Charming, uniquely designed and graceful. Actually, every classic enthusiast has sympathy for the Citroën Ami 6. The Ami 6 was presented on April 24, 1961. Citroën emphasized in the press release that the new car was not intended as a replacement for the 2CV. It was indeed in a different class than the 2CV. He also grew into a sales millionaire, who, certainly thanks to the later arrival of the Break, had a much wider reach than expected.
After Flaminio Bertoni with the styling team of Citroën had designed the Traction Avant, the 2 CV and the DS, he was commissioned for an intermediate model called Project AM. The result was the Ami 6, and according to the designer himself, it was the new one Citroën a masterpiece in 1961. He dared to give the Ami 6 an 'inverted' rear window, also because a continuous roofline was not on the wish list of the Citroënmanagement stood. The special placement of the rear window offered practical advantages: the window remained clean when it rained. There was also more headroom in the rear and at the same time a large luggage compartment with a large boot lid was possible despite the compact dimensions.
Own appearance, original advertising slogans and export to America
The 602 cc M4 two-cylinder engine in the Ami 6 was derived from the smaller 425 cc 2 CV engine and initially received Solex 30 carburettors. The Citroën Ami 6 debuted with a power of 22 SAE-PK. The car had sharp lines and large rectangular headlights. Furthermore, the sharply sloping bonnet in the middle, the unique roofline and the partially hollowed-out sides gave the car a completely unique look. Those profiled sides were there for a reason: they made a major contribution to the body rigidity of the Ami 6.
Surprising advertising slogans
Citroën surprised not only with the appearance of the Ami 6, but also with the marketing of the new model, as the brand presented the Ami 6 as "the ideal second car, for Madame." Charles de Gaulle's wife was apparently attracted by this slogan, as she covered her miles in the Ami 6 for a while. And now that we are in the corner of advertising texts: Citroën also used the spell for the Ami 6 the cheapest kilometer comfort in the world. The French manufacturer also wanted to show that in America, because exported from 1963 Citroën the Ami 6 also go there. For the American market Citroën adjustments through. Most eye-catching were the twin headlights, which would appear at the European Club years later.
Interior with DS features
The interior of the Ami 6 was inspired by that of the leading DS. The single-spoke steering wheel, door handles, controls and seats: everything was reminiscent of the flagship of Citroën. Everyone praised the compact sedan's handling, comfort and flexibility. That was of course due to the suspension and spring characteristics that the Ami 6 shared with the 2 CV. Entirely according Citroëntradition, the Ami 6 was and is an original car, which was available in several trim levels over time. Today's enthusiasts are particularly interested in the Club version of the Ami 6, which is equipped with twin headlights and decorative strips on the sides. The Club was sold from 1967, initially only as a Break. Later, the Berline could also be ordered as a Club.
A good move: the Break
A very good move Citroën before the Ami 6 sales was the introduction of the Break, at the end of 1964. This Ami 6 Break was designed by Henri Dargent (assistant of Faminio Bertoni) and Robert Opron (the not so long deceased successor of Bertoni, who already died in 1964). The Break offered a large load volume for a passenger car in this category, with easy and practical access and a load capacity of 300 kg. The versatile model made it possible to travel comfortably with the family, but was also ideal for business use by so-called traveling salesmen and artisans. Citroën would sell more Breaks than Ami 6 Berlines. And that while Citroën built the Break much shorter. The Break was partly responsible for the Ami 6 becoming France's best-selling car of 1966.
Strong basic design, few changes during construction period
The basic design of the Citroën Ami 6 was strong. Therefore, the French did not have to make many changes during the construction period. Still, the Ami 6 was sometimes updated. In 1962 the Ami got 6 sliding rear side windows (half windows), followed by the use of telescopic shock absorbers. In 1964 Citroën the new bullet-shaped rear lights. And in 1968 the Ami 6, for example, got rear lights in one light unit per side. These were mounted on the 2CV4 and the 2CV6 for years to come.
Also increasingly powerful engines
During the eight-year construction period, the engine power also increased. In the beginning, the Ami 6 had 22 DIN-PK, and that gradually grew to 24,5 DIN-PK (partly due to the use of larger carburettors) in 1963. From that year on, the Citroën Ami 6 also available with a centrifugal clutch. From the spring of 1968, the Citroën Ami 6 the M28 engine, which delivered 32 DIN-horsepower. Remarkable: it did not receive an external oil filter. So the top speed of the Ami 6 also grew. The original version reached a top speed of 105 kilometers per hour, at the end of the construction period the top had risen to 123 kilometers per hour.
Replaced by the Ami 8
Production of the Berline ended in March 1969, six months before Citroën European production of the Break also ended. The Ami 6 Berline made way for the new, somewhat more conventional Ami 8, with a 'regular' rear window. The changes to the Ami 8 had been made by the now-deplored Robert Opron. The Ami 8 in turn gave way to the Visa in 1978.
Various production locations
De Citroën Ami 6 was built in its homeland in Paris (1961-1963) and Rennes-La-Janais (1961-1969). Citroën built the factory in Brittany especially for the Ami 6. The Ami 6 was also built outside France. Well-known are the Belgian copies, which ran off the band (in a different trim) in Vorst. And in Argentina they built the Ami 1971 Break until 6. Citroën supplied parts packages that were assembled in South America. In total Citroën 1.039.384 Ami 6: 483.986 Berlines (April 1961-March 1969), 551.880 Breaks (October 1964-1969), 3518 Services (two-person van, with either rear side windows or fully enclosed body). Argentinian production is not included in this.
De Citroen Ami 6 is recognizable out of thousands and has always been characterized by its idiosyncratic lines, the special combination of the air-cooled two-cylinder engine and the specific A-type handling. The Ami 6 already had a unique appearance in the 6s. Today it is no different, and the Ami XNUMX is a car that understands the klassic Citroën propagates with verve.