Car manufacturers have tried throughout the decades to get people to buy vehicles that would be classed as not-quite-cars, touting their efficiency, affordability and compactness, but they never really caught on, aside from during the post World War II bubble car craze. Even today, automakers are still trying to woo us with what are now known as quadricycles, but we’re not sure how convincing these are even today.
The Citroen Ami is one of the latest and arguably best quadricycles ever, boasting head-turning styling (which will not be to everybody’s taste), decent range, sufficient tech and undeniable practical qualities - it is easy to drive, easy to park, much cheaper than a car and it should provide all the performance you nee for around town, even if it’s limited to just 28 mph.
It’s been on sale for around a year now, but we’re not seeing a sudden surge in Ami popularity in Europe. It may need more time for people to adjust to the idea of driving a non-car (that is not subject to the same stringent regulations, particularly when it comes to safety) but I think it’s currently looking like another failed attempt to get people into what is essentially a covered, four-wheeled scooter that has a steering wheel instead of handle bars...
What Car? got a Citroen Ami to test, and they decided to drag race it against another unsuccessful small city EV, the actually pretty tempting on paper Mahindra e20 (the successor to the REVAi known as G-Wiz in the UK), and a very unusual third opponent, the Sinclair C5, which is best described as a recumbent e-bike that was quite ahead of its time, being launched way back in 1985; it was pretty cool and had up to 20 miles range, but it was a sales flop.
But the drag race is not the main focus of the video, since it actually goes in-depth into analyzing why the Mahindra and the Sinclair failed and whether or not the same fait awaits the Ami. It highlights how many things the e20 did right and it still failed, while pointing to how advanced the C5 was for its time, yet it was still unable to convince buyers.