The Ami doesn’t require a driving license, can be driven by a 14-year-old and has a whopping 8 horsepower!
Citroen describes this odd little thing as ‘non-conformist’ and we’re wondering what made them say that. Is it the fact that this car doesn’t require a driving license? Or that 14-year olds can drive one? Or how it only costs €19.99 per month?
The Citroen Ami is, in fact, non-conformist in almost every way. This tiny all-electric two-seater is designed as a solution to the problem that the EV market is still facing today and that is the price problem. Although electric cars are much cheaper in the long run thanks to minimal running costs, they are still too expensive to buy for most young people. Even the popular non-luxury options such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe still cost far too much for a lot of people who don’t want to spend a lot on their car.
The Citroen Ami takes full advantage of France’s vehicle classes and regulations because the Ami is actually classed as a light quadricycle. In France, quadricycles do not require a driving license to operate them on the road but instead, require a safety certificate. The minimum age requirement is just 14 years of age.
The Citroen Ami is mainly designed to offer extremely cheap mobility for those living in French cities such as Paris. Not only will it be ridiculously cheap, €19.99/month rental or €0.26/minute via car-sharing app Free2Move, but also fully electric (with a range of 43 miles) meaning it will help keep city air clean and breathable.
Now, let’s talk about the car itself because it may sound interesting on paper but it’s even more interesting once you start to look at it. Now, if you’re a Citroen fan you will probably know that this isn’t the first Ami. The original Ami (which is the French word for ‘friend) was produced between 1961 and 1978 and was a very successful economy family saloon.
This new Ami only seats two, only has 8 horsepower and has a top speed of just 28 mph but it makes up for it all in style.
Getting into the car is where the first spectacle is seen as you’ll notice that one of the doors is conventionally hinged at the front, whereas the other is rear-hinged like a suicide door. What other car exists that has an odd pair of doors that don’t match?!
On the inside of the doors there is a belt strap in place of an ordinary door handle, similar to what you would find in some track-oriented supercars such as the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. The interior is very basic, as you would imagine, but still manages to look more quirky then it does cheap.
The only real luxury is the fixed sunroof, which is sure to make the tiny car feel more open. After that, you’ll find that there’s no radio, no aircon, no bluetooth and a window that can only be partially opened.
The benefit of this car is that it’s very cheap (can be bought outright for €6000) and offers more safety and protection from the elements than a moped or a Renault Twizzy. Like a car, it’s fully enclosed and even has heating, so you don’t have to worry about getting wet or cold.
Behind the steering wheel lies a little crater that the designers have included to essentially suggest to owners that if they want music, they’ll have to bring their own speaker and put it in this little dish, as perfectly illustrated by their press release photo.
Following in the ‘do it yourself’ theme, in place of a centre console is a grip to hold your phone. Citroen have really done all they can to bring the cost of this microcar down as low as possible in order to make it available to as many people as they can.
All in all, the interior isn’t really where this car shines. On the other hand, Citroen have pulled out all the stops to make this car truly eye-catching. Several designs are available, with our favourite one having the most ironic spoiler in the history of automobiles (considering it sits upon a car with a top speed of under 30 mph!).
Another design features a cool topographical graphic and a roof rack, giving the car a robust and more rugged look.
There’s no denying that this car is cool. We would have definitely put it on our list of cars that will make you stand out if it was available to buy in the UK. The painted wheels, the satin paint finish, the vinyl stripes and graphics, the circular moped-style mirrors, the weird ‘Airbump’ inserts on the side – it all comes together to make a truly unique and bizarre, but stunning, display.
Let us know what you think of this tiny wonder and if you would buy one if you could!
If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy reading about how the majority of people asked agreed that ‘p’ plates should be mandatory.
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