Local Motors is ready for its next project, and it's exactly what we've been asking for. They want to crowd-source and build a track-focused street car with an engine up front, a manual in the middle, and power to the rear wheels – just as God intended. And like the Rally Fighter before it, we can all have a hand in the development.
To start, the community has to come up with a suitable platform, and LM wants something that looks just as good naked as it does wearing body work. Think Ariel Atom or Caterham 7, but with the ability to expand into a proper road car.
Once the underpinnings are sorted, the sky's the limit. They want this new coupe to be fully customizable by the builders and owners. Body work? Sure. Stereo? Why not? You can even do cruise control, A/C, or electric seats. It's a blank canvas to create the perfect track day tool or backroad bomber, with all the ingredients of our dreams.
Here's the engineering design brief:
- A turbocharged four-cylinder putting out around 250 horsepower
- A curb weight of 1,600 pounds, sans body work and creature comforts
- Two seats, side-by-side
- Independent suspension at both ends
- Engine up front, power to the rear
- And a damn right a manual transmission
To start, they'll focus on the track-oriented model in order to get all the mechanical bits sorted, but the eye is on the road-going prize – they want this to be a modern incarnation of the 240SX or something akin to an old-school Z car.
We're assuming they'll be able to get the same safety and emissions exemptions as a kit car (similar to how they sold the Rally Fighter) for this latest project, but we'll be finding out more about that later.
In the meantime, chatter about the powertrain is just getting started, with talk of an EcoBoost 2.0-liter or even a Hyundai crate motor, along with a Miata transmission and maybe a Ford or CTS-V rear end.
If you've been bitching about automakers not building you want you want, now you've got the means to make it a reality. Let's get started.