Well, it’s been a while but we’re still plugging ahead with the Ligero prototype build. I’ve been living the true entrepreneur’s dream / nightmare over the past few months. We’ve had issues with the workforce requiring us to change our team a couple of times to get the right people on the job to move forward. The result has been a few months where we haven’t made as much progress as we would have liked. That said, we have been edging forward with a few key jobs and also used the time to acquire a couple of key components including a 550 hp LS3 V8 and a low mileage Boxster S transmission.
The main work effort has been around the dash mounts, windscreen surround and the front firewall. There’s been a bunch of fiddly little jobs required to make sure that we have the exact heights and angles for the windscreen surround, the roof, and front clip to marry up nicely together.
The crew at Joe Bradley Fibreglass have been working their magic on moulds for the front firewall attachments such as the windscreen wiper motor and the dash components including the air conditioner box. The images below show the mould being made from the donor Boxster and then the finished product mounted on the Ligero with some components attached.
The Boxster steering has been successfully transplanted into the prototype. The rack itself fits neatly, with a few adjustments likely to be required to the column itself to shorten it slightly, as well as to the front of the chassis to allow better clearance for the column. It can be seen in the photo below that a chunk needed to be cut out of the metal tray in front of the firewall to fit the column. As the Ligero is significantly wider than the Boxster, a custom attachment will need to be fabricated for the tie rod ends, which on initial impression, shouldn’t be overly complicated to manufacture. In the interest of simplicity for reproduction of the car we’re aiming at having as few as possible custom parts for the car.
Here’s a few more perspective shots of the front of the car, with a previous photo included to see the slow but sure progress that’s been made.
We’ve also been thinking hard about the cut lines in the back of the car, with particular respect to allowing accessibility to the engine, transmission and exhaust for through-life serviceability of the car. Whilst it would look neat to minimise the cut lines in the back body work it would be completely impractical to need to pull the entire rear bodywork off the car to check the oil. With that in mind we started devising a plan to have a rear section of the car that hinges either forward or aft to allow access to the engine and transmission. The red tape in the images below shows the proposed new cut lines.
The plan will be for the section inside the red tape to be free to hinge upwards, or be removed completely, to allow access. Those who have been following the build will recall the previous large rear wing that mounted on the outside edges of the back of the car, pictured here:
We had identified a few issues with that particular design, and it had cosmetically divided audiences! Our primary concern was flex, given that it ends up being approximately 2.2m wide, which was probably going to require it to have another upright somewhere centrally that would further obscure rear vision. With the new plan to have an opening section in the rear deck of the car we needed to rethink the wing, and we came up with the ever so slightly less offensive variant seen in the following photos.
After going through a few different concepts for the power plant, we decided on an LS3 for this build. I’m excited to say that it will be significantly more powerful than the original Boxster option that I had planned, and we’ve managed to secure a cammed and mildly tuned LS3 putting out around 550 hp and over 700 nm torque. This donk should propel the car to the speeds that it looks like it should go!
Work is now ongoing with the remainder of the front firewall, and now that the dash has been mounted work can progress on the plug for the front clip to work towards generating the panels to skin the front of the beast.
Thanks for looking guys, we’ll keep you posted on progress really soon! Cheers, dan.