Ligier Be-Up

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As the 505cc engine of Ligier's new Be-Up splutters into life, it's best to take a couple of seconds to settle your nerves. It has no doors or airbags, and the seats are deckchairs. But at least it's a car…

Verdict

Ligier's Be-Up represents a challenging piece of design which is fun to drive and certain to draw stares of amazement from passers-by. That noted, however, it's expensive and lacks refinement. And there can't be many who relish the thought of driving it over long distances. As the 505cc engine of Ligier’s new Be-Up splutters into life, it’s best to take a couple of seconds to settle your nerves. It has no doors or airbags, and the seats are deckchairs. But at least it’s a car…

Except, of course, it isn’t. Shrouded in a mist of legislation, the four-wheel Be-Up is regarded as a motorcycle. Full car and/or bike-licence-holders can legally get behind the wheel, because it’s registered as a quadricycle.

Although that might sound futuristic, exotic even, it soon becomes clear the Be-Up is anything but. Costing nearly £5,000, the bizarre machine is far from cheap – but that doesn’t stop it bringing a new meaning to the word ‘basic’. Doors are a £500 option; there are no side windows, and the boot is little more than a generous glovebox. Still, you’ll soon find yourself smiling as you engage the CVT gearbox and squeeze the throttle.

Capable of 53mph, the tiny Ligier makes 20mph feel like 200. Thankfully, the steering is sharp and the brakes incredibly efficient, so you’ll soon find yourself cornering with the conviction of Michael Schumacher. Due here next year, the Be-Up promises to cause quite a stir. However, it’s unlikely to become a familiar sight on UK roads.

Key specs

* Price: £5,000
* Engine: 505cc
* Top speed: 53mph