Citroen’s latest unveiling probably isn’t suitable for UK roads of weather.
Called the My Ami Buggy, it’s a tiny electric vehicle with off-road tyres, external storage bags and no doors that is a modern-era nod to the brand’s Méhari panel buggy, which is commonly used in coastal regions across Europe.
It is based on the all-electric Ami quadricycle, which goes on sale in Britain next year as a two-seat passenger car with a £6,000 asking price and a single-seat van to be used for urban ‘final mile’ deliveries.
No doors needed: This is Citroen’s vision for a buggy version of its new Ami electric vehicle, which will arrive in the UK next year
The Ami doesn’t necessarily qualify as a car, but the 46-mile range EV does meet ‘quadricycle’ certification, meaning it can be driven in the UK by teenager as a young as 16.
With a 5.5kW battery, single electric motor and top speed of 28mph, it’s not the quickest model to hit the British market in 2022 – and this latest take on the diminutive two-seater is likely even slower.
It’s purely only a concept – and highly unlikely to go into mass production – that shows how it could be converted into a vehicle that helps customers to ‘enjoy leisure time in a new way’ and echoes previous beach buggy versions of the original Mini and Volkswagen Beetle as well as the Citroën Méhari produced in the sixties, seventies and eighties.
And some of the features installed on the Ami Buggy are ones you’d most likely see added to hardened off-roaders, desert-raid cars and Paris-Dakar entrants.
This includes the chunky off-road tyres wrapped around tiny steel wheels. There’s even a spare that’s carried on the roof, given the vehicle is so small that there isn’t anywhere else suitable for it to be stored.
It also gets bull bars, a metal grille to protect the headlights, extended wheelarches and an LED light bar above the windscreen.
Called the My Ami Buggy, it’s a tiny EV with off-road tyres, external storage bags and no doors. It’s a modern-era nod to the brand’s Méhari panel buggy (pictured right)
The Méhari is particularly popular in coastal regions and used as a passenger and utility vehicle. It was built from the 1960s to 1980s in different countries
The Ami Buggy is a concept that shows how it could be converted into a vehicle that helps customers to ‘enjoy leisure time in a new way’
The latter should provide additional visibility on night runs on dirt tracks – and Citroen says it can also be used to provide ‘a camp-fire atmosphere’ when stationary, especially with music blaring from the remote speakers inside.
Below it is a tiny peak in the roof, which is designed to shield the occupants from the sun – a much needed feature for a vehicle designed for use in warmer climates.
But the biggest change is the removal of the two doors, which bolsters the buggy appearance but also likely offsets some of the extra weight bulked onto the little EV.
It has off-road features including bull bars, a metal grille to protect the headlights, extended wheelarches and an LED light bar above the windscreen
Like the two-seat Ami city car and single-seat Ami Cargo van, the batteries take three hours to charge from a standard domestic socket
The biggest difference to the standard Ami is the removal of the two doors, which bolsters the buggy appearance but also likely offsets some of the extra weight bulked onto the little EV
Will it fit in my garage? The Citroen Ami you CAN buy in Britain in 2022
Price: from £6,000
Order books open: Now (£250 deposit to register interest)
First deliveries: Spring 2022
Vehicle type: ‘light quadricycle’ (requires full UK driving licence)
Width: 1,390mm (excluding mirrors)
Top speed: 28mph
Range: up to 46 miles
Weight with battery: 485kg
Turning circle: 7.2 metres
Power: electric motor
Side windows: tilt upwards (in nod to 2CV)
Charging time: 3 hours (from standard domestic socket)
However, a tubular frame providing extra protection passengers inside add a few kilos to the overall mass. Attached to them is a pair of storage bags which hold a set of transparent covers that can be zipped onto the door apertures to offer some rain protection if needed.
‘Although an unrestrained expression of Citroen style, the designers have ensured the concept is both realistic and totally fit-for-purpose,’ the brand says.
‘Fixing certain elements to the vehicle was a real challenge for the technicians who, in some cases, had to attach components directly to the tubular steel chassis to make sure they were secure. The bull-bars and spare wheel on the roof are a case in point.’
The buggy has chunky off-road tyres wrapped around tiny steel wheels. A spare is carried on the roof because the Ami is so small there isn’t anywhere else suitable for it to be stored
It has a range of new storage areas, including dashboard storage bins, which are inspired by the camping world. One of these is a bumbag that clips to the steering wheel
Instead of doors are these tubular protection panels. If it rains, the occupants can zip into place a pair of transparent covers to keep them dry
Designer Samuel Pericles added that the car has been inspired by ‘construction games for the fun and functional side, industrial design for ergonomics and aesthetics, encompassing everyday objects (furniture, lighting, etc.) and fashion accessories (sneakers, sports equipment, glasses, etc.)’.
He went on: ‘My Ami Buggy Concept needed to be functional and simple, in the purest spirit of iconic and contemporary industrial objects.’
Inside, the vehicle features new seat cushions, in which the foam has been increased from 35mm to 70mm thickness to provide a slightly improved ride, especially given that the Ami is already particularly crashy before you even contemplate taking it off-road.
Features installed on the Ami Buggy are ones you’d most likely see added to hardened off-roaders, desert-raid cars and Paris-Dakar entrants
Citroen says the concept is designed for leisure types who might already be using the old Méhari panel buggy (pictured right)
The little peak above the windscreen is designed to shield the driver and passenger from the sun on hot days
The seats can also be removed from the shell to be changed or washed.
It has a range of new storage areas, including dashboard storage bins, which are inspired by the camping world.
Oddly, one of these is a bumbag that can either be worn by the driver or attached to the steering wheel. Why? We’re not sure.
While Citroen has given plenty of details about it, there has been no word on performance, range or if there is any change to the three-hour charge time when using a three-pin plug.
There is also a lack of detail about production plans for the buggy version of the Ami – not that it will make much difference to us Britons who probably won’t want a vehicle without doors.
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