Ligier Looking to Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary With a New Sports Car

Automotive News 9 August 3, 2018 by

French carmaker Ligier is teasing us with a new car to celebrate its landmark year. But this one is a bit different to its current crop of vehicles: it’s a bonafide sports car.

Ligier, as a road car manufacturer, is primarily known today for making delightful little microcars used to zip around urban environments. Together with Microcar, which is under the Bénéteau Group, it makes up part of the second largest microcar producers in Europe. Only Daimler’s Smart division beats it out.

Microcars weren’t always the company’s goal though. When Guy Ligier founded the company in 1969, its focus was on building its own cars for sports car racing.

Its first vehicle, the JS1, had some success throughout 1969 and 1970. As a pure racecar, it never hit the roads. But in 1971, the JS2 came on the scene with 500 road-going versions to meet homologation requirements.

Then, in 1976, the company entered into Formula 1 as Equipe Ligier. Running through 1996, the team never won a constructor or driver’s championship. It still managed fairly respectable results though, often placing in the middle of the pack.

Now 50 years after the founding of Ligier, it looks to return to the roots of the JS1 and JS2. A new car is in the works, in collaboration with French motorsports company Onroak Automotive.

According to the press release, the new car will use a 3.7-liter V6 engine and produce around 330hp. Ligier pairs this to to a six-speed manual gearbox. Past that we don’t know anything else about the performance.

One thing we do know is that the car will get homologated to FIA E II-SH regulation. This suggests that the car will run as a silhouette model in upcoming sports car races.

Ligier and Onroak are also estimating the starting price at €89,000 ($103,000). While several times more expensive than its €10,000 ($11,500) microcars, it seems like it might be a reasonable price for a race-ready road car with 50% more power than an Alpine A110.

More info on the car is due in September, and it’ll go on sale in November of this year. As always, we will update you on the car as we find out more.

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