motors will build micro-factories in regions where demand is highest and cars are built and sold from the micro-factories on a just-in-time basis. Both the products and process are sustainable. Local Motors vehicles feature best in class fuel efficiency while the development and manufacturing process dramatically reduces waste while maintaining the flexibility to incorporate new efficient technology as it emerges. The design, manufacturing, and sales processes are sustainable and agile while creating a direct physical connection with more fully satisfied customers in each region.
The first Local Motors design concept to be designed by a community of enthusiasts and talented designers world-wide, is the Rally Fighter by Sangho Kim. You can view the Rally Fighter and contribute to the design development at www.local-motors.com.
Driven by DesignTM