Can The Tiny Citroen Ami Take On Two Of Its Failed Spiritual Predecessors?
As a North American, there is something about the Citroen Ami that just doesn’t quite make sense. Why have a vehicle that isn’t big enough to do car things and isn’t small enough to do bicycle things?
Everybody, though, understands drag races and What Car? has put the Citroen Ami into that context. Competing against two other tiny electric vehicles that were meant to revolutionize the automotive industry, we can finally see what an 8 hp (5.9 kW/8.1 PS) quadricycle is all about.
The other vehicles aren’t just any old competitors, though. Instead, What Car? has pitted the Ami against the Mahindra e2o and the Sinclair C5, two vehicles that tried to do what the Citroen is doing and failed miserably.
The Mahindra, for instance, launched in the U.K. in April 2016 but was pulled from dealerships just 13 months later. That’s despite its (relatively) meaty 42 hp (31 kW/42.5 PS) motor, which could actually get it up to a speed of 63 mph (101 km/h). Its entry-level price of £12,995 ($15,221 USD at current exchange rates) may have been its downfall, though, since it put it in competition with fully-fledged cars that could comfortably go highway speeds.
The Sinclair C5 also took a different approach to urban transportation. The pedal-and-electricity-powered tricycle was designed in the ’80s, made 0.3 hp (0.2 kW/0.3 PS) and could go up to 20 miles (32 km) on a charge. Understandably, is top speed of 15 mph (24 km/h) doesn’t exactly equip it well for a drag race.
Indeed, it fares very poorly in this race and comes dead last despite its operator’s best efforts, finishing the quarter-mile in 68.5 seconds. The Mahindra, meanwhile, completed the sprint in a much better but still quite slow 23.1 seconds. The Ami, finally, was somewhere in between with a time of 35.5 seconds.
Not quite a tricycle, not quite an EV, but somewhere in between, has the quadricycle Citroen Ami found a niche for itself somewhere in the middle? Based on the fact that it is much more modern, and still on sale, it may be on to something that these vehicles weren’t.