We do the Camino de Santiago at 45 kilometers per hour and in Citroën AMI!, a light quadricycle that can be driven from the age of 15 and without a B car license. Can you come with us?
“Walker, there is no cWHICHno, the path is made by walking …, although today you have to wander among mobility options as curious as this new one Citroën. What is it really for? Worth? We take it very, very far in our backpack to tell you about our experience.
In addition to the verses that head this report, Antonio Machado is also the poet who said that knowledge had to “spread, not vulgarize”. And in these times, in which to choose a means of transport you do not have to be a poet, but a true artist, in Auto Bild.es We have got down to work to apply the story to the arrival of this bombastic non-car, as defined by its own manufacturer: the Citroën AMI. But what is this 100% plug-in device, with the appearance of an appliance, minuscule dimensions and orange moped number plate, really good for?
With the aim of discovering it and telling everyone about it (which, after all, we also live by putting letters together), we wanted to collaborate in writing their first stories in all kinds of adventures, from the most realistic, urban, and mundane. in a big city … even those that a priori seem implausible, like taken from a science fiction novel and in installments. Or in other words, in case you haven’t read between the lines yet: a week taking it everywhere in the center of Madrid and why not? the Camino de Santiago in stages! Yes, it seems somewhat unreasonable, but, friend Sancho: who is crazier, the madman or the sane one who follows him?
Video: this is the Citroën AMI
So our knight errant feat -that the AMI does not exceed 45 km / h, by homologation of light quadricycle-, they begin by baptizing this electric vehicle -with the help of everyone who stares at it- in the garage at home, where I have more than half a parking space left over and I stretch the charging cable to the storage room That – lucky me – I have right behind: toy, pots, washing machine, trolley, coffee maker …
Looks like a toaster tan brave like the one that starred in that endearing Disney movie of the same name. Because to go out with this ‘whatever-it-be’ you have to be clear that you prioritize practicality above all and be willing for everyone to look at you and ask you why this thing. But neither do you have to throw a lot of literature on it, because as Citroën assured in the very launch campaign, they have already made all the possible jokes about this nice (cubic) form of minimalist mobility, since you also have to be prepared to have of the essential in your travels, because the AMI lacks ‘luxuries’ such as windows, central locking, heating, air conditioning, high beams, power steering, ABS, airbag …
I open the driver’s door –against the march, as in the first Six hundred– and I settle into a very hard and functional seat that only moves longitudinally (that of the copy is fixed), in front of a steering wheel without buttons or lever to regulate it in depth.
I turn the key (without remote control) and a small digital box promises that I will be able to tour some optimists 75 kilometers of autonomy, that I will see the speed at which it travels, the distance it travels and the load it has 5.5 kWh battery.
I press the direct button to the left of my chair and the willful 6 kW (8.2 hp) electric motor It delivers all the torque at once and even the wheels slip a bit on the first slope of this parking lot.
On the street, I overlap the lower half of the windows upwards (as was done in the Citroen 2CV, but without so much fear that the glass will guillotine my elbow at the first bump) and I embark on the first stage of this slow but safe path to very different destinations: work, school, dentist, Central Madrid -what do I know-, cathedral of Santiago de Compostela…
And I say this for sure because there is no doubt that, no matter how little such a vehicle offers, it will always give you more protection than the best of mopeds, as well as greater comfort. In fact, for someone who has been moving around the city in both cars and motorcycles for almost 20 years, the AMI seems like Appetizing when it comes to compassing between cars and traffic lights with wind, rain, cold …
In the middle of the city, a few dimensions so contained (2.41 m long and 1.39 m wide), both when circulating and when looking for a parking place. Your weight: 476 kg
When parking, you just have to watch what you can’t see, as there are no cameras, radars or a central mirror. as (the driver’s opens against the direction of travel) are activated by pulling these eye-catching tapes, designed to simplify the structure and save as much weight as possible.
A domestic type plug that cannot be more than ‘around the house’. It is hidden in the door and you have to collect its cable by hand.
What a cross! If the pilgrimage through charging stations is already an odyssey, imagine to find out there ‘normal’ plugs for the AMI. A shame because charges in just three hours.
Yes: from a practical point of view, these are its best assets, whether you have experience in the world of two and three wheels or not: a solid synthetic structure around you, a lot of glass surface (despite being so short, the gap between the steering wheel and the front window, -with its wiper and all- is huge), good stability, excellent turning diameter (7.2 m), very compliant braking and a logically higher load capacity, whether you have a passenger (with a gap in front of your legs for luggage) or not.
In return, you cannot sneak into as many corners as on a motorcycle, the peninsular heat in summer becomes a bit oppressive when the sun hits and you have to plan your itinerary especially well, since: one, batteries are not removable (and although its autonomy spreads a lot in the city, cannot be stretched with regenerative recharges on descents or braking). And two, because although they will allow you to enter the areas restricted to traffic due to pollution that exist in some municipalities or to park for free in regulated parking areas, you will be limited by not being allowed to transit – just like mopeds, which do not exceed the minimum speed required on these sections – on certain ring roads.
For the rest, if you want to be the protagonist of this, choose your own adventure (of mobility), throw in numbers: by homologation and prices, the AMI can be an interesting option, since starts at 6,900 euros (or 19.99 per month) financed and you can drive without a B license (AM license) from the age of 15.
With my AMI-go, on the Camino de Santiago
And finally, if the question was to move with a simple machine, 100% electric, that takes you and brings you in the most ‘idem’ way possible, why not go further? Be able, you can. And if not, let them tell who within Citroën Spain came up with the idea of invite us to do the Camino de Santiago in this quad … and who did not stop the feet of a fantasy that was already on wheels.
On Auto Bild.es It didn’t take long for us to join in on this very special challenge: the Camino de Santiago at 45 kilometers per hour and in Citroën AMI! Because since this non-car won the game over moped In almost all situations, what would you not do in front of the pilgrims on the most famous walking route in Europe, without rushing and without throwing noise or polluting substances into the environment.
Of course, you had to put a lot of patience, travel time, desire to enjoy the environment, the monumental wealth of different areas of our geography, as well as its natural landscapes, its gastronomy …, but without stepping on highways or highways And ready to be passed at all times by all types of vehicles!
At night, the visibility was correct, although by homologation, this vehicle may not carry road lights.
On the descents, hold on D (unless you put N, of course) up to 45 km / h, which is limited.
Thus, we have been part of this route of 23 stages, from Roncesvalles to the Galician capital. And a few minutes before finishing these lines, we said goodbye to this small but willful ‘friend’ in full plaza del Obradoiro, between shells, pumpkins, bagpipes, ‘selfies’ and a memory as special as Citroën AMI itself.
Faith in the MAI did not betray us and we found that, It can take you to the end of the world with a little patience (own and of those who overtake you) and the cable (literally) that they threw us along the way.
And like us too we had plug, we complete the last stage of the tour.