Every once in a while, a car comes along that totally breaks the mould, creating a stir throughout the industry and making us die-hard motoring journalists stop to rethink what makes a great vehicle.
One such model is the Citroen My Ami, which although technically qualifies as a quadricycle rather than a car, is a tiny electric city vehicle that is very big on appeal and character.
It features two doors, is only available in left hand guise and, with a top speed of 28mph, is perfect for fizzing through busy city streets. Factor in its enticing price-tag and little wonder demand is through the roof.
We had the chance to experience the Ami in its full glory when we spent a day driving through the mayhem of London and it was a sheer delight. That review can be found here.
But that was then and this is now. Customers have snapped up 40,000 of them since 2020, so the French carmaker really raised the bar with a My Ami Buggy version. This was initially on offer only in France and the limited-run of 50 examples were sold in less than 18 minutes.
Moving forward again, and with a clearly defined market demand, Citroen introduced My Ami Buggy II with 800 units being put up for sale across eight countries, including 40 destined for the UK costing £10,495.
Once again, the internet was set alight and, once again, the available models were gone in a flash. The first customer took just two minutes and 10 seconds to secure their purchase with 10 sold in the first four minutes. It will come as little surprise to learn they are all gone now with 20,000 visitors registering an interest – most of whom left empty-handed.
So, what is it that makes this quirky little model so appealing and such a hot piece of kit? Is it the price – around the £10k mark? The design – funky to say the least? Or even the practicality – a single-seater version is available which is perfect for delivery purposes?
Following on from our antics in the Big Smoke, we were invited to experience the My Ami Buggy II in busy streets just outside Paris where it weaved through the traffic and commanded attention wherever it passed.
It adopts the same principle as the first Buggy with no doors and no roof, although thankfully, as we discovered, there are plastic covers that can be fastened via clips, zips and other means should the heavens open (which they did). And when the sun puts in an appearance, the side covers simply roll backwards and are secured by the door opening. If you are prepared to take a gamble on the consistency of the good old British weather, they can be removed completely and stored in a garage.
Similarly, the roof cover comprises a waterproof fabric canopy with a zipper. If opened, it can be rolled up and attached to the rear of the vehicle with clip fastenings.
The doors look like a hinged gate structure and the tiny instrument panel offers the vital driving details such as speed, driving range and battery charge.
There is plenty of Acid Yellow trimmings akin to those seen when the Ami was first unveiled as a concept back in 2021. The whole top of the dashboard is bright yellow with different shaped compartments and trays to store various items, including a holder for the Ami-specific Bluetooth speaker that can be purchased separately for €149. This waterproof device has a 15-hour battery life and is the perfect accompaniment as you whizz along. There is also a smartphone holder so you can see and hear navigation instructions.
A compact bright yellow bag that rather resembles a pencil case is attached to the steering wheel which is ideal for a few valuables and can easily be unclipped if you leave the car.
When it comes to the technical side of matters, the My Ami Buggy II has a tiny 5.4kWh battery that can be charged in four hours. The driving range is just 46 miles, which sounds very limited, but this vehicle can only go up to speeds of 28mph so really isn’t suited to venture out of congested city centres. Well, not without risking the wrath of a trailing queue of irate motorists anyway.
My Ami Buggy II is deceptively agile with a turning circle of just 7.2 metres, making it easy to manoeuvre and its tiny size, measuring just 2.4 metres in length and 1.4 metres across will make parking an absolute doddle.
One thing is definitely guaranteed though, it will be greeted by the smiles of onlookers wherever it goes thanks to its khaki tinted exterior colour, black protective elements such as wheel arches, headlamp bezels, rocker panels and rear spoiler. It’s more rugged looking than the traditional Ami, but oozes summer charm.
The only real problem is trying to get your hands on one. We will have to wait and see what’s next for the Ami family, but whatever Citroen has up its sleeve, the demand will certainly outweigh the supply.