We hitch a ride in the all-new Citroen ami, a Renault Twizy rival designed to bring car sharing to the masses
“When was the last time you sat in a car and couldn’t touch the windscreen?” asks Citroen’s new CEO Vincent Cobee as we climb out of his all-new ami city car.
It’s a valid question, and one to which we can’t fathom an easy answer. The feeling of space inside the ami is quite unlike anything we’ve driven in recent years. The dashboard sits stretched out way ahead of the driver and passenger – the large glass roof flooding the cabin with light.
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Despite the fact our first taste of the ami is restricted to a lap of Paris’s La Defense Arena, it gives us an early opportunity to experience the quadricycle on the move. Critics may scoff at the ami’s sparse cabin, but it feels functional and logically laid out – with little more than a small digital readout ahead of the driver and a mobile phone cradle on the centre console.
There are no plush plastics or lush leathers – this is a car built to cost, and one that will need to withstand the abuse of multiple unapologetic users on any given day. It feels cheap, almost as if it could be hosed down after each use.
There’s no air-conditioning, but there is a heater, which in addition to the wide-opening asymmetric doors gives it a big advantage over its Renault Twizy rival. The windows flip up manually, like those in a Citroen 2CV, but even at low speeds they fill the car with fresh air, which bodes well for scorching summer days.
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Image 7 of 9
Our driver gives the ami a quick burst of acceleration as we round the corner to the back straight, and while it doesn’t pin us in our seat, there’s enough shove for something of this size. The ami’s top speed is limited to 27mph in order to comply with European quadricycle classifications.
It’s easy to see the ami’s appeal – not least because its price promises to undercut every new car on sale bar none. But as a hop-in-hop-out, zero commitment car sharing solution for urban dwellers without the want or need to own their own transport, it’s surely the blueprint all others must follow.
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