Probably the biggest piece of news is the replacement of the older three-link (with Watt's link) rear suspension setup with a better four-link arrangement. The buyer can now choose from a stock Ford 8.8-inch rear end or opt instead for a welded-up 9-inch. Up front, a new set of billet A arms round out the suspension updates.
In addition to the new-model-year changes, the crew at Local Motors also announced The Forge, a "collaborative vehicular development platform [that] will allow OEMs, aftermarket companies, educational institutions and hobbyists to engage the Local Motors community for ideas, design, engineering development and more."
The open web-based development platform will go live on 11.11.11, as will a new CAD software program from Siemens and Local Motors. Read all about the updates to the 2012 Rally Fighter as well as The Forge in the press releases after the break... and stay tuned for some exciting Rally Fighter content right here on Autoblog in the coming weeks.
Phoenix, Ariz. – November 2, 2011 –
At the SEMA conference in Las Vegas, NV, Local Motors – known for changing the car making rules – hosted a media conference today at 11:00 a.m. to announce updates to the 2012 Rally Fighter and unveil its newest web-based platform, The Forge. The collaborative vehicular development platform will allow OEMs, aftermarket companies, educational institutions and hobbyists to engage the Local Motors community for ideas, design, engineering development and more.
The official launch of The Forge is slated in the coming weeks, so SEMA attendees will get a first look at the website and get an exclusive preview of an exciting new CAD offering from Siemens by visiting Booth #11463.
The Forge provides the automotive industry with an open development platform and a community of contributors, as well as a turnkey process for product development and carefully crafted community challenges. Local Motors provides an expert team to guide clients and sculpt development challenges for a successful outcome.
Even the tools that will be provided on The Forge break all the rules. For instance, new Siemens CAD software - to be announced soon - will make professional grade CAD technology accessible and affordable for The Forge community. This tool will be exclusively introduced to The Forge community.
Jay Rogers, CEO of Local Motors is excited to offer this product and opportunity to the industry. He says, "Local Forge is not only about connecting a talented community team of innovators with automotive clients. Local Forge is also about providing the right tools for co-creation and a turnkey, guided process to engaging product development that generates demand and results in desirable products."
The last three years have been action-packed for Local Motors, a new and innovative American car company headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. The company began by opening the traditionally private car design and development process to be shared publicly, and soon after, delivered the Rally Fighter, the world's first open source production vehicle and invited customers to participate in the vehicle build.
In 2008 Local Motors opened their virtual doors and invited any car enthusiast, designer and engineer with a vision to join an open design studio where new cars would be made, and the community was born. In 2009 Local Motors promised to deliver the world's first open source, community-developed production vehicle. In 2010 the company delivered the limited production Rally Fighter, which is built by customers in the Phoenix Micro-Factory and is slated for a new 2012 edition.
Breaking the traditional rules can be quite effective. This company has proven that entire vehicles and components can be designed, engineered and built with great results through what is called "co- creation." To Local Motors, co-creation simply means inviting anyone to join a virtual development process at www.local-motors.com, where company and contributors create together. Local Motors hosts over 13,000 community contributors including customers as well as amateur to professional designers, engineers and fabricators.
This community of talent co-created the Rally Fighter and many components with Local Motors, and now you can put this group to work for your company through The Forge. Basically, your product development team just increased substantially. For more information and to view The Forge, visit Booth #11463 at SEMA Nov. 1-4.
About Local Motors
Local Motors is a new American car company setting an exciting and sustainable course to design, manufacture, and sell cars for niche markets.
Local Motors co-creates new purposeful vehicles and components with their community of designers, engineers and enthusiasts using open source principals. Anyone can join the Local Motors community at www.local-motors.com to assist in designing and engineering of new vehicles, and anyone can help choose which vehicles are produced and available for purchase. Local Motors shares all vehicle data
to allow easier modification, home builds or creation of new components to fit existing vehicles. Local Motors does not sell kits. Customers get to build their co-created vehicle at the Local-Motors micro-factory with professional assistance. The build is completed during 2, 3-day build weekends.
Local Motors is the first automotive co-creation community, and the first company to produce an open source vehicle. Founded less than 4 years ago, Local Motors is home to over 60,000 car design concepts, 13,000 community members, 20 full time employees, one production vehicle, the Rally Fighter, and one vehicle co-created for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The first open source production vehicle brought to market by the Local Motors community is the Rally Fighter, a street-legal off-road desert racer developed for the American Southwest. The Rally Fighter features dual ride height manual adjust, 20" wheel travel, and an LS3 EROD V8 engine. It weighs only 3,400 lbs due to its steel chassis and composite panel construction.
Local Motors has been recognized for its groundbreaking approach to automotive development, appearing in articles in Popular Science, Wired and Popular Mechanics magazines. And, in a speech about manufacturing delivered on June 24, 2011 at Carnegie Mellon University, United States President Barack Obama recognized Local Motors for designing and building a new combat support vehicle for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in less than four months. The president credited Local Motors' ability to collapse development time for not only delivering the vehicle "ahead of schedule", but also for its potential to "save taxpayers billions of dollars" and possibly even "save lives" by getting necessary equipment to the battlefield faster.
2012 Rally Fighter Updates
4 Link rear end
Rear end options, 8.8in or 9in
New front A arms, made from aluminum billet to be lighter and stronger
Improved steering, pump and ram
More robust door hinges
Better lock and feel for door handle and linkage
Electric rear hatch
Newly designed dash for better venting and easy-read gauges
Community-designed rear-view mirror
Larger fuel tank
Updated fuel pump and sender unit
Wiper washer system
Modular seat brackets
Single wiring harness
Body fastening trees for ease of installation during build experience