If I were to describe a vehicle (especially around here) as offering a “premium, authentic off -road experience,” HUMMER may be the first vehicle to mind. However, that’s how Local Motors describes their “Rally Fighter,” which is the world’s first automobile to be designed using crowdsourcing.
If you’re new to the term, crowdsourcing refers to the act of taking tasks that would usually be done by a few people and outsourcing them to a crowd of people who all have input. In this case, the Rally Fighter is the culmination of 35,000 designs by 2,900 community members in over 100 countries.
The ultimate result is a particularly attractive two door, four seater that’s designed to blow through the deserts of Baja with 18 inches of suspension travel, which can also be adjusted down for on-road performance. At only 3,100 pounds, the Rally Fighter’s 265 horsepower and 425 lb/ft of torque put out by the BMW 3.0 liter twin-turbo clean diesel is more than plentiful. To top it off, it gets between 30 and 36 miles per gallon, making it the most fuel efficient vehicle in its class.
But what class is that? The Rally Fighter is in a unique class by itself, and Local Motors wants to keep it that way. In fact, they’re not interested in ever becoming a big automaker or even taking them on. Their market is consumers who don’t fit into the molds of mass produced or even limited production cars, and prefer to have a one-of-a-kind car they helped build from the ground up.
At an estimated price of $50,000, the Rally Fighter is relatively inexpensive for a custom vehicle. Local Motors’ website says they’ve already taken 41 vehicle deposits, but production won’t start until the summer of 2010.
While the Rally Fighter won’t directly compete with smaller HUMMER models like the H4 because of its price point and extremely limited availability, it certainly has similar qualities that HUMMER owners are interested in: Good looking design, off-road ability, and the ability to ‘make it your own.’
Gallery from the 2009 SEMA Show after the jump.