Ligier is a French automobile maker created by former racing driver and rugby player Guy Ligier, specialized in the manufacturing of microcars.
Ligier is best known for its involvement in the Formula 1 World Championship between 1976 and 1996.
In collaboration with Martini Automobiles, the Ligier-Martini entity offered sports prototypes used in endurance or hillclimbing(CN). After the announcement of the creation of the new category LMP3 by the ACO, Ligier and Martini associated with Onroak Automotive (the manufacturer department of OAK Racing) to offer a full range of prototypes (CN, LMP3, LMP1 and LMP2) .
|Industry||Automobile & Formula One|
|Parent||21 Investimenti Partners|
The firm entered the automobile business with the Ligier JS2, a mid-engined sports car for the road initially powered by a Ford V6 and from 1971 by the same Maserati V6 engine as the Citroën SM. The JS2 was considered by many as a well-designed car with a very good power-to-weight ratio. The Ligier motorcars were all designated with the prefix "JS" in honour of Ligier's great friend and cohort Jo Schlesser who was killed in the 1968 French Grand Prix while driving for Honda. The final SMs were also produced in the Ligier factory in Vichy. The 1973 energy crisis caused such a decline in the market for the JS2 that production ceased soon after, and the firm changed its focus to microcars, for example, 1984 moped-powered Ligier JS6.
One of the world's first experimental prototypes of automatic parallel parking was developed on a Ligier electric car at INRIA in the mid-1990s.
In September 2008, Ligier Automobiles completed its acquisition of Beneteau Group's Microcar division, with financing provided by 21 Investimenti Partners. Phillipe Ligier, son of the company's founder, remains as CEO. The Ligier and Microcar brands are to retain their separate identities and manufacturing facilities. The merger creates Europe's second largest microcar manufacturer (after Daimler's Smart unit, if one considers that a microcar), and largest manufacturer of drivers license-exempt vehicles.
The Ligier model line currently consists of the Ixo line of mini cars, the X-Pro line of small commercial vehicles, and the Be Up/Be Two line of open-air, roadster-type vehicles. The company also produces a line of quad bikes and off-road utility vehicles sold as the Be Pro, Be Four, and Be Truck. Ixo or Ambra is about two and a half meters long and has two seats. It is front-engine. Power units include two 2-cylinder four-stroke diesels of about half a liter displacement and an all-electric drive.
Ligier in motorsport
Ligier is best known for its Formula One team that operated from 1976 to 1996. Ligier entered Formula One in 1976 with a Matra V12-powered car, and won a Grand Prix with Jacques Laffite in 1977.
Ligier also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1970 to 1975.