Citroën's tiny Ami electric car makes lovable micro-adventure buggy
A concept car turned reality, the reverse-doored Citroën Ami quadricycle still looks and feels more like a fanciful concept car than a production model. But just because the €7,000 microcar is technically available to buy doesn't mean Citroën has given up parading it around as a concept car. Earlier this year, it created an Ami mini cargo hauler concept, and now it explores how the Ami could transform into an adventurous little off-road buggy that might just get grown adults writing frantic last-minute pleas to Santa.
The My Ami Buggy Concept looks more rugged than any other tiny car out there, save perhaps for the ones winning Dakar. Updated from virtually every angle, the concept has a bull bar and headlight cages up front; mud-terrain tires, flared fenders and tubular rock sliders on the sides; and an auxiliary light bar-fronted roof rack with spare tire up high.
The Buggy Concept follows in the off-road tradition of breezy, open door frames, in this case equipped with roll-out weatherproof canvas to be zipped in place in the event of an afternoon storm, a feature inspired by Citroën's Mehari.
Once parked, the Ami Buggy does Citroën's best impression of the warm, social ambiance of a campfire, spreading light with its LED off-road light bar and cranking up music on an onboard portable speaker.
Inside, Citroën doubles up on foam to create "Advanced Comfort" seats ready to absorb some of the harshness of bumpy off-road terrain. Storage compartments around the cabin remove and carry to the campsite or picnic table. For instance, a waist pack mounts magnetically to the steering wheel — possibly the only place in the world where it might prove more annoying and unnecessary than around one's waist. The door frames hold a pair of duffle bags in place.
The Ami Buggy's fun-loving versatility continues with a screw-on camera holder that allows drivers to document their journeys and also works with other accessories, mounting at four different points around the interior. A smartphone holder just to the right of the steering wheel turns one's phone into the infotainment system, and a separate mount on the dashboard holds the portable speaker in place during the ride.
While the Ami Buggy is but a concept car, poised to spread holiday disappointment should Citroën's prediction of it finding its way to "many people’s Christmas list" proves true, many of the concept's accessories were created using 3D printing and are therefore capable of being recreated. Citroën is one of the few automakers out there actually willing to pursue its quirky concepts so it wouldn't be too surprising if some of the Buggy's accessories show up in the Ami order book. For now, though, the concept merely shows "one of the many faces that could be developed for the Ami."