New Car (is it a car?) Review: The Citroën Ami

Copyright maison-vignaux @ Continental Productions

Starting Price: €10,000 (estimate)

Price as tested: €10,000 (estimate)

The Ami could come to Ireland in Summer 2022

GOOD STUFF

  • Easy to park, move around a town or city, cheap to buy and run.

BAD STUFF

  • Pretty slow, very basic, might be terrifying in a crash

WHAT IS IT?

The Citroën Ami is the French brand’s answer to congested roads and expensive mobility and is essentially a quadricycle, similar to the Renault Twizy. It is just 2.4 metres in length, 1.4 metres wide and 1.5 metres high and sits two people and not really any luggage (apart from a small bag in the passenger footwell). It is powered by a 6kW electric motor and puts out the equivalent of just 8hp, but is capable of a claimed 75km on a full charge, which takes just 3 hours to charge on a standard 3-point plug, which is the only way to charge it. In countries like France, from where it originates it can be driven by anyone 14 years and over and is available through car-sharing schemes (through a company called Free2Move. There, without a subscription, rental costs €0.39 per minute, €18 for the first hour (then €9 per hour for any additional hours) and €60 per day. With a no-contract subscription of €9.90 per month, rental costs €0.26 per minute, €12 for the first hour (then €6 per hour for any additional hours) and €40 per day. There are no such plans, as yet, to offer the Ami in this way in Ireland, but rather it may be offered for sale for around €10,000 and is due in Ireland in Summer 2022. 

The Ami measures just 2.4 metres

HOW ABOUT THE LOOKS?

The Ami is small and very quirky, with the same design at both the front and rear and on each side of the vehicle. The panels are interchangeable on each side and the doors open the opposite ways to allow for one door to be used on either side if a replacement is needed. It sits on 14” alloy wheels and a panoramic sunroof creates an airy feel to the small cabin. It is both cute and ugly in varying measures and will certainly attract attention. 

The Ami is a left-hand drive only model.

WHAT IS THE INSIDE LIKE?

The cabin is very, very basic. There are two seats, the driver’s seat sits on the left (it is only available in left-hand drive but the Ami is so narrow that this shouldn’t cause you too many issues) and you can slide it forward and back, the passenger seat is fixed and in front of you are some cubby holes and compartments for various bits and bobs. There is a smart phone holder and some basics digital instruments which tell you no more than you need to know.

The cabin is very simple, with a no-frills approach.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

The Ami is, an experience. The tiny 5.5kW battery is putting out 8hp and that is capable of getting the Ami to a maximum speed of 45 km/h and the sound is like the hum inside a Jumbo jet. It is easy to navigate though, and despite only being left-hand drive it isn’t that hard to use because it is so narrow. The cabin is simplicity itself. You sit in, start the key and down by your left-hand side are three buttons, D, N and R which are self-explanatory and you engage D and move off, gingerly intro traffic. Dublin being Dublin, van drivers laughed, kids hurled laughs and abuse and the Ami generally puzzled everyone. 

These people are not in a hurry.

WHICH ONE SHOULD I BUY?

There is likely to be a choice of two – the standard Ami and the Ami Cargo. The Cargo differs by dispensing with the passenger seat and offering 400-litres of space instead and a 140kg payload. 

IS IT SAFE? 

Erm. God knows. Not being a car, it isn’t subject to the same kind of safety tests such as Euro NCAP. Getting hit by anything wouldn’t be fun for anyone we suspect. 

VERDICT: 

The Ami is still a ‘maybe’ for Ireland for the summer of 2022 depending on a few factors including type approval, insurance costs and the potential pricing, which for now is an indicated €10,000, quite a bit more than the basic price in France (of just over €6,000). This would only really suit a very specific niche but if you were a city dweller and wanted cheap to run and quickly mobility then this might be right up your street.

Spec Check:

Citroën Ami

Engine: 5.5 kWh battery

Power: 8hp

Torque: 40Nm

0-100km/h: Never

Fuel Economy: Range 75km

Top Speed: 45 km/h

Transmission: Single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive

Co2: 0g/km

Annual Motor Tax: N/A

Luggage Capacity:  N/A

Price as tested: €10,000 (estimate)

For more information log on to www.citroen.ie

The Ami can be fully charged in 3 hours in a 3-pin plug.

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