Here at “The Powerbase“, we cover all sorts of open source projects. From commercial electronics that run Linux under the hood to popular Android applications opening up their source code, we like to think we’ve seen it all. But sometimes even those of us deeply involved with open source hardware and software can underestimate the true extent of the movement.
Today we’re presenting a relatively new entry to the world of open source technology: the crowd sourced car.
The Rally Fighter is the first production vehicle from Local Motors, a community where engineers, designers, and fabricators can come together and swap designs and ideas for new vehicles. Think of it as something along the lines of Thingiverse, but with less Han Solo in Carbonite.
Designed by Art Center College of Design student Sangho Kim and powered by a 6.2 liter V8 engine @ 430 HP, the Rally Fighter offers a suite of options including leather interior accents, satellite navigation system, and power windows and locks. While it is primarily designed as an off-road vehicle, it’s completely street legal and wouldn’t look (too) out of place rolling down a city street.
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Purchase price for the base model of the 2012 Rally Fighter is $74,900. Adding the optional packages will easily bump that up past the $80,000 mark. Certainly not an economy vehicle, but there is something to be said for being the only person on the block with a vehicle licensed under the Creative Commons license.
Assembly Definitely Required
Like many open source projects, the Rally Fighter needs to be compiled before you can use it.
In other words, the vehicle arrives in kit form and needs to be assembled by the purchaser. But at least you won’t be alone, purchasing the Rally Fighter gets you what is known as the “Local Motors Build Experience”:
The Local Motors Build Experience is a first for the automotive industry. You join Local Motors experts in the Phoenix Micro-Factory for two 3-day weekends to build your very own Rally Fighter. If you are eager to learn the ins-and-outs of your vehicle, you are qualified! Your Local Motors Builder Trainer will help you through the entire process. Whether you are a long time car builder, a first time builder, or if you are simply a person seeking an exciting and enjoyable opportunity to learn more about cars – you are going to dig the Local Motors Build Experience. You do need to bring a friend to help. And friends come out of the woodwork when they hear you bought a Rally Fighter.
First Of Many
With luck, Local Motors hopes the Rally Fighter will be the first of many crowd sourced vehicles to be created by their community. Just last week, Local Motors started a competition sponsored by Dominos to design the Ultimate Pizza Delivery Vehicle. While it might not be the most glamorous of assignments, it does lend some credibility to the idea of open vehicle design, and will hopefully get more people interested in the concept.