Good golly. It sure seems like there’s a bunch of unnecessary high performance cars under development that pass well beyond the limits of most normal people’s purchasing power. Maybe it’s our imagination, but there appears to be some sort of performance car renaissance taking place at the moment.
Throw another one onto the pile. Ligier, a company you’ve probably never heard of unless you’re seriously into vintage Formula One, present-day Le Mans 24 Hours, or French mini cars, is developing a road-going sports car. While it should have an almost semi-reasonable price tag for a boutique model, it’s still going to be more expensive than most people want to pay. Also, like so many of these specialty cars, we’re not going to bet on it spending much time outside of Europe — which would be a tragedy, since this thing sounds absolutely incredible on paper.
According to Motor1, the unnamed model will be revealed in September as a tribute to the founder of the brand, former racing driver and rugby player Guy Ligier. Sales are expected to commence a couple of months later. Details are scarce leading up to the reveal, but Motor1 claims the vehicle will employ a 3.7-liter V6 engine delivering around 330 horsepower mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifters, which is both fantastic and ridiculous for a claimed street-legal car.
That’s the same displacement and output as the Nissan 370Z. Considering the Japanese brand’s current relationship with Ligier, it wouldn’t surprise us to learn the vehicle is actually using the VQ37VHR. While that unit’s output is respectable, it’s not a fire-breathing dragon. However, the forthcoming Ligier is supposed to adhere to the FIA’s Group E2-SH regulations, which would necessitate four seats and and a curb weight of no more than 1,720 pounds (based on the engine displacement).
A curb weight like that makes the Mitsubishi Mirage look like a glutinous pig by comparison. Hell, a Lotus Exige weighs more than that. With such a trim waistline, we estimate a 1/4 mile time in the 10-second range — depending on gearing. Still, we doubt a vehicle like this would spend much time on any track that lacked turns, especially since it’ll probably lack a bunch of safety features that will help keep it out of American garages. Maybe Ligier can enact some Caterham shenanigans and ship it over as a kit car.
Fully assembled, the model is rumored to cost approximately $103,400. Not a bargain, but we’ve seen less impressive sounding track-day darlings going for far more lately. We’ll see what it looks like next month; all the teaser images show us is that it’ll come from the factory with a sizable spoiler, Mustang-esque LED taillights, and a rather impressive footprint. The Group E regulations the model is claimed to adhere to also mandate the “appearance of a large production car,” so don’t expect something the size of a Toyota 86. The Ligier should seat a family of four without much trouble and be so stripped-down that riding in anything but the driver’s seat will feel like a punishment.