Monaco is known for a few things: casinos, rich people, yachts. But it is best known among car enthusiasts for its famous Formula 1 street circuit. If you make the trip, you can return that circuit right down to its surprisingly tight Casino Square hairpin. But think twice, or thrice, about which car you take on your tribute “lap,” or you might end up like the overambitious driver of this Citroën Ami.
Several people were recording when this Citroën Ami came round the Casino Square corner, and a couple of those angles were shared on Twitter by user World Bollard Association. When the driver decided to come down a hill at top speed or more likely the smaller Citroën, it winds up on its side, sailing into a bollard on the sidewalk, blocking pedestrians from becoming a bowling pin.
— World Bollard Association™ (@WorldBollard)
March 12, 2023
Several factors have come together for this dramatic catastrophe. Most importantly, the fact that Ami was being pushed far beyond her limits. The electric car maxes out at 28 mph from the factory, as it’s meant to be a low-speed city car. It actually has a special classification in France that allows people to drive it without a license, making it like a golf cart or a scooter. It’s designed around that idea of a slow commuter for tight city streets, being extremely narrow, but still long enough. It’s not exactly for taking corners quickly. As some have pointed out, the British automotive TV show fifth gear demonstrated the car’s lack of cornering stability, nearly rolling the car over on a level turn.
Then there is the corner. The Amy was being driven in the same direction as a Formula 1 race, heading into the hairpin on the way down. It’s quite possible that it was at or even exceeding the 28-mph speed limit due to gravity. It also means that as soon as the drunk little car starts a turn, it’s already leaning a bit more than most corners in the city. So with the added speed and off-camera twists, the consequences were practically inevitable.
If you find yourself looking to cruise around Monaco, remember that a luxurious golf cart may not perform like a proper car.