Local Motors launches $60,000 contest to design lightweight family car

Local Motors isn’t a traditional automaker.

Yes, it sells the outrageous Rally Fighter off-roader, and built a groundbreaking 3D-printed car, but the company is really about designing the cars in the first place. It does this by tapping into a community of thousands of “co-creators” that submit concepts and designs online and collaborate on their development.

The latest challenge LM has proposed is to them is to design a lightweight family car for a project it is working on in conjunction with the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency, with the dual goals of increasing efficiency and performance.

The rules are simple: the car has to be a five-passenger sedan, meet or exceed current safety standards, and use the existing transportation infrastructure -- so, sorry, no magnetic levitation that requires electronic roads. The entire focus of the Litecar Challenge is on weight reduction, improving aerodynamics or powertrains.

There’s a $60,000 prize for the winner of the contest, and a total of $150,000 being awarded to the top submissions. The deadline for entries is March 5th. While there are no plans to put the resulting car into production, with Local Motors, you never know.

So, have you ever had an idea to design a family car out of carbon fiber? Graphene? Marshmallow?

More details on the contest can be found here: https://localmotors.com/arpa-e/litecar-challenge/