The answer is already hidden in the question: Ami is not an official car! Although Ami has four wheels, a roof and a steering wheel, it is not a legal vehicle because of its low speed. That is why in France drivers from the age of 14 are allowed to drive Ami and Ami is an alternative to moped. On the contrary, thanks to the electric car, Ami is an environmentally friendly alternative to microcars that are often operated by seniors.
And because Ami is not a car, less demands are placed on technology. In this way a lot of savings could be made and the price is also much lower than that of a car. For example, Ami has no airbags and no electronic slide control (ABS / ESP). Thanks to the low weight, power steering and power brakes are not necessary. What Ami offers is a lockable, waterproof booth with space for two people and a bag.
What Ami also offers is a well-thought-out and creative design. To reduce costs, as little special paper metal as possible has been used. For example, the nose and back are the same, only the color of the lamp differs. The two doors are also similar, with the funny result that the driver’s side door depends on the direction of travel. The door window cannot be trimmed, but open as an iconic 2CV (“Duck”). A small disadvantage: when the side window opens, the glass is often cracked, which has to be adjusted again.
The metal sheet is of natural gray-blue color, so spraying the desired color is not necessary. Each Ami is therefore gray-blue and gives it its own character, side printing is available. For example, a test drive is equipped with optional “tremor” themes, including colored rims.
Despite the small dimensions, the space inside is quite comfortable. This is again thanks to the thinking structure. The two front seats have been slightly adjusted to prevent the driver and co-driver from sitting side by side. And because the passenger sits slightly backwards, a small “cargo space” is created in front of the foot (see brown bag in the interior photo). There is no storage space behind the seats, as the battery and motor are located there.
“Small design, attractive appearance and simple technology make driving a great experience”
Above the steering column is a small LCD display that shows the speed and charge of the remaining battery. And with that, the materials are discussed! For those who want more, there is a mobile phone holder (with a USB connection). Smart phones can then be used as a radio, navigation system and so on. Even the gear lever does not exist. Instead, the “front”, “reverse” and “neutral” buttons are placed next to the driver’s seat. That saves other panels!
Due to the small dimensions, light construction and small equipment (no heating or air conditioning!) A small battery and a small electric motor are sufficient. And that explains the “small” price. Ami has a 5.5 kWh battery running 8 hp motor. Charging is done through a home socket and lasts for 3 hours. After that, Ami could theoretically (WLTP standard) travel 75 km, during this experiment which was 68 km.
But rest assured: no one wants to reach 75 miles or even 68 miles with Ami! At least not in one trip. Chassis is hard wood and cushions on hard plastic seats do not pay for that. Every bump on the road surface is not only felt, but also audible. Because sound insulation is also preserved. However, the way Ami is comfortable or uncomfortable is relative. In addition to being a compact car, Ami is a Spartan. In addition to the moped, Ami is a pure luxury on wheels.
Ami is not an official car because the top speed is 45 km / h. In city traffic, Ami however comes in handy, though most of the time the “perfect throttle” is driven. Climbing a mountain is not a good idea, but it is possible. In all cases it seems that the brakes are very strong and that gives a safe feeling. Gradually, Ami gives more and more confidence and therefore the test driver did not feel the danger in heavy traffic. In fact: Ami was able to prove himself better and better. After all, this miniature can go anywhere in the middle and can be parked in spaces where even the most compact cars cannot fit. That’s how you make friends!
And last but not least
Citroen Ami was introduced in France in 2020 There the car can be purchased (6,990 euros) or rented (from 20 euros per month or 26 cents per minute). Based on the experience that the brand gets in the home market, Ami is transformed where necessary and then gradually released in more countries.
For example, interior glass has now been declared as an option (also shown as missing during this experiment) and at the request of a popular “luggage”advertised version for delivery services. Since 2021, Ami is also available in Belgium, Spain and Italy. The Dutch importer is investigating the possibility of Ami in our country, but has not yet announced the launch date or prices in the Netherlands.
Will Citroen Ami make electric power accessible to a large target group? Yes, but a specific target group. Ami is not an alternative to a compact car, because Ami is not a car. Ami has a top speed of 45 km / h and is therefore limited to urban use.
This barrier is also Ami’s greatest strength! Because Ami is not a car, many expensive technologies can be saved and therefore the price is much lower than that of a car. In small quantities, Citroën provides Ami with a vehicle that can transport two people dry, relatively safe and without air pollution.
Whatever Ami offers is a lot of fun. Low quality design, pleasing appearance and simple technology make driving a great experience† In the city, performance is sufficient, standing strength is excellent and cunning that has never been done even makes Ami a better ally. Hence the name, because “Ami” means “friend” in French.
- Handy and easy to control
- Very cheap to buy and use
- More comfortable and safer than moped
- Hard-rock chassis
- Mirrors must be adjusted after opening side windows