Citroen Ami on sale in the UK this summer from £7,695

Citroen Ami on sale in the UK this summer from £7,695

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The Citroen Ami will become the UK’s cheapest ‘car’ when it goes on sale this summer, with the French brand confirming a price tag of £7,695 for the compact two-seat electric car.

However, there’s a slight catch, as the Ami is technically a quadricycle rather than a car, so you don’t need a full UK licence to drive it; the Ami can be driven by holders of a full AM motorcycle licence.

Citroen is also offering plenty of personalisation options for its latest offering, as buyers can choose from three £400 colour packs, while Pop and Vibe models add customisation kit for £8,495 and £8,895 respectively. 

Ami Pop models feature the Orange Colour Pack with black trim on the exterior, plus a rear spoiler and door decals, while the Ami Vibe combines the Grey Colour Pack with black roof rails and wheel arches, plus ‘Contour’ decals on the doors. A single-seat Ami Cargo van model will go on sale alongside the regular model, priced from £7,995.

Prices are some way above the £6,000 mark that the Ami was predicted to go on sale for, when we spoke to Citroen CEO Vincent Cobee last year. He told Auto Express, “We have agreed and decided that we will bring Ami to the UK as it is – as a left-hand drive car – in the early part of next year”. This decision hasn’t changed and the Ami won’t be offered in right-hand-drive form.

In just a few months following the Ami’s announcement, Citroen had already accrued 12,000 expressions of interest in the Ami, with order books opening then for preliminary sales with only a £250 refundable fee needed. UK cars will come with a Type 2 EV charging adaptor in addition to a three-pin plug, which may be partly responsible for the increase in price over the figures first mooted. 

The Ami – winner of the 2021 Auto Express Technology Award – is powered by an 8bhp motor fed by a 5.5kWh battery, giving it a range of up to 46 miles and a top speed of 28mph. A full charge takes three hours.

Using innovative, lightweight body panels, the Ami weighs just 485kg and has a turning circle of just 7.2 metres. At 2,410mm long there are only two seats and the passenger model doesn’t offer a boot – instead, there’s space for a standard plane-cabin-sized piece of luggage. There’s no fancy touchscreen either, just a holder for the driver’s smartphone, although there is a large glass roof.

The Ami Cargo offers a 260-litre cargo bay, with a combined total storage of 400 litres on offer.

The Ami is classed as a quadricycle rather than a car, which means that currently it’s not eligible for the plug-in car grant. And unlike on the continent you will have to be a minimum of 17 years old to drive the Ami in the UK.

While leasing prices are yet to be confirmed, Cobée is hoping that Citroen UK can replicate some of the leasing deals on offer in France. “It’s available on lease in France for below a mobile phone subscription,” he told us. “You can put €3,000 down and the monthly subscription is a mobile phone subscription [from €20 a month], or you put €1,000 down and the monthly subscription is the same as a subway pass [from €69 a month].”

In spite of the low leasing costs, just 25% of Ami buyers go for that option. “So far most people who buy it, actually buy it,” said Cobée.

Citroen is promising a revolution in the way Ami is bought, too, as Cobée explained: “There’s only one way you can buy an Ami – online. You can go to a dealer, see and test the car and ask the dealer to order the car, but they’ll order the car in your name online. We’re starting with the assumption of tomorrow’s economy, not today’s economy.”

Cobée admitted that the work done by Citroen UK MD Eurig Druce and his team has persuaded him to bring the car to the UK. “We never planned it for the UK,” said Cobée, “But Eurig said ‘I’ll show you I can sell it.’ This is the type of business I like.”

Druce said, “It’s so Citroen! One of my jobs is to build our brand image and reputation – this car delivers that message better than any advertising campaign.

“You look at the vehicle as left-hand drive – is it a problem? You’re not that far away from the right-hand side anyway so I think that’s irrelevant. And I’ve got 12,000 people who’ve registered their interest already – they’re people in cities and in rural areas.”

Druce also revealed that he hoped that the Ami could be introduced with innovative car sharing options. “You cannot have a car that innovative and drive it conventionally,” he said. “People are buying it with cash, but I would love to see collections of Amis on street corners where it could become the norm to not get an Uber, but to get an Ami.”

Click here to find out what happened when the Citroen Ami joined our long termer fleet…

Source : Autoexpress.co.uk
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