Tiny, cheap, electric. The ‘not-quite-a-car’ Ami is like no other.

It would be a lot quicker to cover the things about the Citroen Ami that are not unusual than it would be to cover all of its weird features and design choices because frankly, this little car is one of the wonderfully weird things in motoring to come out in the last decade.

Citroën Ami

First of all, the Ami (French for ‘friend’) isn’t really a car, it’s a quadricycle. Once you start to look at it as a fancy quadricycle, rather than a really terrible car, it becomes easy to appreciate this little niche-filler for the fantastic bit of kit it is!

Made to be absolutely as cheap as technically possible, the Ami doesn’t have much in terms of quality but the way Citroen has cut corners in the manufacturing process is actually quite clever and just adds to the Amis overall charm. For instance, the front and rear bumpers are actually identical, which allowed Citroen to only need to manufacture one bumper. The same goes for the doors as well – there isn’t a left and a right door, they’re both the same which is likely why they’re hinged differently. The rightside door is hinged at the front, like a ‘normal’ car door but the leftside door is hinged at the rear, like a suicide door on a Rolls Royce.

Citroën Ami

The interior is about as spartan as it gets but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, this posh quadricycle is meant to be accessible to French teens that don’t have a driving licence so it’s perfect for getting friends together and taking short trips across the city. It doesn’t have air conditioning, a radio, electric windows or even a rear view mirror but what it does have is a big, open, spacious plastic interior designed for young people and those looking for cheap travel to hop in, chuck their bags on the floor and drive. There’s luggage space in the passenger footwell and a bag hook too, plenty of space in the door bins and a nice glass panel on the roof to really open up the interior to the outside world.

Citroën Ami

It’s all-electric and has a small battery that gives it a range of up to 48 miles and a limited top speed of around 28mph. From a normal mains plug, it can be charged from empty to full in just 3 hours. Another great thing about it being electric is that it’s perfect for short trips around town or in the city as it won’t be polluting anything and the range will be optimised with all that stopping and starting, thanks to energy recovery from braking.

Citroën Ami

Sure, it may have separate keys for the doors and the ignition, has only one window wiper to partially clear the view in the rain and have fabric door pulls in place of door handles, but the Ami is cool, quirky and very charismatic. It’s like the more sensible version of the Renault Twizy and I can totally see French teens appreciating it very much, as well as adults that just want a second car to potter around town in or tourists that want to hire one for a few hours to explore Paris. We hope to see more of them in more cities and urban areas!

Let us know your thoughts on the tiny, cute Citroen Ami, in the comments.

If you enjoyed this, you may also like: ‘5 Cars We Didn’t Want To Be FWD

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Doc: “The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”

One Response

  1. Peter

    it’s weird, french and i want one. just a shame it’ll never be sold here in Australia


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