Legendary Le Mans Racer Inspires New French Sports Car

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Built to celebrate company's 50th anniversary.

Following teasers released a few months ago, long-forgotten French sports car maker Ligier has unveiled its latest model. Unveiled at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the Ligier JS2 R celebrates the company's 50th anniversary and is inspired by the Ligier JS2 that finished second at the 1975 Le Mans 24 Hours. "What better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ligier's brand than a new sports car?" said Jacques Nicolet, CEO of Ligier-Onroak Automotive.

"With its iconic livery, all is said. Ligier renews with the GT category. Remember, it was Guy Ligier's first love. In 1969, he had launched the Ligier JS1, the brand's first model, and in 1972, the Ligier JS2. We designed the Ligier JS2 R, a revival car, as a real racing car. A car to give maximum pleasure on the track, in races or on track days. Because this is what matters. I hope you will like it as much as we do."

As you can already glean from the CEO's comments, the Ligier JS2 R is not a series production car adapted for driving on a track, but a thoroughbred racer. Sadly, this means it isn't street legal. The car it's based on spawned a road-going version, but Ligier hasn't announced plans to make a JS2 R road car.

Under the hood is a Ford-sourced 3.7 liter V6 engine that produces 330 horsepower. No performance specifications were provided, but the JS2 R weighs just 2,160 pounds so it should be capable of setting blistering lap times. It also has a 100-liter fuel tank, Brembo brakes, centrifugal clutch, adjustable dampers, paddle shifters, and a heated windshield.

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Ligier says the JS2 R has been designed "to provide endless hours of pleasure behind the wheel" thanks to low running costs, long gaps between revisions and easy mechanical maintenance. It can be homologated in the FIA Free Formula Sports Cars (Group E) category and is equipped with cutting-edge safety equipment. Test days are scheduled for November 2018 in Europe before deliveries start in January 2019. The car will also compete in a one-make Ligier JS Cup racing series in France next year.

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