Local Motors’ upcoming sports car is a track-focused ‘Street Fighter’

The Ariel Atom may be the final boss of street-legal go-karts, but Local Motors is looking to change the game with a new sports car.

As the vehicle’s namesake famously says, ‘Here comes a new challenger.’

Designated the SF-01 Street Fighter, Local Motors’ lightweight stunner is a tube-chassis, open-air racecar. It was born from the brand’s Sports Car Platform Design Challenge, a contest that featured input from multiple craftsmen and engineers. An artisan named Greg Thompson submitted the winning design, and now the car is headed for production.

The Street Fighter will enter a shark tank of a market filled with cars like the Caterham Seven, KTM X-Bow GT, and of course, the aforementioned king of the exoskeletal track cars, the Atom.

There isn’t a lot of bodywork on the SF-01, but shades of several heavy hitters can be seen masking sports car’s bones. The front end has dramatic fender flares akin to the C3 Corvette Stingray, and the aft trunk lines are straight off of a Dodge Viper. Oddly enough, the taillights were actually pulled from Dodge Dart.

Local Motors Street Fighter

The sports car’s long wheelbase allows for a variety of powertrains to be used while still maintaining a mid-engine platform. Local Motors says the Street Fighter will be able to accommodate inline four-cylinders, inline sixes, and V8s of varying sizes.

It will also feature an independent hood panel that can be swapped and customized based on engine choice. Despite all that, the SF-01 still has room for a modest trunk.

Related: Forget miles of assembly lines. Local Motors is now 3D-printing cars

As we reported in July, two versions of this car will eventually be produced. A ‘naked’ iterant should come first, emphasizing low weight with a complete lack of bodywork and creature comforts.

A ‘clothed’ road-going version will come later, and will feature a 200-plus-horsepower four in base trim. Both cars will equip a manual transmission, fully independent suspension, and follow a mid-engine, rear-drive layout.

Now, all that’s left is to build it.