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“The time is right for cars like Citroen Ami in the UK”

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler thinks the time is right for cars such as the Citroen Ami and other urban runabouts to come to the UK

This week, Citroen’s ground-breaking Ami (above) went on sale in France. Sadly it’s not coming to the UK – yet. Let’s just remind you what the Ami is: it’s a small two-seat urban runabout that’s shorter and narrower than a Smart ForTwo, uses battery power for a range of 44 miles, and lets your smartphone do the job of an instrument binnacle. In short, it’s very clever – and very Citroen.

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Then there’s the cost. It’s gone on sale with a price from 6,000 Euros (£5,252) – or it can be leased for 2,641 Euros down (£2,311) and 19.99 Euros (£17.50) per month!

In a world where public transport is increasingly looking like an unattractive proposition, an affordable personal transportation solution such as the Ami really does seem like the right car at the right time.

On the day the Ami formally went on sale, I just happened to have some time with new Citroen boss Vincent Cobée. While he couldn’t confirm that the Ami would come to the UK, he did promise that he would “never say never”. He also confirmed that – even at those incredible prices – Citroen will make money from it.

“Ami’s trying to come and say, ‘You know what? We can go back to individual private mobility, which is clean, which is compact, and which is extremely affordable’,” Cobée told me. “Now, you add the current crisis, which will maintain a high level of anxiety, particularly around health and social distancing, and then Ami becomes even more relevant.”

Cobée took over in January, and he intends to develop on the comfort niche that Citroen has carved out for itself and one I find particularly refreshing. “Seat comfort, suspension comfort, noise avoidance – we’re touching a territory which is human not driver-centric, with which we have 50-60 years of credentials, maybe more,” he said.

Citroen has always been one of the most innovative brands, and that looks set to continue. Let’s hope it finds a way to bring the clever little Ami to the UK soon.

Do you agree with Steve? Would you like to see the Citroen Ami come to the UK? Let us know your thoughts below...

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Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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