ÇArros are playthings. That’s why people smile when they see Citroën Ami, a car whose shape resembles a children’s toy. Last month, it was among several electronic and hybrid models that Stellantis put together for testing with journalists from around the world, whom the company invited to announce its strategic plan for the coming years.
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Along with Jeep Compass, Fiat 500, Opel Astra and Peugeot 3008, Ami attracted attention. The text of the test drive was much shorter, which is legitimate, after all its 5.5 kWh batteries are able to ensure a distance of only 70 kilometers, according to the factory, and there were 40 invited journalists.
The route around the event center where the Stellantis presentation was held, in the city of Zaandam, in the Netherlands, was about 3 kilometers round trip, which forced me to enter the line twice.
Ami is an urban vehicle for the so-called “last mile”, that is: the small distance that people need to travel to places that traditional means of transport cannot reach, due to lack of space or restricted circulation.
It is the best car for delivery and car sharing services. In Europe, where it is already sold, it is compared to a scooter, without a driver’s license and payment for parking.
Citroen has no plans to sell the Ami in Brazil. Around here, it will have trouble being replaced as a car, as happened with another electric car, the Renault Twizy.
In Europe, Ami is presented in two versions: entertainment and work, at a price of around 7,000 euros, around R$ 42,000. The passenger version has two seats and the commercial version has only the driver’s seat and, next to that, a trunk of 260 liters (285 liters fit in the trunk of the VW Up!). The load capacity, according to the factory, is 140 kg.
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Ami is 2.41 m tall, 1.39 m wide and 1.52 m tall and weighs only 485 kg. This feather weight is thanks to its ABS plastic body, blue in color so it does not require painting, and the tubular chassis (square profile tubes with a diameter of 2 cm, which are exposed in some parts).
Everything is designed to reduce weight (for the benefit of energy efficiency) and production costs. Therefore, the front and back parts of the bodywork are the same. Only the lights change.
Even the doors were made in the same molds. So, while the driver is of the suicide type, with the front opening, the passenger is of the normal type, with the rear opening. In the commercial version, the passenger door provides access to the cargo box.
On board, there is no air conditioning (only heating), sound system and no airbags. The steering wheel has no height or depth adjustment. The windows tilt and the door handles use strips of fabric. The liquid crystal panel shows the important things: speed, gear used, power reserve.
There are several compartments in front of the dashboard that together add up to 63 liters of volume. The ceiling is glass, without a screen to block light on sunny days.
Driving Ami is an amazing experience. The driver’s position is similar to a normal car. But the gearbox, with forward and reverse gears, is operated by keys, located near the driver’s seat. The steering is unassisted, but not necessary, because the car is light.
And the standing system also does not need support, but has energy regeneration. Suspension is difficult. The 155/65 R14 tires, however, help make the ride more comfortable.
Its small 6 kW (8.15 hp) engine makes a lot of effort, as you can see from its noise level on the board when you step on the accelerator. Anyone who says that electric cars are silent is because they have always traveled in cabins and block sound with the efficiency of more expensive models, a feature that Ami does not have.
Despite the effort and noise, the maximum speed is 45 km / h, which advises the driver not to enter busy roads.
The DC motor is placed at the front, between the wheels of the car. And lithium-ion batteries can be charged at a regular household outlet. According to the factory, at a voltage of 220 volts, charging takes three hours.
Ami is friendly even in its name, which comes from the Citroën Ami 6, a model launched in 1961, which means “friend” in French.
It is a solution for short distances, in the city, with comfort and safety better than that of a scooter.
Technical Data – Citroen Ami
- Price: 7,390 euros
- Engine: forward; direct current, 6 kW (8.15 hp); 5.5 kWh battery; freedom, 70 km; recharging time, 3 hours (220V)
- Exchange: automatic, 1 m, front wheel drive
- Direction: pinion and rack; turning radius 7 m
- Suspension: n/a
- Brake: to be born again
- Tires: 155/65 R14
- Body work: tubular steel chassis and ABS plastic body
- Dimensions: height 241 cm; width, 139 centimeters; height, 152 cm; wheel, n/a; weight, 485 kg; stem, 260 l
- Performance: maximum speed of 45 km / h