The Ami concept shown at last year’s Geneva motor show was very impressive, so it’s really great to see Citroen putting it into production. A shame that a lot of the more premium elements of the concept have been watered down — lamps are expensive, so it’s understandable.
The Ami (literally ‘friend’ in French) is billed as an urban mobility solution; a safer alternative to scooters, bicycles, mopeds and public transport. It is also an arguably more attractive solution than its two-passenger Renault counterpart, the Twizy.
Measuring in at 2410mm in overall length, 1390mm wide and 1520mm tall, the Ami has a smaller footprint than a Smart yet is still capable of speeds of up to 28 miles per hour.
“Disruptive projects are always the best projects,” says Pierre Leclercq, Head of Citroën Design. “These are usually the ones that really drive the automotive world forward, and it is a tradition at Citroën to want to contribute to changing this automotive landscape. The design of Ami is a product design, not an automotive design. A design for which the form must define the function.”
The Ami is unique in that it is entirely symmetrical, thereby drastically reducing manufacturing costs. The doors and front and rear panels and bumpers are identical, so they don’t require extra tooling to produce.
The innovative design also pays homage to its 2CV, not only in its overall simplicity by in its flip-up style side windows, too. Finally, as a response to ever-increasing trends for personalization, the Ami also features four different color packs (blue, white, khaki and orange) and stickers to spruce up the neutral exterior color.
“Ami is a base that can become a completely customized object with exterior and interior accessories that are either pure style or offer real extra functionality,” says Leclercq. “That gives it a completely different character.”
It would have been difficult for Citroen to offer the same levels of detail and refinement found in the Ami concept in a production electric vehicle version at €6,000 – €19.99/month (in France) for a long term rental or €0.26/mi for car share. But the company has stayed very close to the initial concept. And for that I applaud it.