Compact options from Citroen: Derry Journal Motoring with Jim McCauley

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Two contrasting examples of electrified Citroens were competing for attention recently, with the design icon Ami representing the French company’s modern thinking, and an independent company turning back time to give a historic model a modern drivetrain.

Citroen’s latest head turner is the Ami cyclecar, its limited speed allowing it to be driven in the UK by anyone over 16 holding a moped licence. The model arrived here last year following its earlier release on Continental Europe, and offers compact transport for two occupants. It has a place in larger cities where slow moving traffic will tolerate its maximum speed of 27.9mph and its zero to maximum speed of around 10 seconds.

Measuring less than 2.5 metres in length and 1.4 metres wide, it weighs in at just 458kg, complete with battery. Its 5.5kWh battery will charge form 0% to 100% in three hours with a given range of 46 miles. Bodywork is self-coloured plastic, and the doors on either side hinge in different directions as they are cast in the same mould.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Available in left hand drive only, the driver’s door opens from the front, giving access to the slim cushion pads on the rigid plastic seats. The cabin provides decent room for its two occupants with good oddment storage in numerous trays and generous door pockets. The overall grey interior is relieved with bright orange dash fittings and fabric door pulls. Strangely, the on / off switch is a traditional flat steel ignition key while gear selection is merely forward or reverse with no optional drive settings.

Citroen Ami.Citroen Ami.
Citroen Ami.

On road, and the vehicle does what’s asked of it providing a firm ride with minimum give on the plastic seats. However, there is excellent all-round vision with the deep window line as well as the overall brightness of the cabin with the standard glass roof panel. It is clearly a niche vehicle requiring sensible consideration as to use before purchasing, but is has charm and provides weather-proof cover for short city journeys where its maximum speed can safely integrate it into traffic flow. At journey’s end it is extremely easy to manoeuvre with a 7.2 metre turning circle and equally easy to park. A last-mile, single seat delivery version is also available.

The model driven in this review was the ‘My Ami Pop’ specification, listed at £8,495 with 2 years / unlimited mileage warranty and 3 years / 25,000 miles cover on the battery. A home charging wallbox is also included in the price. As well as outright purchase, Citroen offers the Ami on a 3-year PCP contract for a deposit of approximately £2,000 and monthly rate of £102.

In contrast an independent company is turning the clock back on the classic 2CV model, replacing the original drivetrain with an electric motor. The ‘2CV Shop’ is installing a 10 or 20 kWh drive battery to give an estimated range of 60-120 miles. Although the car conversion has been on the market for some time, the van conversion is at prototype stage and the model driven had not completed development. It retains the cabin of the original, but heavy steering and brakes are yet to be addressed. For those supplying their own original car, the company will do the conversion from £16,995.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.