Local Motors recently ran a design challenge for an exploratory sports car. The challenge asked participants to focus on aesthetics, performance, affordability and the connection between driver and machine. Over 200 submission were received and the winning design was announced last week.

The ongoing aim of Local Motors is to bring collaboratively built and micro-manufactured vehicles to market. The company recently produced what is claimed was the "world's first" 3D-printed car, having crowdsourced the design through another open contest. The Sports Car Platform Design Challenge was aimed at developing a street-legal high-performance car platform from which two different cars could be produced and that could be brought to market within two years.

Designers were asked to submit 2D or 3D concepts, including a side profile, three-quarter front and three-quarter rear views. Designs were to include a four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing horsepower figures in the mid 200s. They were also to be as light as possible, have a two-seat configuration, have a front-mounted engine and be rear-wheel-driven, have a manual transmission with a clutch and use independent front and rear suspension. The track variant base model of the platform was to aim for a US$30,000 build cost or less.

The winning submission, selected by a Local Motors jury, was the SF-01 Street Fighter designed by Greg Thompson. The jury cited its beautiful design, exposed frame and strategic use of body panels as factors in its decision. It features inboard suspension and the ability to accommodate different engines.

"The SF-01 aims to be the ultimate affordable high-performance track enthusiast platform on the market," says Thompson in his submission. "The SF-01 combines the best in lightweight performance with the practical needs required to use the vehicle as a sparse and enjoyable commuter."

The runner-up to the SF-01 Street Fighter was the top pick from the Local Motors community. The LM Track Fighter by Gabriel Hantig was described as elegant and simple, yet highly functional. In third place, the Spun by Narcis Mares is an exposed frame and exposed wheel concept.

The three winners share a total of US$10,000 in cash prizes. Local Motors will now move into a research and development stage with the SF-01 Street Fighter as it seeks to bring it to market.

Source: Local Motors

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