Would I drive it every day? No, that would be silly. Would I drive it around my part of London, where speeds are limited to 20mph? Maybe, although I would prefer it if everyone were also in Amis, so that congestion were eased and the likelihood of me being crushed by any of the posh SUV owners whose sensibilities seemed so inflamed by sharing the road with it were greatly reduced. But would it fit into my life as the car that I hop in when the conditions and my needs most suit its capabilities? Certainly, and at this price, why not?
Maybe if UK sales begin, I will be proved wrong, but my hunch is that it would be too kind even to say that the Ami isn’t a car for everyone. In truth, it is, I suspect, a car for hardly anyone. Not, perhaps, for my daughter just yet; but for a niche, it will be both lovable and practical, liberating and just-so, as well as unapologetically unconventional.
Perhaps crucially, for owners and for Citroën, it will also always be visible, a mobile advert for some of the finer aspects of its maker’s alternative outlook on life that would take many millions of marketing expenditure to otherwise achieve.
The Ami is a reminder that there are usually multiple routes to the same goal, and that the ones favoured by most people aren’t always the most enjoyable solutions for everyone.
Could the Ami catch on?
The Ami’s swiftest route to success would most likely be if city centres took the decision to restrict what types of vehicles can come and go. On the road with today’s traffic, you feel vulnerable and slow, but it wouldn’t be a huge leap of the imagination for planners to put curbs on the size, power and speed of vehicles entering their most congested or polluted parts.