Citroen E-Mehari: It’s Real, It’s All Electric, It’s Weird And It Goes On Sale In 2016

2 years ago by Jay Cole 32

Cireon E-Mahari - Arrives This Spring (serious)

Citroen E-Mahari – Arrives This Spring (serious)

For those of us who don’t recall the “original” Mehari introduced in the late 60s by the French automaker, and sold through 1988, we have attached an early promotion video below to.

But the basic idea was that the Mehari was a fun, off-road, compact SUV.

What else do we know?  The word Méhari is actually a term for a fast running Arabian camel – whatever meaning that might have to the Citroen today, we aren’tsure.

History lesson out of the way, Citroen has surprised everyone by bringing back the Méhari as an obscure electric vehicle built in the same spirit (see video above for proof).

"Classic" Convertible?

“Classic” Convertible?

View From Above

View From Above

The new “e” version of the car has obviously added a load of safety features not found in the original version, and has some decent electric credentials:

*- top speed of 68 mph/110kmh
*- 124 miles/200 km range (city – NEDC)
*- full charge in 8 hours on a 16A socket (at domestic/public stations such as Autolib in France), or in 13 hours on a 10A domestic socket
*- Maximum power : 50 kW
*- Rated power : 35 kW
*- Lithium Metal Polymer battery: 30 kWh

Pricing is from ~€24,000 (+battery lease), but full performance details have yet to be released.

Yes, It Is French, Why Do You Ask?

Yes, It Is French, Why Do You Ask?

E-Mehari Look Familiar? It Should, It's A Bollore Bluesummer Underneath

E-Mehari Look Familiar? It Should, It’s A Bollore Bluesummer Underneath

Looking at the color schemes available this is certainly aimed at the niche “young, hip and headed to the beach” crowd – blue, yellow orange and old-school Mehari beige. The roof can be separately be optioned in orange/red or black.

If the overall design looks familiar to you, it is because there is a Bollore Bluesummer EV under there somewhere (of which PSA now manufactures for Bollore).

The E-Mehari will launch in the Spring in France (elsewhere in Europe by the end of 2016), and be produced out of  PSA Peugeot Citroen plant in Rennes.  The compact SUV will officially debut in Paris “within the Eco Driving Center in the framework of the COP 21, at the PSA Peugeot Citroen’s headquarters” on December 9th.

Video Below: Citroen has also held a press day with the E-Mehari today (en français)

Classic Mehari spot from 1975:

Special thanks/hat tip to offib for classic Mehari video goodness!

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32 responses to "Citroen E-Mehari: It’s Real, It’s All Electric, It’s Weird And It Goes On Sale In 2016"

  1. Ken says:

    I got excited when i saw its really going on sale. But if course not in the US. Id totally put a hitch on this and tow my jetskies to the lake like i do now with my Leaf and iMiev. The only convertible we get in the US is the Smart ED cabriolet and they are as rare as hens teeth. And the only SUV we get is the Model X and the discontinued Rav4. Ill put this on my wish list for Santa right below my E-NV200 that i cant have either. I know the 68 mph top speed would be a deal breaker for alot of people in the US but im limited to 55mph when towing anyway and it would be totally fine with me. My Leaf rarely exceeds 55 mph even when im not towing. Bring it to the US! Ill buy one.

    1. Driverguy01 says:

      At 60HP, you wonr tow much. This car looks like it’s made entirely from plastics and this guy says you can wash the entire car with a hose, interior included. It’s a plastic car for sure.

      1. Jay says:

        50 kW will pull jet skis just fine, as we i-MiEV drivers learned four years and many miles ago. (67k miles in mine) Likewise, there’s a lot to like about plastic-paneled cars, as Saturn owners learned in the 90’s.

        1. Big Solar says:

          I had to sell my Imiev after putting 30K miles on it because my bad back didnt like the seat but I still miss it. great car.

          1. offib says:

            Ah, that’s horrible! You do still have a LEAF, right? The 2011 – 2012 LEAFs had ride quality compared to the big Citroens!

      2. Proton says:

        I had a new, red Mehari in 1975 in Miami. It was 32hp air cooled 2 cylinder opposed engine and could get almost to 70 on I95–if there was no head wind. It was all ABS plastic molded and was hose washable. It would go anywhere! A great fun machine. Hope this new one is as good. Too bad Citroen no longer sells in the US.

      3. Ken says:

        I’d have to disagree with you there. My 55hp Geo Metro Convertible towed my 2 jets skies on a double trailer just fine even before i converted it to ekectric drive. And the 66hp iMiev and 107hp Leaf have pulled the jetskies and also much more. My two skies are only 400lbs a piece and the trailer only weighs 320. You could pull 1120 pounds with a smart car or whatever the smallest car is anyway.

      1. Ken says:

        I have two Seadoo Sparks and curiosly they are not electric. My motorcycle, bicycle, skateboard, and lawnmower are though. I have considered converting my old Kawasaki stand up jet ski to electric drive beings that ive already converted a car and a motorcycle. But water ingestion brings a whole new set of challenges. Nit a bad idea though.

    2. Speculawyer says:

      Yeah, as a California that has owned 3 different convertibles, I am quite disappointed that we don’t really have any EV convertibles available besides that Smart ED.

      I wish Think had made more of those Think Open convertibles.

  2. Jay says:

    It may be a low volume vehicle, but they’re actually doing some marketing. That ‘free spirit’ video would be worthy of Old Navy clothing or the latest e-gadget for millennials. Wait a sec….It is the latest e-gadget for Millenials, but only for French ones. Zut Alors! Congrats to Citroen.

    1. martinwinlow says:

      The video may be ideal for selling clothes (particularly if the people in it were wearing them) but as an ad for a novel electric car it was utterly pointless. Is it a car or a radio controlled toy? It told us nothing whatsoever about the car other than, perhaps, its intended market (*NOT* me!). And no rapid charge facility? Dead in the water. MW

  3. Rick Danger says:

    I hope they sell thousands of them. Maybe it’ll wake up some carmaker on our side of the pond.

  4. Matthias Amrein says:

    The Mehari used to based on the 2CV, fantastic for the beach for the youngsters of the day. The new Mehari still has flair but one BIG difference to the old: price. The new Mehari is just for evergreens 🙂

  5. miggy says:

    viewing the advert video it looks to be a self driving car as there is never a driver in it.

  6. kosee says:

    So it’s not a full car and still costs 24000? The range is nice but no quick charger? You can’t seem to close the windows either completely.

    So this will never be the only car in the household. Also it’s not a good option as a commuter car because uhm.. you’ll get wet. What’s it good for? Rich people buying a THIRD car to go to the beach… not sure why some people here want this in the US but I’d like to ask Citroën when they’ll bring out real electric vehicles. All they’ve done so far is literaly copy from bollore and mitsubishi…

    So no. Not enthusiastic. No mass market car. Maybe they’ll sell hundreds of this… to rich people regardless of the low price.

    1. sven says:

      This EV is a lifestyle vehicle that fills a niche in the product lineup that was once filled by the original Citroen Mihari, Volkswagen Thing, Mini Moke, and the intrepid and wildly popular Jeep Wrangler.

      It sounds like you never lived near the beach or in a beach town. I have. I owned a Jeep Wrangler while I lived there, and kept the hard top roof off for 8 to 9 months out of the year. I also had the doors off most of the time while the roof was off, but put on half doors for longer trips on the highway, and put on full doors for the winter and ski trips as the vinyl windows on the half doors weren’t conducive for scraping off ice and snow.

      Being able to hose out the floor was a god send and one of my favorite features on the Wrangler. Taking a vehicle of off-road guarantees the flooring will get covered in mud and beach sand. Even going spring skiing will cake your floor with parking lot mud.

      This car will fill a niche. As EV adoption spreads, automakers will have to make a full product line of EV to fill all the different niches to meet the needs and desires of the buying public.

      I’d also like to see an EV Jeep Wrangler, and EV Jeep Thing, and an EV Mini Mote.

  7. mr. M says:

    Hmm am i the only one who thinks this car is cheap? I mean, the new 30kWh Leaf is 15.000€ above. The Zoe is around the same price (and range), but adds battery rental for ~80€/month.

    Seems to be one of the cheapest EVs out there. Good sign for reaching price parity between EVs and ICEs.

    1. kosee says:

      It’s cheap but there’s no quick charger and it doesn’t seem to have a full roof limiting its abilities. The NEDC range is also lower then the 30kwh leaf and it doesn’t go very fast. So just because nobody in Europe buys this as their first car and most people don’t have a second car, the price is to expensive regardless… I mean my family can probably afford a nice 30kwh leaf, but this car not as it doesn’t solve all our transportation needs. If the price of this car would come close to a leaf it wouldn’t be an option at all for anyone.. if you want a car ‘to drive yo your nearby beach’.

      So the price is great but it’s what they call a bad deal.

      1. sven says:

        The beginning of the first video shows roof panels snapping into the openings.

        1. kosee says:

          Oops I missed that. Blame it on the video. It’s not aimed at giving information. A clear video of that would’ve been informative. Now how about the quick charger.. did I miss that too? Or do I have to live next to the beach and go nowhere because screw anywhere else but a beach or something?

  8. Tapaskoch says:

    Looks like there are 2 options: 24k€ + lease for batteries or leasing the entire vehicle – for which no price is disclosed in the vid.

  9. Someone out there says:

    Citroën is known for their quirky cars, I’m glad to see them continue that.
    That commercial however is horrible! Why can’t commercials just tell me what I need to know about the car and give me a reason why I should buy it? I’m not going to buy the car just because some half-naked lady rubbed her booty against it.

  10. Sveno says:

    Looks like a nice car to rent on a vacation!

  11. Jan says:

    super cool!
    would rent one on vacation indeed!!

  12. Steven says:

    …Never to be offered in the US.

    1. offib says:

      Citroen? Probably never. The closest is the DS & Virgin team for Formula E when they come round to the states.

      On the other hand, this is the Bluesummer from Bollore, which is exactly the same mechanically to the Bollore Bluecars, which you can drive in Indy.

      What I do find odd is that the Bluecar weighs a hair above 1000kg, but the Bluesummer weighs 1285kg (like the Gen 2 Prius).

      I have no idea where that weight went to. Maybe Bollore and Citroen could teach me that trick! Haha!

  13. sven says:

    Is it 2WD or 4WD? The original Mehari had a 4WD option. Beach driving in soft sand requires 4WD. If it came with 4WD, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. I’d be great to drive on the beach to get to my favorite surf spot and launching spot for kayaking. No 4WD, no sale.

    1. offib says:

      Only FWD I’m afraid. On the brighter side, the tire thread seems much more capable on the E Mehari / Bluesummer than on most road cars. Deep threads and a tall, rounded profile. So driving on sand, snow, leaves should be a strength for it.

      The ride height alone should explain its intended use, so is how everything’s waterproof and that muck or sand can be hosed out and down sink hole in the front passenger’s foot well.

      To add, there’s a simple switch for the traction control where the drive buttons are. Something the likes of Prius drivers have cried out for.

  14. jzj says:

    Fundamental disconnect: adequate energy for range but then inadequate power for safe highway travel — which is the traveling you’d be doing to enjoy the available range.

    1. Sveno says:

      So it’s great for all those small vacation islands!

  15. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    It’s clearly a niche car, doubly so because it’s a conversion EV rather than designed as an EV from the ground up. So we shouldn’t expect a high volume of sales.

    Still, it’s great to see the field of EVs expanding into more niches! I suspect that like the Toyota RAV4 EV, those relative few who buy the car will love it.