Local Motors yesterday announced the winner of their Cruiser Design Challenge. The contest sought concepts for the company's first motorized bicycle, to go on sale later this year alongside the popular Rally Fighter off-road sports car and all-new Racer motorcycle. The design brief called for "a vintage, nostalgic, old school look, with retro design elements."
First place and a $2,000 cash prize went to Ianis Vasilatos of Romania for his retro-inspired Ariel Cruiser design.
"To design a motorized bicycle reminiscent of the early 1900s was a dream of mine that began a long time ago. And my passion for this era will never stop," said Vasilatos in a statement. "All parts of my Ariel Cruiser design were intended to give a nod back to the history of boardtrack racing and early motorbicycles: the motor and engine covering, the fuel tank and straps that hold the tank, the other elements of leather and the seat are all very respectful to this history."
The competition crowdsourced designs from across the globe, in keeping with Local Motors' open-source ethos. The idea is to bring new ideas to market faster by opening up the vehicle design process to a vast network of Local Motors contributors, rather than relying solely on internal research and development, as many traditional vehicle manufacturers do.
In determining the winner, Local Motors considered user comments and ratings of the submissions posted to their Forge site, in addition to assessing how well the design met the specifications and goals of the project.
"The Ariel Cruiser concept presented by Ianis was a compelling balance between the inspiration of vintage boardtrack racing presented in the challenge, and a look that was entirely its own," said Local Motors CEO and co-founder Jay Rogers in a statement. "Ianis' design is extreme, with an aggressive stance, totally custom engine covers, a signature tank shape and mounting style, low-slung handlebars and horizontal body layout totally reminiscent of the boardtrack racer heritage. When so many bicycle styles already exist, it is impressive to see a design that still can stand apart from the masses."
Local Motors says they hope to have the first production units ready for "holiday 2013," targeting an October or November timeframe. No word yet on how much the Cruiser will cost.