Well, while the world was eating black-eyed peas and nursing its hangovers, the folks at Local Motors were starting the year with a Bang!
The headquarters facility began to take on a life of its own as we unpacked the final boxes to get moved in. This means that we can now start to arrange things to work the way we want them to and it is a great start.....and it is none to soon.
Tomorrow morning, two new engineers join the team full-time. Dave and Mike, are unique and talented car builders and enthusiasts, and we are SO LUCKY to have them on our team. We have set their workspace up to mimic a CIA interrogation room....hmmm! I wonder if they should be concerned :)
This moment of getting the space ready and bringing more team members aboard gives me pause to discuss one more item. Tonight my father was kind enough to drop by the facility (he does not live here but was in town for the holidays) and when he saw the place polishing up he remarked that the headquarters may look just a bit too polished to feel like there was a "real" car company being built there. Some people may be bothered by this comment, but to me, it was a signal that we are doing things right. Let me explain.
This polish is entirely appropriate for a company that is trying to provide its customers with an automotive experience and level of community that celebrates their deep love of cars and the brand. We feel that we cannot wait to provide this "feel" until the first facility has been built, but rather we need to start living the environment from the beginning. We are, after all, a marriage of engineering and design. The challenge for us has been to achieve this without spending any money....and we are proud to say that we have not spent a dime on the polish, it is all free furniture that was given to us and it is all hard work and elbow grease that has gone into the layout and prep.
Enough on our facility and on to perhaps our biggest New Year's news. Today we brought in our first driveline for evaluative testing. And the first subject is......(drum role)
The Mercedes E320 3.0L CDI with the Bluetec emissions system.
Let me allow a picture to say a thousand words about driving around town with 400 lb ft of torque. You would think that it might be a gas guzzler, but wait:
For those of you who cannot read inside the circle that says 35.1mpg. That is around town driving, and it is a full 8mpg or 25% greater than the Highway efficiency found in a 28mpg Lexus GS 450! That's right.....AROUND TOWN. It almost feels like gloating to talk about what it gets on the highway.
So more testing we will do, but suffice it to say that the driveline in this car is an amazing marriage of performance and efficiency.
So Happy New Year, and we look forward to many exciting new events in the days and weeks to come, and Thank you Mercedes and to all of the other diesel engine partners and other manufacturers who have made such phenomenal engines.