Day -31: The car
Where do we start? It’s a French microcar called a Ligier Ambra which is a distant relative to the company’s previous vehicles which were Maserati V6 mid-engine sports cars that had fantastic power to weight ratios and were lighting fast. Unfortunately for us the only thing sporty about our Ligier is its badge!
The Ambra is a car that was designed to be used once in a blue moon for the odd journey to the shops and back. That’s if you’re lucky enough to get it back before it overheats or breaks down. The little roller skate is powered by a 2 cylinder, 4 valve Lombardini 505cc power plant. All 15 of its horses are delivered to the front wheels by a CVT belt-driven single-gear automatic gearbox that’s not much bigger than a toaster. This little eco warrior also has the ability to achieve 80+ miles per gallon as long as it can do 80 miles without breaking down or spontaneously combusting itself.
The Ambra is effectively a road going go-kart that has a plastic body and an aluminium frame sitting on top of 13 inch tyres. If you are luckily enough to be able to get hold of a GLX model you’ll get electric windows, electric boot release and a tape player thrown in. It is loaded with the latest safety features, like lap seat belts, which means it legally doesn’t need to have a Euro NCAP safety test. The master gurus at Ligier also used their Formula 1 backgrounds to develop a car whose dry weight is 296 kg and can be easily lifted by a couple of grown Frenchmen.
After researching for months (it was actually 5 minutes on eBay) to find the perfect car to cope with some of the harshest terrain in the world we think we’ve found ourselves a winner. We’re sure you’ll agree that the Ligier Ambra is the ultimate all-terrain vehicle for the monster task we have ahead.
Upon collecting our trusty chariot and limping it the 40 miles back to the workshop we realised that this little powder puff had some severe issues that would need to be addressed…