The Rally Fighter is a badass looking car designed and built by the US company Local Motors. It was recently featured in the latest Transformers movie, in Jay Leno’s Garage, Top Gear and it’s also in Forza Horizon 2 which comes out today on the Xbox One. It’s a very rare car and we are lucky to have two in Kuwait (same owner). I first found out about the Rally Fighters coming to Kuwait by mistake, back at the end of 2013 Local Motors posted a video on YouTube in which they mentioned they were building two cars for a client in Kuwait and then in a second video they mentioned that Rally Fighter cars might end up being built in Kuwait as well. I posted those two videos and luckily for me the owner of the two cars also happens to read my blog. He contacted me right after I posted the first video and told me he’d let me in on the whole story as well as let me take one of the cars out for a spin once they arrived. Fast forward to last week and I finally got the call to take one of the cars out.
The Rally Fighter isn’t a mass produced car, it’s kind of a kit car but not really and there is nothing on the road that looks like it. The Rally Fighter looks like a car from Mad Max or a car that was built out of other cars right after a world apocalypse. Calling it badass is really an understatement. The car is pretty high off the ground and has large tires so if you’re not tall, getting into it will be an accomplishment. When I first got in the first thing I noticed was how poor the visibility was. Right in front of me I had the front left car pillar which would usually be located further left and out of my direct line of sight. Because the pillar was right in front of me it made the car feel claustrophobic and the whole seating position didn’t help either. The foot pedals were really far away and I had to move the seat pretty close to the steering wheel to be able to touch them and I’m 6’1 so shorter people would definitely have issues. The steering wheel also wasn’t very adjustable and in my seating position I couldn’t see the speedometer because the steering wheel was covering it. This proved to be an issue on the highway when I was struggling not to speed and get caught by the cameras. The foot pedals were also pretty far apart so the natural way to drive the car is one foot on the brake and the other on the gas like a proper rally driver.
I picked up the car from Starbucks in Bida’a and headed from there out towards my favorite spot in the desert so I could take some photos. The Rally Fighter has a V8 6.2L 430HP engine so trying to keep it from exceeding 120km/h on the highway was difficult. What made the task even harder was that I couldn’t really see how fast I was going because the steering wheel was covering the speedometer. The ride to my spot was long and this is definitely not a car I would want to take on long highway trips. It was a hot day and the AC couldn’t keep up so it was pretty warm in the car, I would hate to be driving this in the middle of July. The interior is pretty barebones and feels cheap. They ordered a carbon fiber trim but that turned out to be carbon fiber stickers which were haphazardly stuck on the dashboard. The leather trim on top of the dashboard had already separated from the dashboard because of the heat and the windows left a gap at the top which not only let in hot air from the outside but would also let in rain come winter. The interior felt like a kit car even though the car isn’t priced like one (more on that later). While the car looked great from the outside the interior was so bland that I had trouble trying to capture a nice shot of it. The car is a two door but it does have rear seats although it’s made for kids since any adult sitting the back would either hit their head on the rear window or the roll cage.
I’ve driven quite a few interesting cars and been in even more but I’ve never driven one or been in one that garnered as much attention as the Rally Fighter. Cars were literally hovering around me from every angle on the highway trying to record video or take photos of it. I’m fairly positive there is a video of me on YouTube driving the car. It sticks out on the road like a soar thumb and no one has any idea what the hell it is. This brings me to the next subject on why I think the price is crazy yet not so crazy as well. The base price of the car starts at around $100,000. With the options, shipping and registration in Kuwait you’ll end up paying around KD40,000. For that price you could pick up both a Porsche Cayman and a Ford Raptor (which is just as capable off-road) so yeah I do think 40K is over priced. But, there is another way to look at this as well. This isn’t an everyday car, this isn’t a car you’ll trade in your comfy saloon for, this is a car built with a specific task and so it’s a rich mans toy, it’s your third or forth car. I don’t know of any other car at this price range or less that captures as much attention as this, maybe the KTM Xbow or the Aerial Atom but there really aren’t that many. In a market where no one gives a Ferrari or McLaren a second glance, the Rally Fighter with all the attention is gets seems like good value at 40K. But, the owner seems to think the car isn’t ready for the GCC market just yet which is why he’s abandoned plans of opening a Rally Fighter factory in Kuwait.