Accessible from 14 years old, the small Citroën AMI is a UFO in the range of the chevron brand. Gadget or real mobility solution? We were able to test the small electric car without a license in the streets of the capital.
Love it or hate it, the Citroën AMI has this advantage that it leaves no one indifferent. A small two-seater with a cubic design, the AMI is a real revolution for the chevron brand, which is venturing for the first time into the license-free vehicle segment. Citroën is not the first major car brand to make this choice, however, since the Renault Twizy dates back to … 2012. The philosophy of the two models is however quite different. Where the Twizy is more akin to a leisure machine, the AMI takes all the ingredients of the micro-city car.
2.41 m long, 1.39 m wide and 1.52 m high, the Citroën AMI is marked by a very symmetrical design. The front and rear faces are thus strictly identical.
A primarily economical choice that allows the manufacturer to limit his production costs. As regards the doors, the philosophy is the same with a classic opening on the passenger side and opposing side on the driver’s side. One way you don’t have to change the location of the hinges to produce a single piece.
Accessible from 14 years old with the AM license (formerly BSR), the little AMI falls under the category of light quadricycles. Under the hood, there is a 6 kW motor. Flanged to 45 km / h, it is powered by a small 5.5 kWh battery allowing up to 70 kilometers of theoretical autonomy. On the recharging part, count 3 hours on a domestic socket in 8A. It’s not too long, but you have to deal with a long charging cable built into the car, which is inconvenient to handle. A retractor would have been much more practical even if needed.
Inside, the design is basic but effective. It’s even amazing to have such generous space on such a small vehicle. A feeling undoubtedly reinforced by the brightness offered by the panoramic roof.
In terms of instrumentation, Citroën is keeping it simple. Placed behind the wheel, the small digital screen is not very readable because of the many reflections. It shows top speed, odometer and a remaining range display. Expressed in kilometers, it is also presented in the form of a small battery acting as a gauge.
For the rest, this AMI is intended to be rather practical. The storm doors have plenty of storage space while the dashboard has a USB smartphone socket and even a Bluetooth speaker for listening to the latest hits.
Despite their minimalist appearance, the seats are relatively comfortable. Only the driver’s seat is adjustable in depth. Strict two-seater, this AMI does not offer a trunk but a small storage space behind the seats. It also does not have a central mirror. Symbolic, the side mirrors, however, are too small and require you to turn your head when changing lanes.
Behind the wheel, the AMI behaves like a toy. With a 7.20 m turning radius, Citroën’s little chip spins around and is very easy to maneuver despite the lack of power steering. Speeds are selected through a series of three buttons (D-N-R). In terms of the engine brake, it is quite light but it is present. The top speed, limited to 45 km / h, is also not an obstacle in Parisian traffic where the average is more around 30 km / h.
Practical but also playful, the AMI holds up when heckled. If it slips a bit under acceleration, it sticks to the asphalt and is quite damped. A good surprise for this small quadricycle which ultimately turns out to be much safer than a two-wheeler.
A mini bonus price deducted
Assembled in Morocco and distributed in the Citroën network but also via the FNAC and Darty stores, the Citroën AMI is available from € 6,900. A price that drops to € 6,000 after deduction of the € 900 bonus. In the license-free segment, where thermal equivalents are often sold for more than 10,000 €, it is ultimately not that expensive. In the all-electric segment, the AMI is also much cheaper than the Twizy, the selling price of which starts from € 9,100 ecological bonus deducted.
But it is above all the rental solution that should make this little FRIEND a hit. No more expensive than a telephone plan, it is offered in LLD at € 19.99 / month over 48 months after a first rent of € 2,641 bonus deducted.