With the Met Office predicting today could be the hottest day of the year so far and the warmest ever recorded in June, plenty of motorists will be cranking up their air conditioning, winding down windows and making every effort to keep cool during the mini heatwave.
But soon there will be an electric car on the market that will be ideal for balmy temperatures like those seen on ‘Fiery Friday’.
It is called the My Ami Buggy and is a doorless version of Citroen’s highly-anticipated Ami electric vehicle.
The only problem is just 50 are going to be made and it is only being sold in France. However, bosses in the UK said they could consider offering a version here… if there’s enough demand for it.
Is this the ultimate heat wave motor? Citroen has confirmed it will produce a limited run of doorless Ami electric vehicles that would be ideal for driving on ‘Fiery Friday’
Citroen recently announced its diminutive electric car – which is technically classed a ‘quadricycle’ – will start from £7,695 in the UK when first deliveries arrive later this year.
This is quite a bit more than it costs in the auto firm’s home country, where the two-seater is priced from €7,390, which – based on current exchange rates – works out at around £6,300 here.
Earlier this week, the brand announced the Ami will also be available on finance for as little as £19.99 a month as Citroen positions the tiny EV as the ideal solution for evading record-high petrol and diesel prices.
But there is one example us Britons won’t be able to get our hands on.
It’s called the My Ami Buggy. It’s a stripped-back version of the boxy vehicle, but without doors.
The unusual model has been launched after an ‘extremely positive reception’ to the wacky My Ami Buggy concept revealed in December.
The production car is ‘inspired’ by that concept, though has been tweaked to be slightly more sensible for the 50 customers who are able to get their hands on one.
The limited run of vehicles go on sale on Tuesday 21 June in France, with each customer enjoying a ‘VIP service’ as part of the online sales process. Deliveries will start from Monday 8 August but no price has yet been announced – though expect it to come at a premium over the price of the standard Ami.
The unusual model has been launched after an ‘extremely positive reception’ to the wacky My Ami Buggy concept revealed in December
As it stands, just 50 My Ami Buggies will be produced and sold only to customers in France. Here’s how it compares to the conventional Ami EV that has recently gone on sale in the UK
The My Ami Buggy is based on this concept vehicle under the same name that Citroen first revealed back in December
While the concept buggy on which it is based had a slightly raised ride height and extended wheel arches to allow room for a set of chunky off-road tyres, the production car mirrors the stance of the ‘conventional’ Ami.
And while the concept had no doors whatsoever, Citroen has fitted the showroom version with hinged metal tubing in place of full panels, giving the driver and their one passenger the feeling of being exposed to the elements to enjoy today’s 34C temperatures.
For those looking to bask in the sun while at the wheel, the My Ami Buggy also features a detachable soft-top roof section, similar to the iconic 2CV.
This is a nod to the Citroen Mehari panel buggy of the sixties, seventies and eighties – the utilitarian panel buggy commonly used in coastal regions across Europe on which the My Ami Buggy concept was heavily based on.
The sunroof-sized fabric section can be rolled back and stored in a compartment behind the two seats.
And while the concept had no doors whatsoever, Citroen has fitted the showroom version with hinged metal tubing in place of full panels
For those looking to bask in the sun while at the wheel, the My Ami Buggy features a detachable soft-top roof section, similar to the iconic 2CV and Mehari panel buggy
The Mehari 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 and is the motor that inspired the My Ami Concept shown late last year
The limited run of vehicles go on sale on Tuesday 21 June in France with each customer enjoying a ‘VIP service’ as part of the online sales process. Deliveries will start from Monday 8 August. The first batch of conventional Ami EVs will arrive in the UK in the same month
There are some major features from the concept that haven’t been carried over, namely the knobbly tyres and larger wheels, which have been replaced with 14-inch steel wheels finished in gold and wrapped in tarmac-friendly rubber.
There is also no longer a spare wheel carrier on the car’s roof or an LED light bar bolted above the windscreen.
However, it does get a new roof spoiler at the rear – though at top speeds of 28mph, we doubt it will generate much downforce.
The production version also doesn’t have the front bullbar and protective grilles for the lights. Instead, Citroen has equipped it with extended black plastic surrounds for the lights, grille and bumpers as well as the wheel arches and black tinted front and rear protective skid plates.
The exterior is finished in a military-grade Khaki colour with lots of yellow accents, mirroring those of the concept.
The yellow exterior flashes are mirrored in the cabin on the dashboard storage bins, bag hook, door opening straps and stitching in the black fabric seats.
While the concept car also featured a range of new storage areas – including a bumbag that clips to the steering wheel – these also have not been signed off for the showroom model.
There are some major features from the concept that haven’t been carried over, namely the knobbly tyres and larger wheels, which have been replaced with 14-inch steel wheels finished in gold and wrapped in tarmac-friendly rubber
The production version doesn’t have the front bullbar and protective grilles for the lights that featured on the December concept…
Instead, Citroen has equipped it with extended black plastic surrounds for the lights, grille and bumpers as well as the wheel arches and black tinted front and rear protective skid plates
Flashes of yellow on the exterior are mirrored in the cabin on the dashboard storage bins, bag hook, door opening straps and stitching in the black fabric seats
The exterior is finished in a military-grade Khaki colour with lots of yellow accents, mirroring those of the concept. UK-spec Amis (pictured right) retain the opposite-hinged doors, meaning Citroen can keep assembly costs low
Citroen says the front of each model can be personalised, allowing customers to add any message they like onto the vehicle.
Each of the 50 examples will display a ‘My Ami Buggy Ultra Limited Edition’ plaque on the dashboard and numbered 1 to 50.
Laurence Hansen, director of Citroen Strategy and Product, said: ‘The public reacted enthusiastically when we presented the My Ami Buggy Concept and many customers asked for it.
‘We are pleased to be able to bring the spirit of this concept to life with this exclusive My Ami Buggy, and to illustrate once again the potential for customising Ami.
‘With no doors and a convertible roof, My Ami Buggy allows the driver and passenger to feel freer and to enjoy silent driving in electric mode.’
Citroen bosses said the brand will sell a buggy version after the public ‘reacted enthusiastically’ to this concept car revealed in December – and many customers asked for it to be put into production
The Ami Buggy concept was originally unveiled in 2021 to shows how the Ami EV could be converted into a vehicle that helps customers to ‘enjoy leisure time in a new way’
Like the two-seat Ami city car and single-seat Ami Cargo van, the batteries for the buggy version will likely take three hours to charge from a standard domestic socket
The biggest features of the My Ami Buggy Concept was 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
The concept has chunky off-road tyres wrapped around tiny steel wheels, though bigger wheels with more conventional road tyres are fitted to the production car. The concept also carried a spare on the roof
No technical details or prices have been announced just yet.
However, it will almost certainly use the same powertrain as the conventional Ami – a 5.5kWh battery providing a maximum driving range of 46 miles between charges and a teeny 6kW motor offering around 8bhp and a pedestrian top speed of 28mph.
Performance figures for the buggy version will likely remain the same, despite the reduced weight with the doors deleted.
Eurig Druce, managing director of Citroen UK, added: ‘The introduction of a limited run My Ami Buggy clearly demonstrates how customer reaction can help to shape Citroen’s product planning.
‘It’s only available in France for now, and I know it will be a huge success.
‘If there’s sufficient interest from customers here, then there’s every conceivable chance we could see future versions of My Ami Buggy on sale in the UK.’
The concept car also featured 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
Features installed on the Ami Buggy concept were ones you’d most likely see added to hardened off-roaders, desert-raid cars and Paris-Dakar entrants. The production version is dialled back for use on the roads
Citroen says the concept was designed to influence leisure types who might already be using the old Méhari panel buggy (pictured right). And many have now requested to have a production version
The concept version also had a little peak above the windscreen designed to shield the driver and passenger from the sun on hot days. This has not been used for the production My Ami Buggy – likely for pedestrian protection reasons
What you need to know about the £7,700 Citroen Ami
The Ami, which is priced from £7,695 in the UK, is technically not classes as a car and instead meets ‘quadricycle’ certification in Britain.
While this means it won’t feature the full complement of mandatory safety equipment needed for motors entering the market today, drivers as young as 16 can legally drive one on the road as long as they have an AM motorcycle licence for a 50cc moped.
The boxy two-seater is just 7.9ft long and 4.6ft wide and has no boot or bonnet, meaning it might fall down if needed to transport a family to the airport for their summer holiday.
Citroen’s super-small urban car: The Ami will be available in the UK from £7,695 – which is more expensive than we originally thought it would be…
The 2.4-metre-long electric vehicle isn’t actually a car – instead it qualifies as a ‘light quadricycle’ meaning it can be driven by teens as young as 16
Its quadricycle status means it won’t feature the mandatory safety equipment needed in new cars that hit the market today
Although handicapped in the horsepower and size department, the Citroen Ami’s cheap running costs would save commuters a pretty penny now that petrol prices have soared beyond £1.87-a-litre this week.
And to make the Ami more inviting, Citroen has confirmed it will be available on a two-year PCP finance deal in the UK for just £19.99 a month, with an upfront deposit of £2,369.
If drivers want to keep theirs after the 24 month contract, they will need to fork out a £5,594 balloon payment at the end – or simply hand it back to the Citroen dealer.
However, commuters looking to avoid rail strikes planned for the rest of June will be disappointed to know that the Ami already has a 2,000 person waiting list for the first UK batch – which is not due to arrive until August.
Citroen currently does not know when the next delivery slot will arrive in the UK, due to global supply chain problems frustrating their production processes, according to The Telegraph.
Examples for the UK market will retain the left-hand-drive layout and the opposite-hinged doors, meaning Citroen can keep assembly costs low.
Being a light quadricycle, 16 year olds can legally drive one on the road as long as they have an AM motorcycle licence for a 50cc moped
The examples sold in the UK will be from the same production run as the European-spec vehicles, meaning the steering wheel on the left-hand-side
With the Ami’s compact 1.4-metre width, having the wheel on the left shouldn’t make too much of a difference in such a pocket-sized car
It will come with plenty of customisation options at launch this summer; for an extra £400, buyers can add a choice of three sticker packs, which are designed to be fitted at home.
Six official graphic sets will be available in the UK: Jungle; Tutti Frutti; British Globetrotter; Camo; Tribe; and Trendy.
There are also two additional trim levels, with the Ami Pop and Ami Vibe specifications starting from £8,495 and £8,895 respectively with colour combos designated by Citroen.
Will it fit in my garage? The Citroen Ami you CAN buy in Britain in 2022
Price: from £7,695
On sale: Now (£250 deposit to register interest)
First deliveries: August 2022
Vehicle type: ‘light quadricycle’
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)
A single-seat ‘Cargo’ van version – which starts from £7,995 in the UK – will also be available, ditching the passenger seat in favour of a storage compartment for businesses to carry parcels for ‘final mile’ deliveries in urban areas.
UK-spec models will all feature Type 2 connectors, allowing a full charge to be completed in just three hours from a home Wallbox or a public charging point.
Customers will only be able to order their Amis online, though Citroen says delivery priority will go to the 2,000 drivers who have reserved one of the diminutive EVs since last year.
Interested customers will need to place a £250 refundable reservation fee and buyers will be offered either home delivery for a small fee or collection from their nearest approved Ami retailer.
The single-seat Ami Cargo van – designed for businesses operating in cities to complete short-distance deliveries – will also be available this summer from £7,995
The Ami Cargo substitutes the passenger seat with a storage unit that boosts carrying capacity up to 400 litres for the transportation of parcels and packages
What’s the Citroen Ami like to drive?
by Ray Massey for This is Money
In December 2020, we were given a first opportunity to try the Ami on UK roads, with a brief test drive in Coventry.
The first thing that grabs attention is its size and cubic styling.
It’s compact to the point of being minuscule in automotive terms. Tape-measure out, it’s just 2.41 metres long, 1.39 metres wide and 1.52 metres high.
Most of it is sculpted plastic on a metal frame. It may be basic, but it’s undeniably clever and very well executed.
To save costs, the two wide doors are identical. But they are hinged differently either side so open in opposite directions.
Our man Ray Massey was among the first people in the UK to squeeze behind the wheel of the diminutive EV
The driver’s door is hinged at the rear so opens outward from the front, Rolls-Royce style.
The passenger door is hinged more conventionally from the front and opens in the normal way.
It cuts costs because Citroen only need to make one door – which can be used both sides.
The same goes for the front and rear bumpers and side panels – all of which help to keep production costs down.
Inside it’s remarkably light and airy with great visibility thanks to the profusion of glass from a wide and high windscreen, generous side windows and a large fixed sun-roof – the glazing above the main bodyline covers half the total surface.
The side windows open manually and tilt upwards outside – just like the original 2CV.
Ray Massey was among a handful of journalists to try the vehicle on roads around Citroen UK’s headquarters in Coventry in late 2020
A tiny dashboard screen tells the driver their speed, battery level, range, and drive mode, but that’s pretty much it.
To the right of the steering wheel is a small holder for a smartphone which – via an app – provide sat-nav and infotainment options.
Such is the effort to keep production costs low, the interior door handles are fabric straps.
While there’s no boot, there are a few imaginative storage cubby holes include cargo nets in the door recesses, bright orange removable inlay trays below the windscreen, and a hook for handbags or takeaways.
With a wheel at each corner it will turn on a sixpence. The turning circle is a mere 7.2 metres, which is perfect for fast U-turns on narrow roads and parking in tight spaces.
The moulded plastic seats might not look it but are surprisingly comfortable, says Ray. However, luggage space is almost non-existent, so you’ll need to travel light
The little Ami is fully in its element at lower speeds, zipping through city streets for which it has been designed primarily as an ‘urban mobility’ alternative to bicycles and electric scooters.
Anyone who’s been behind the wheel of an electric golf buggy hurtling down the fairway with their golf bag and clubs strapped in the back will instantly recognise the sensation.
It gasps and wheezes up steep inclines as the power drops.
And if you get really cold, the heater not only zaps some of the power but makes such a racket that it’s best to wrap up warm to avoid using it.
Ride and handling is also not its strong suit, to put it mildly.
Rough as old guts, in fact. It shakes, rattles and rolls like the milk bottles in an electric milk float.
The moulded plastic seats might not look all that cosseting but are surprisingly forgiving, despite the skateboard-like suspension qualities, which are as compliant as that of a Challenger tank riding over a cratered Salisbury Plain.
Taking it out of the city – to Coventry’s infamous ring-road, for instance – is a fabulous test of nerve and driving skill – and you really have to be on the ball as you become a teeny 28mph chicane for other drivers.
Yet for all of its short comings [pardon the pun], it really is a hoot to drive. It’s great fun, as long as you restrict yourself to slower roads.
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