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Citroen’s e-Mehari is the hose-down EV we’ve been waiting for
All-electric, retro-referencing four-seater is Citroen at its eccentric best
This is the car we hoped was coming, but never genuinely believed it would.
Previewed by the Cactus M concept at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the Citroen e-Mehari is the production version of said concept, and has morphed into something even dinkier and cooler – in a pimped-up golf buggy kinda way.
Reference to the 1968 Mehari in the name is not subtle, but when you have something as iconic as that in your locker why shy away?
Slats in the doors are another retro nod, as is the complete exposure to the elements. Any similarity to the Ford Escort convertible of the Nineties, we’re told, is entirely coincidental.
Shorter, but wider and taller than a VW Polo, the e-Mehari isn’t based on the C4 Cactus with which it shares the same nose surgeon. Its underpinnings are courtesy of the Bollore Bluesummer – an equally-open and flimsy-looking EV already sold throughout Citroen France’s dealer network since summer 2015. You may have seen them hobbling through the Parisian streets wearing more dents and scratches than a journeyman boxer.
From this dubious starting point Citroen has fashioned a raised four-seater buggy with removable roof panels, a fold-down rear bench and a plastic-fabric-coated interior that can be hosed down – for cleaning purposes, or unintentionally by a sudden shower.
The bodywork is thermoformed plastic, ideal for pinballing off other motorists on the Champs Elysees without incurring costly body damage.
Combining an all-weather lithium metal polymer battery stack with a front-mounted 67bhp motor, the e-Mehari can travel 124 miles between top ups.
Performance figures have not been published, but given the top-speed is 68mph, the 0-62mph time is dangerously close to ‘never’.
But acceleration and cornering is beside the point, the focus here is on being “stylish, confident, offbeat and even sassy,” says Citroen, with a flick of its hair.
All you need to know is it comes in four colours – orange, yellow, blue and beige – and you’ll be able to buy one from early 2016. If you live in France that is, because there are no plans to bring it to the UK.
So what do we think interweb? Is the e-Mehari the coolest thing since sliced baguette, or an offence to the eyes?