We always thought that Local Motors, an Arizona-based car company, had a remarkable concept. The company sold a vehicle called the Rally Fighter, an off-road machine that looked like it was straight out of a video game. And in reality, it was sort of. This vehicle has been featured in the games Forza 2-7 and made appearances in Top Gear, Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Fate of The Furious, among others.
Loaded with a Chevrolet Performance LS3 6.2-liter crate engine matched with a 4l85-E, long-travel suspension, King Shocks, and a Ford 9-inch rear axle, these cars were built for off-road. However, they are also street legal even in the state of California. Local Motors worked with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for eight months to ensure that the vehicle would be emissions legal in all 50-states.
Another exciting component for enthusiasts who purchased a Rally Fighter is going to one of the Local Motors’ micro-factories and helping assemble their new vehicle. That’s right; the owner was able to work along with a trained crew and build their ‘Fighter piece by piece.
While Local Motors discontinued building these vehicles in 2016, Chris Stoner, Local Motors’ former VP of sales and customer success, took to LinkedIn on January 14, 2022, to say, “I am disheartened to announce that Local Motors will cease to exist as of January 14,” Stoner posted. “I was only there a few months, but loved every minute of it. I made some great friends, both locally and globally, which makes it worthwhile. The autonomous vehicle space is an exciting emerging market with plenty of opportunity. Experiencing first-hand the skill and dedication of the people I worked with, I have no doubt AVs (like Olli) are the future of transportation.”
After hearing this news, we went to localmotors.com to see what the company had been building since the Rally Fighter production ended. Much to our dismay, we found an autonomous bus named Olli that resembled a toaster on wheels.
It’s evident that the times are changing as car companies like Local Motors give up on cool creations like the Rally Fighter and push for EV and AV vehicles. We expect more of the same, but we will have to wait and see how it pans out. Will things change? Or are we destined to ride around in autonomous toasters or busses rather? Your guess is as good as ours.