The Rally Fighter and the Local Motors mindset

Open source development. A term seemingly more at home in your last IT meeting than in a discussion about car design. However there is a new start-up automotive company that is looking to change that and there name is Local Motors. Local Motors is the result of two Massachusetts-based lads named Jeff Jones and Jay Rogers and a desire to do something different in the automotive industry. The goal is a three-pronged approach at car design and sales: -Allow for open-source development with regards to the design of the vehicle. -Allow the customer to have a unique experience during the build process of the vehicle. -Utilize new forms of media and communication to spread the word of the vehicle and the company behind it. So far they have done just that, with the Local Motors Rally Fighter being designed, built, and discussed along that very plan. The design for the the Rally Fighter was chosen from tons of applicants and then fitted to the standard chassis they will utilize for future designs. As you can imagine, this helps keep R&D costs way down as does the use of a standardized chassis. If a customer is interested in purchasing a vehicle from Local Motors then can embark on a experience unlike any other… the chance to help bring the vehicle to life. Local Motors is establishing a chain of “micro-factories” where the parts for the vehicle will be shipped. There the owner learns how to put the car together over the course of six days (separated into two weekends fri-sun). A designated Builder Trainer is assigned for each customer to make sure your new $50,000 investment doesn’t become your new $50,000 lawn ornament. This concept takes the “car guy” concept to a new and exciting level… they don’t just offer this experience, they encourage it and want you to come hang out at the garage while the vehicle is assembled. Ask questions, lend a helping hand, and be involved with the creation of your future hoon mobile – truly a novel concept, especially for those of us not as inclined as Mr. Mad_Science (i.e. ME). Here are some quick stats on their first vehicle, the aforementioned Rally Fighter: -It uses the 3.0L twin-turbo diesel from BMW so it produces 300 hp and over 400 lb-ft of torque, yet also gets great gas mileage. -The body panels are made from lightweight thermoplastic and carbon fiber. -There is 18″ of suspension travel and the ride height has two manually adjustable modes. -The six-speed automatic transmission sends power to the correct wheels. What say you, the reader, does this company have the right idea or do you prefer your vehicles rolling single-file from a super-factory with chain-link fences? Image Source: Local Motors

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