Local Motors is crowdsourcing a new, lightweight sports car platform

Arizona-based crowdsourcer Local Motors is planning a pair of new, community-driven lightweight sports cars.

You may remember the company’s name from the Rally Fighter off-road vehicle, which was recently featured in Transformers: Age of Extinction. It basically looks like a Camaro body bolted onto an F-150’s frame, but its styling is oddly appealing. If the odd aesthetics don’t pique your curiosity, however, the V8 power and tube chassis might. It was also built as an electric car.

As is the company’s style, Local Motors sourced the Rally Fighter’s design by collaborating with members of its online automotive community. By using 3D printing, micro-manufacturing, and co-creation, Local Motors constructs cars with input from potential buyers, who can then vote on their favorite designs.

Automobile Magazine reports that new speedster platform is on the way, and it will birth at least two lightweight, track-bred sports cars akin to the Ariel Atom or Caterham Seven.

A “clothed,” road-going version will be usable on public roads, and will feature a turbocharged, 200-plus-horsepower four-cylinder engine on the base model. It will follow a front engine, rear-wheel drive layout.

The other, “naked” version, which will be developed first, will be a completely stripped out track car that saves weight by eliminating body panels. Both cars will have a manual transmission and fully independent suspension.

We don’t know what the car will look like yet because the company is still accepting sketches, renderings, and suggestions. In fact, nearly every component of the car will be voted on online, and the winning designers typically win some cash for their troubles.

The engine and transmission will likely be borrowed from existing production cars, as they were on the Rally Fighter: the off-roading standout uses the 6.2-liter LS3 V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro.

Local Motors doesn’t just create some of the world’s most unique designs; it’s one of the most divergent car companies, period. We look forward to watching the new sports car platform develop over the coming months.

Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Smart Home

Espresso On Demand: The five best Nespresso machines

Most people still trek down to their local coffee shop to get an espresso or a cappuccino, but you don't have to. A Nespresso machine can put coffee shop quality espresso on your kitchen counter.
Gaming

Trash at 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Use this guide to train up and get good

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest game in the entire series, and it can be overwhelming for newcomers not used to the universe-colliding fighting game. Here's what you need to know when you're starting.
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.
Cars

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Cars

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.
Cars

1,000-mph Bloodhound supersonic car project finds a last-minute savior

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has found a buyer. The project was going to be disbanded after running out of funds, but its assets were purchased by British businessman Ian Warhurst.
Cars

Ford’s prototype Quiet Kennel uses noise-canceling tech to keep dogs stress-free

Ford is ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market. The company's European division has built a kennel equipped with active noise-canceling technology and soundproof walls that help dogs sleep through fireworks.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.
Cars

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.