Citroen Ami revealed – cutesy fully-electric microcar with 8 hp electric motor, 5.5 kWh battery; from RM28k
Earlier this month, Citroen dropped teasers for a new electric vehicle and we now know exactly what they cooked up. This is the new Ami, and it is the production version of a similarly-named concept that made its debut one year ago. Designed to make electric mobility accessible to the masses, the cute, two-seat microcar is actually classified as a light quadricycle in France, just like the Renault Twizy.
Measuring just 2,400 mm long, 1,390 mm wide and 1,520 mm tall, the 485-kg Ami doesn’t take up a lot of space and with a turning diameter of just 7.2 metres, is perfectly suited for urban city driving. Fun fact, the Ami is actually smaller than a smart EQ fortwo.
Featuring a boxy and an almost symmetrical shape, the Ami is certainly a unique sight to behold. Unlike the concept that had a more futuristic vibe to its design, the look of the end product is a lot more down to earth, even if it is still a bit unconventional.
According to Citroen, the large glass panels represent 50% of the total surface above the body line, allowing for plenty of natural light to flood the cabin and promotes visibility. In a nod to the carmaker’s history, the side windows open by manually tilting upwards, just like the classic 2CV.
On both ends, there’s a double-tier lighting setup for the headlamps, taillights and turn indicators, making it tricky to tell which way the vehicle is facing at first glance. To add to the confusion, the Ami sports asymmetrical doors that open in opposite directions, and the raised “bumps” seen on both sides of the vehicle perfectly mirror one another. You want quirky French design? Well, here you go.
Fortunately, Citroen designed the rear of the car to have a window that extends a little further outward, as opposed to the one in the front that neatly tucks into the top of the vehicle’s nose. This, along with the decorative stripes on the quarter windows, do help to lessen the confusion.
For customers who want some degree of customization, the Ami can be had with Pop or Vibe styling packages. The former adds on a roof spoiler along with sporty decals, while the latter goes for a more chic look featuring graphic accessories and roof rails.
The Ami’s cabin is equally as interesting, with a flat-top dashboard that has an organiser to keep regularly-used items within easy reach. The carmaker says that “every nook and cranny is exploited to its fullest while storage space is cleverly distributed throughout the passenger compartment,” and this includes a recess at the passenger’s feet that can accommodate a cabin-sized suite case.
Creature comforts include air-conditioning and that’s about it. There’s no dedicated infotainment system, and you’ll need to rely on your smartphone and/or a Bluetooth speaker for entertainment and navigation functions. Not a bad idea, considering how many of us rely on Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze for the latter instead of a built-in solution.
For motivation, the Ami is powered by an 8 hp (6 kW) electric motor – about eight times that of a standard home air-conditioner unit – that is good for a top speed of 45 km/h. The motor draws power from a 5.5-kWh lithium-ion battery, which provides a driving range of up to 70 km and can be charged via the on-board electric cable tucked near the right door. Once plugged in to conventional 220-volt socket, a full charge takes about three hours. Recharging can also be done at a regular charging station wallbox using a suitable cable.
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To keep track of the vehicle’s status, there’s the My Citroen mobile app that provides drivers with access to information like available range, charge status and time remaining for a 100% charge, mileage, maintenance alerts, after-sales appointment scheduling, and even locate nearby public charging stations.
Given its classification as a quadricycle, the Ami can be driven without a driving license in the European Union from 16 years old on average (14 years old in France). There are also several ways of using the EV, including buying it outright, long-term rental or car-sharing when order books open from March 30 in France (first deliveries in June) – other countries (Spain, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Germany) will follow later.
Those who prefer the first option will need fork out the base price of 6,000 euros (RM27,890) including VAT in France. There’s also the option of a long-term rental contract (48 months) with a monthly payment of 19.99 euros (RM93) per month and downpayment of 2,644 euros (RM12,290). Lastly, the Ami will be part of PSA’s Free2Move car-sharing fleet with a price of 0.26 euros/minute (RM1.21/min) on top of a monthly subscription fee of 9.90 euros (RM46).