Driver Rolls Citroen Ami At Monaco's Famous Hairpin Thinking They're An F1 Ace

Crash / 6 Comments

The Ami's high center of gravity was no match for the tight turn.

The Monaco hairpin is widely known as one of the slowest, trickiest corners found on any Formula 1 circuit, and the driver of a tiny Citroen Ami found this out the hard way recently. Also known as the Grand Hotel hairpin or Fairmont hairpin, F1 cars generally have to slow down to around 30 mph to navigate the acute corner, and while it's not known exactly how quickly the Ami driver was going, we do know that this electric car has a top speed of just 28 mph.

At this point, we'll mention that some commentators have suggested the video was staged due to the many convenient camera angles and the subdued reaction of some bystanders, but it still proves the limitations of certain cars in such a scenario.

As the videos below show, everything started fine as the driver initially took the curve heading uphill, where the gravitational forces exerted on the car would've helped the driver maintain control. But even here, the little Citroen exhibited considerable body lean, and its tires protested loudly.

On the second downhill run in the opposite direction, disaster struck.


Coming downhill, the Ami flipped over on its side as onlookers watched on in shock. The car's roof slammed with considerable force into one of the bollards, which may very well have saved one or two of the bystanders from being hit by the Citroen. Going downhill, gravitational forces are no longer working against you but instead contribute to speeding the car up and amplifying the cornering Gs.

Not helping the Ami's cause are its dimensions. Its body length is a mere 94.9 inches, and its width is 54.7 inches - those numbers are a substantial 57.3 inches and 13.3 inches smaller than the Mini Cooper three-door hatch. However, at 59.8 inches tall, the Ami is actually 4.1 inches taller than the Mini. These numbers all create a relatively high center of gravity for the Citroen. Combined with the tight turn, the downhill, and the too-high speed, there was only one way this joy ride was going to end.
Benelux supercars/YouTube

Much like the Ami, SUVs also tend to have a high center of gravity which increases the risk of a rollover.

But unlike any SUV, the Citroen Ami is so small that it's actually defined as an electric quadricycle, which is a European classification for four-wheeled microcars, the likes of which are more popular in Europe and Asia. The Ami was supposed to be available for hire in America via the Free2Move mobility service, but it seems that Stellantis has not moved forward with these plans.

As for the bollard that saved the day, we're not too sure it would've held up as well as it did if this were a normal car; the Ami weighs less than 1,000 pounds, basically a third of the mass of a four-door Mini Cooper S.

Although we don't know if the driver was injured, we assume they walked away with a bruised ego more than anything else, owing to the minimal damage to the passenger cell and the speed of the crash.


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