Prime Cuts: Rally Fighter – big engine, eco-conscious and crowd sourced

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With curves in all the right places, this off-road, street legal car has both the grunt and the futuristic design process to get everyone interested in Local Motors (LM).

The Rally Fighter is the first model from the Massachusetts-based firm that is determined to make the next great American car, using the next great production methods.

Using a method described as ‘co-creation’, it lets them work in a way completely different than other automotive companies, allowing them to uncover better ideas faster with new and interesting material and powertrain ideas as soon as they are available.

By leveraging crowdsourcing for collaborative design and development, a community of 13,000 – including some of the eventual customers of the vehicle had input in the entire process.

– The original design is by Sangho Kim, a 2010 graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, who sketched the original concept work in 2008.

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– The process is open source, producing exciting cars designed specifically for car enthusiasts, with which all chassis and body vehicle data is shared making the car building and modding experience more enjoyable and accessible.

– LM has an underlying commitment to sustainable design. Its ‘Built Locally’ process allows it to leverage local vendors: reducing the wasteful process of shipping all its finished cars when instead it can ship the parts that are smaller and allow the car to drive away on its own power

– The LM factory takes advantage of the rapid pace of design from the Co-Creation process – reducing wastage and increasing the time to market by only ordering and building what is necessary.

– Lightweight construction and use of composites and a steel space frame is key to LM designs, reducing weight while increasing safety and performance. This all translates to better fuel economy and lower emissions, with the Rally Fighter around 30% lighter than other off-road street legal vehicles.

– The car’s EROD engine is essentially a modern 6.2 litre, V8 Corvette engine. By UK standards that is a monster, however in comparison to most US muscle cars, it is as clean as a daisy – offering advanced emissions control with full catalytic converters, onboard vapour recovery, and modern fuel mapping to increase economy and to decrease emissions.

– Future vehicles include the LM Open Electric Vehicle project, created to design a reusable open source chassis that can be included in electric vehicle creation.

– The vast swathe of designs will be brought down to a single product and designed and developed in Solid Edge software, with Siemens PLM Software providing the essential backing for this automotive project.

www.local-motors.com