On June 21, Citroën put 50 copies of the AMI Buggy up for sale on its website. Everything sold out in 17 minutes on spot purchase, and many people were disappointed that they couldn’t afford this quad like no other. We had the opportunity to take a copy in our hands (not counted in the allocation of 50 copies) to understand why there was so much mania around this strange machine.
Beware, everything is relative: 50 sales is not an achievement either. Also, it’s not that hard to find as many buyers who can afford it. €9,790 before the €900 bonus for a small electric buggy accessible without a license that you place under a tarp in your second home while you wait for summer. In the same vein, there are many buyers of e-bikes at €5,000 for occasional use. That the purchase of the AMI Buggy is a little irrational seems to be registered. But there are also good reasons to fall in love with this vehicle where you never know where the front is and where the rear is.
Let’s first point out that the AMI has been a hit since its launch in April 2020, with 24,000 claims claimed. This mini-Citroën is particularly successful with young people whose wealthy parents don’t want them to ride in a two-wheeled motor vehicle (AMI can be driven from 14 years old). And if the rafter builder has insisted on rental formulas from the start, it’s the cash purchase that wins. Indeed, ” 64% of acquisitions are made in cash”, says Alain Le Gouguec, Citroën’s AMI product manager. Our man also insists on the customer’s appetite for customization. ” The €7,790 basic version meets only 20% of orders. It’s the colored versions, the top-of-the-range Pops and Tonic, which make up the bulk of sales. Each owner has their own personal touch”he adds.
The idea of a more eccentric version of the AMI therefore germinated, and it was the AMI Buggy concept presented in late 2021 that served as the launch pad. Citroën will put a final version on the road just six months later for a 17-minute commercial life. This success has also caught the attention of smart little ones, who resell their model for between €20,000 and €25,000 on leboncoin, more than double the price of a new vehicle! Obviously, posting an ad doesn’t mean the sale is made.
The differences between AMI and AMI Buggy are mainly aesthetic. The khaki color of the plastic body and the gold color of the sheet metal rims are specific. The roof spoiler, lower bumpers and mudguards are also a Buggy signature. But it’s especially important to note the removal of the doors in favor of a tubular gate in the style of a pool entrance. The roof is cut to let in light and a suspended screen acts as protection on board the mythical 2CV.
In addition, as in the latter, it is necessary to anticipate a little in the event of rain, the moment to unroll and cut the canvas. But if it rains a lot, it will be back home because without doors, the shower is guaranteed. But that’s part of the game of this AMI Buggy, whose aim is to offer a unique and quirky look. For your customers who like to stand out, it’s guaranteed. Plus, anyone who has their AMI Buggy in front of school or at the beach will be watched with envy by anyone who settles for a sticker kit in the faded blue paint of their base model.
Behind the wheel of the electric AMI Buggy
An ultra-short turning radius, a minuscule size of 2.41 m, no doors, an electric motor: we’re not far from the bumper car with the AMI. Only here there is no wire for the paw, but a range of about 75 km to move freely in the city. Freedom reinforced by the absence of openings and convertible roof, while we felt a little stuck on the classic version despite the rejected windshield far ahead. From the latter, the AMI Buggy takes on the 8 hp electric motor that drives the front wheels and the 5.5 kWh battery that recharges in 3 hours from a domestic socket.
No change on the performance side, therefore, with a maximum speed of 45 km / h due to homologation and an electric torque that allows surprising large displacements at the start. Be careful, however, not to throw the mariole too much because as soon as you leave town, it quickly bounces back. It is impossible to know who is glued to the bumper in the absence of an interior mirror. To “shelter” on the road, head to the right of the right lane, like the Ligiers that make noise like a lawn mower and which the AMI buyer doesn’t want to be associated with for the sake of image. After a few kilometers on the road with tight buttocks, we quickly realized that’s not what he does at AMI.
There’s also no need to prove off-road, despite the buggy paraphernalia. We tried it on a dirt track: apart from being shaken like a coconut tree, it’s no use. As for venturing into the sand… for lack of shovels, we gave up. And then, it must be said, this Buggy is not a buggy. Here, no specific tires, no high ground clearance and no increased suspension travel. That’s why we’d rather go back to the city to rediscover the joys of driving a Lilliputian who sneaks maliciously through traffic (1.39 m wide) and parks in a mouse hole. The AMI can even be perpendicular to the pavement, as the first Smart knew how to do. It’s a shame its power steering is so heavy to manoeuvre.
We must admit that we are not displeased with parking the AMI, because its discomfort is total. We can also attribute to this model the price of the hardest seats in automobile production (oh yes, it’s true, it’s not a car, but an ATV). Speaking of benches, moreover, these do not adjust in inclination. This is one of the many details from production to the economy. On the same line, we can cite the “box” command located to the left of the driver’s seat, the cheap and approximations in exterior panel assemblies. On the road, the most annoying thing is, without a doubt, the absolute lack of readability of the small screen located behind the steering wheel on sunny days.
Aboard the AMI Buggy
If it was the Renault Twizy that pioneered this market for electric quadricycles, the model did not experience the same enthusiasm as the Citroën AMI. Diamond will return to charge in 2023 with the Duo, a small electric two-seater under its Mobilize brand. But this model will only be accessible in car-sharing, and its presentation is much more serious and classic than that of the AMI Buggy. Another offensive planned for 2023, that of Ligier. The license-free car specialist will then launch the 100% electric Myli. Finally, Chinese manufacturers are preparing their proposal for this local mobility niche, such as the XEV Yoyo electric microcar. But this will be homologated as a car and not as a quadricycle. This vehicle is set to make its first laps at the 2022 Paris Motor Show.
Citroën AMI Buggy test report
With the AMI Buggy, looks are more important than skills. It works with a clientele that likes customization, and the lightning sale of the 50 models showed that the price was not an obstacle when the distinction and the Fun were on point. But why stop there? The question is asked at Citroën, and a reissue of the Buggy is already being considered, with a model that could be even more successful. So get your keyboards ready for the next internet sale because, even with its flaws and limited use, this little buggy is terribly endearing.
- Original appearance and ease of access on board
- Pleasant ride without doors and city maneuverability
- easy parking
- cost of use
- Discomfort, finish and unreadable counter in direct sunlight
- Heavy steering in maneuver
- No chest, no equipment
Technical sheet Citroën AMI Buggy
|Dimensions and weight|
|width without mirrors||1.39 m|
|Tires on the test model||155/65 R14|
|power and performance|
|Streaming||for the front wheels|
|Maximum speed||45 km/h|
Battery, autonomy and consumption
|Battery Type||lithium ion|
|battery capacity||5.5 kWh|
|Mixed consumption of WLTP||7.4 kWh/100 km|
|WLTP Mixed Autonomy||75km|
|Charging time from 10 to 80%||3 hours on domestic outlet|
|bonuses and guarantees|
|car warranty||2 years – unlimited km|
|battery warranty||3 years or 40,000 km|
|country of production||Morocco|
TO READ. The most original colors of the Citroën AMI