The Mystery of Ligier

This is how I discovered one of the most mysterious car names of all time...

Yesterday, as I was walking out of a restaurant where I had my dinner, I stumbled upon a unique spectacle; a minicar that looked as if it was a Malaysian copy of the Smart FourTwo.

The car’s name was Ligier Xtoo, and several stickers on the car’s body indicated to me that this was a ‘sports’ version. Amazed by such spectacle, I took a number of pictures - which you can see below - and told myself, “I need to research this”.

So what can be told of this ‘Ligier’ brand?

Well, first of all it’s not a Malaysian brand; it’s actually from France, and it was created by former racing driver and rugby player Guy Ligier, who was also a recipient of the Legion of Honour; the highest order for military and civil merits in France.

Another thing is that back in its early days, Ligier used to create sports cars, although that part of its history is still shrouded in mystery and lack of clarity.

The reason why few have heard of this company is because it doesn’t seem to operate in many markets. However, the car seen in those photos came from Portugal, meaning that the company still operates in that area.

Although there is no localised version of the company's website for the UK - which potentially means that they don't operate in the UK - there is an English version of the company's official website, where people can get the idea that Ligier seem to be working on creating a car that is small enough to be a citycar, but one which also attends to its customer base's needs.

The company claims on its website that their cars have an exceptional degree of safety; for example, the door frames on all Ligier cars are equipped with an oversized longitudinal aluminium beam, which reinforces the passenger compartment, and the company also states that its cars are the only ones to use break disks on the front and on the rear.

One very unique thing about this company is that it aims to appeal to teenagers, as it states on the website that 14 year olds can drive Ligier cars!

So, what can be concluded overall?

To me, Ligier is like Smart but one which aims to look from a different angle, and in a lot of ways they remind me of Saab; ingenious in one way yet profoundly daft in another.

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