Tiny two-seat EV destined for UK dealerships after 12,000 customers registered an interest
The Citroën Ami electric quadricycle will go on sale in the UK next year, with 12,000 prospective customers already having declared an interest in buying one.
The decision marks a significant U-turn for the brand: the Ami was never intended for sale in Britain, but following the reception from eager buyers and having been championed by the firm’s managing director Eurig Druce, it has got the go-ahead.
“The response to Ami has been overwhelming, and the momentum has just built up to a point we can’t say no,” said Druce. “It’s not just a vehicle with a following, either; the Ami embodies one view we have of future transport, around affordability and usability. Selling it here gets those values across in a way that no marketing campaign ever could.”
The Ami will only be sold in left-hand drive, but at 1390mm in width, and with strong all-round visibility due to its 2410mm length, in practice this means the driver sits only around 300mm adrift of a typical car driver. Other modifications required for sale in the UK are limited to changing the charging plug for a Type 2 fitting, plus headlamp adjustments and calibration to miles per hour.
It is notable not only for its quirky design and tiny footprint, but also its restricted performance, aimed only at city and short haul use. The Ami is limited to a top speed of 28mph and has a range of just 43 miles. Drivers must have a full licence in the UK, although some European countries allow 14-year olds at the wheel.
While no UK pricing has been revealed, prospective buyers are being invited to pay a £250 refundable deposit now through Citroën’s website. European pricing suggests it will retail in the UK for approximately £6000, although leasing options will also be offered, either via a deposit and monthly payments or – potentially – via short-term rentals, possibly even by the minute if local authorities engage in mooted schemes to provide this.
“The philosophy of the Ami is that it should be as affordable as a mobile phone,” Citroen CEO Vincent Cobée told Autocar, who revealed that that 80% of its 9000 customers to date have been new to Citroën, and that 50% had bought the car without ever visiting a dealership. “For us, it is both one expression of what Citroen today is about and it opens up a way into a new e-commerce economy. It is a vehicle we can learn from.
“Today, Citroën is about delivery personal mobility in an engaging, affordable way. If we all want 500km of range, all-round performance and full autonomy then we must all be ready to pay £100,000 for a family car. At Citroën we don’t believe that is the right way, and we will be militant in our efforts to provide alternatives.”
Cobée also confirmed that Citroën was readying a package of personalisation options for Ami owners, including different coloured body panels and allowing them – through a third party specialist – to wrap the vehicle in any way they wish.