Video test – Citroën Ami Buggy (2022): electric in the wind

BRIEFLY

Limited series of 50 copies

outdoor quadricycle

No longer for sale… for now

Received with some skepticism, the Citroën Ami nevertheless achieved great commercial success, as it sold more than 20,000 units in less than two years. Contrary to what one might think, it is mainly sold not in the city, but in the countryside, where it attracts people who do not have (or no longer have) a driving license. Wealthy parents also like to give it to their children, because they consider it much safer than a two-wheeler. Its reasonable price for an unlicensed car, its spicy design and its reassuring coat of arms helped a lot, but it was above all its concept that seduced. In fact, it offers two beautiful seats side by side in a closed cabin, which opposes it to the Renault Twizy and its double seats.

Video test – Citroën Ami Buggy (2022): electric in the wind

In December 2021, Citroën presented the Ami Buggy concept, announcing that it would be limited to 50 numbered copies. What’s more, when the sales site opened in July, everyone left instantly, despite a €2,000 higher price than the standard Ami, or €9,790.

Video test - Citroën Ami Buggy (2022): electric in the wind
Video test - Citroën Ami Buggy (2022): electric in the wind

Pay more to do without doors, replaced by simple metal flaps that resemble gondola gates, it works! We also have a removable roof, shaped like a hood that we roll up, like on a 2CV, as well as a specific decoration: gold rims without hubcaps, khaki paint, large roof spoiler… Impressive!

Video test - Citroën Ami Buggy (2022): electric in the wind
Video test - Citroën Ami Buggy (2022): electric in the wind

Mechanically, no changes: 8.2 hp, 5.5 kWh battery, 45 km/h maximum, 70 km of autonomy. As it is a quadricycle, the homologation rules are much more flexible: no ABS or ESP, no airbag, no central mirror…

This allows to contain the selling price, which is much lower than that of a Twizy, as well as very smart manufacturing: for example, the front and back faces are almost identical, which limits development and manufacturing costs. Speaking of manufacturing, Citroën does not rule out the relaunch of the production of the Ami Buggy. Think if you plan on buying a used one for €25,000…

On the road: no, in the city

Video test - Citroën Ami Buggy (2022): electric in the wind

Joe the taxi, he doesn’t go everywhere… Neither does the Friend. She has no right to drive on car lanes, not even on the Parisian ring road. No problem, we tried it in Le Touquet, with cool weather (17°C) but under beautiful sun. I was hoping to repeat Jean Yanne’s driver’s license sketch (those under 40 won’t know) while imagining the cramped cockpit. In fact, on board, two great comrades are accommodated without embarrassing each other. The impression of space is incredible even for a vehicle measuring 2.40 m in length! It must be said that we sat almost against the rear window, so the windshield looks very far away. We shouldn’t have to demist with a cloth…

Video test - Citroën Ami Buggy (2022): electric in the wind

This is not likely to happen with the Ami Buggy because it is open to all winds due to the absence of doors. You pull the latch, the door unlocks, and you sit in (rather than in) a seat whose discomfort is reminiscent of the wooden seats on Sprague-Thomson subway trains. Afterwards, we appreciate the well-thought-out driving position. We turn the key, a beep sounds, press the D button, to the left of the seat, and… we drive. The thrust isn’t violent, but enough to fit perfectly into urban traffic. We arrived very quickly at the promised 45 km/h, and continued climbing, even after a good lunch. Then, when the descent arrives, you press the N button, which turns off the engine, and it can reach 50 km/h. Speed ​​vertigo!

Visibility being excellent, you can see all hazards coming, unless they appear behind the Ami: the mirrors are too small. In turn, the steering is quite well calibrated, therefore sufficiently fast and light, but never compromising the stability of the vehicle. In addition, we are entitled to an ultra-short turning radius.

Road exploration? Or rather, street clothes… It turns out that it’s healthy and unsurprising, the Citroën remains firmly planted on its wheels pushed to the four corners of the chassis. No unexpected rollover tendencies (which happens in unlicensed cars), slight understeer at the limit. It behaves like a well-designed mini-traction, and if you want to have fun, you can always pull on the (very effective) handbrake, on a closed track, of course. Even the braking is convincing, because it’s powerful enough and easy to dose.

The well-designed cabin easily accommodates two passengers almost side by side.
The well-designed cabin easily accommodates two passengers almost side by side.

As for the suspension, it bounces, but honorably filters out bumps, while reducing body roll. Only, again, the terribly hard seat manifests itself by damaging your back. Citroën announces 70 km of autonomy? Impossible to check in at once, we have the base in jam much earlier!

In any case, the Buggy is only intended for short coastal trips, and exudes tasty outdoor sensations. So what does it matter if turmoil invades him, he’s made for it. It doesn’t matter if the metal flaps rattle as much as they can, we won’t be on board for long. It doesn’t matter if the smartphone holder doesn’t reassure… Oh no, that’s annoying: you’re afraid of losing your terminal when the car goes through a big bump, or even stealing it by a quick hand when you’re stopped . It must be said that the Friend attracts curious and benevolent glances.

    The instrument panel is very difficult to read in bright light.  The build quality leaves a lot to be desired.
The instrument panel is very difficult to read in bright light. The build quality leaves a lot to be desired.

Lastly, in our copy, the instrumentation block was poorly fixed and unreadable because its screen was totally dull. Overall, the machine doesn’t seem so built to last. Perfect for teaching crafts to teenagers!

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