GG van Rooyen: One Crazy 4×4 [w/video]

I mentioned yesterday that the Icon Bronco is my favourite SUV. Well, I thought I’d share another impressive SUV today. Actually, it’s not really an SUV at all. In fact, I’m not sure what it is. It is an off-road racer with the body of a racecar and the underpinnings of a proper 4×4.

It is called, rather appropriately, the Rally Fighter, and it’s name should give you a decent indication of what it was designed far. It was made to go very fast over rough terrain. That doesn’t mean, though, that it is made only for racing. Despite its looks, the Rally Fighter is completely street legal.

The vehicle is built by American company Local Motors, which has a unique approach to the business of creating cars. The vehicle was designed by a world-wide community of car fans during a competition that Local Motors held.

But all the vehicles are built in the US by a relatively small teams. And new owners of these vehicles have to get their hands dirty, actually helping the Local Motors team to build their car by hand.

So why do this? Well, helping to build your Rally Fighter is pretty fun, but there’s also a legal reason for this. If you helped build it, it can be classified as a “component car” or “kit car” in the US, making it far easier to register and get onto the road.

Although the body looks as if it might be from a Camaro or some other muscle car, it is actually built completely by Local Motors from the ground up. The chassis is also a unique creation.

The drivetrain is from GM, and sports a  V8 powerplant that develops  316 kW of power, which, in a vehicle with a fibreglass body, is quite a lot. Add to this the fact that it has no ABS and no traction control, piloting it can be pretty hairy. But luckily there is a roll cage, should things go completely wrong…

Watch the video below where Jay Leno gets behind the wheel of the Rally Fighter.