Rally Fighter by Local Motors: prototype preview

tags: , | in: Automotive Design 5 August 2008
Rally Fighter by Local Motors: prototype preview

Local Motors has announced the choice for its first physical prototype: the aeronautical-inspired Rally Fighter concept by Sangho Kim will be be taken from sketch to reality.

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From the official Press Release:

Rally Fighter Concept sketch by Ben MessmerSangho Kim’s Rally Fighter will be the first Local Motors Design Concept to be taken from sketch to reality.

Multiple factors influenced the decision to build Sangho’s design. Community support, focus on car enthusiasts, timeliness and community collaboration are key.

Local Motors will build the Rally Fighter with the participation of the entire Local Motors Community of designers and car enthusiasts, who were the largest consideration in this decision.

Ben Messmer, Lead Designer at Local Motors explains the value in Community Design Process, “This design has aroused incredible feedback and collaboration from the Community. By promoting discussion and collaboration early on, we are able to design cars we know people want; there is no guessing.”

Rally Fighter Concept sketchEveryone is welcome to collaborate and give feedback since the Rally Fighter is currently in “Process”.

Kim’s Rally Fighter represents an industry first as the premier car to be designed and built for car enthusiasts in open non-private development.

The Rally Fighter will fulfill the desires of these selective drivers:

  1. American Authenticity: Local Motors will hold true to the influences of traditional American car design: hotrods, trucks, and aerospace are among the inspiration to build a legion of new and exciting cars for enthusiasts.

    Rally Fighter Concept sketch by Sangho Kim and Ben MessmerThe Rally Fighter reflects the heroism of American aerospace design and is inspired by the long, powerful lines of Classic Warbirds.

    Each Local Motors car will be uniquely American since each is designed and built to suit a local region.

    The Rally Fighter design is suited to several local geographic areas, from the Baja landscape of Southern California to the hills of Texas and the Back Country of North Carolina.

    Local Motors has yet to announce the location of the first local micro-factory facility where the Off-Road Rally Fighter will be built. The prototype will be built at Local Motors headquarters.

  2. Mechanicals Showing: "Die-hard car enthusiasts are turned on by the site of a beautiful automobile; especially if the mechanicals are showing. "

    Styling cues like exposed wheels or exhaust, or exposed panels on frames are details that can take a design from like to lust. The aerospace influence of the Rally Fighter is tailored for features like raw panels you see on old Warbirds.

  3. Presence of Excellence: In this case, the Presence of Excellence is a must-have design, where we will accept being bested on life cycle testing for door handle reliability (e.g.) in order to focus on a product whose look and feel you cannot live without.
  4. Playing (vs. Posing): Car enthusiasts want a vehicle to do what is advertised or implied. A true rally car must be able to jump, and a hotrod had better be able to burn rubber.

Rally Fighter Concept sketch by Ben MessmerThis Rally Fighter fits the bill of Local Motors’ and car enthusiasts’ expectations, and we believe Sangho has presented it at the perfect time since OEMs are no longer focusing on large vehicles.

As the majors change their product mix away from larger vehicles to achieve overall corporate gains in fuel efficiency, they are creating opportunities to provide larger lighter-weight cars to the American consumer.

“We believe there is a way to make a bigger, safer vehicle which is lightweight and super efficient. With the guidance of our community, we not only think but we know there is demand for such a vehicle. Sangho’s Rally Fighter is the clear standout in this category and we are proud to make this design our premier,” says Local Motors CEO, Jay Rogers.

Sangho Kim’s winning creation has spent weeks in the Design Process section refining its unique off-road rally characteristics with the help of the Community.

After weeks in Process with the LM Design Team and Community, the Rally Fighter is an eye-catching rendition of aeronautical inspiration in a high-waisted coupe style vehicle.

Kim’s community participation made him an easy choice; not only can he design, but he has excellent communication skills and is able rapidly to iterate his design based on community feedback. Recently, this same skill set helped him win the Miami Road Racer Competition.

"Now Sangho Kim has taken the opportunity to see his idea come to life, the dream of every car designer. In addition to this awesome experience, Sangho earned $10,000USD."

"The team at Local Motors will carry out Sangho’s vision and ensure his name will forever be associated with his design. He is only the first of many designers to be conferred with such an honor, and we so Local Motors looks forward to more to come in the future.

"In addition to Kim, there are already three winning designers and several runner-up finishers who have risen to the top of the community in Local Motors competitions."

(Source: Local Motors)

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