Enthusiasm for a car without a license is well established, especially among young people. Of course, the manufacturers also decline it in the electrical aspect, as a test of the Estrima Biro, the Italian Estrima, which comes to compete with the Citroën AMI in France, after having been proven for more than ten years to the trunk. With a record on its shoulder: its 1.74 meters long and 1.03 meters wide make it the smallest 100% electric quad bike in the world according to its manufacturer. Thanks to Côme Drescher, CEO of Biro France, we tested this miniature car (two-seater) on the streets of the capital, and imagine that we had a good laugh.
Arriving in front of Biro Store (1), four vehicles are parked vertically along the sidewalk, yes, vertically: the length of the carts represents the width of a normal-sized car. At first glance, the impression that the bumper is made of plastic is obvious, but Côme Drescher certifies that it is much more resistant than you might think, as Estrima can say that it is originally a company specializing in the manufacture of bumpers. tractor cabs. .
The Estrima Biro exists in two models, and two top speeds, 45 and 60 km / h. For the former, you do not need a driver’s license, only 14 years old. Since we like speed, we were able to test the fastest (which requires getting the code, a minimum of 16 years and a practical exam of thirty minutes), but go the limitation to 30 in Paris intramuros n do not allow even a track of madness …
The cart does not falter
The little green race car is very pretty, I feel like I’m in a cartoon. Its small wheels rest on the sidewalk, its headlights look at me tenderly, it seems to call to me. The interior of the vehicle is khaki, the design of the dashboard is reminiscent of the old Alfa Romeo or Fiat, there are different models of seats, and you can choose a color, the vehicle is customizable. And super bright thanks to the panoramic roof and the transparent plexiglass doors: wear sunglasses in case of good weather. The equipment, which includes a phone holder and even an umbrella stand in the back, has little to envy to that of a classic car. In terms of power, there are two types of batteries: the first must be removed from the vehicle and charged for three hours to cover 55 kilometers, the other, which remains in the front of the vehicle, is more powerful, allows you to drive 100 miles, but requires five hours of charging.
We open the roof a little to take advantage of the small wind that blows over Paris, and we make contact. Let’s go for a walk in the 1st district. I start as a passenger, to understand how the machine works, then I take the wheel. This one is parallel to the ground, a bit like the bus, at first it’s weird but you get used to it pretty quickly. First acceleration, push well. Red light, we press the brake, with difficulty: the pedal is super hard. First corner, everything is fine, no, the cart does not hesitate, strong on the supports, a good rotation. The fire starts, the horn blows behind, Paris forces. Last bend before arriving, we look in the mirrors, right, left, blind spot, and accelerate in the last straight. We feel good, we have good power and the vehicle is super stable.
As Drescher boasts “the combination of a scooter and a car”, with an inclination of scooters for maneuverability and ease of parking. Great strong point of the car in my eyes: thanks to the transparent doors, we have very good visibility of pedestrians and sidewalks. Disadvantage: It is better not to be too tall. When I got to 1m75, I had cramps in my legs, due to the pedals shifting to the right, almost in the center of the vehicle.
My overall impression? The Biro is above all a scooter, ultra practical to move around the city, make very short trips, in silence, and park everywhere. In addition to being environmental friendly, is nice and quite nice to drive. It remains to be able to pay 10,000 euros, or 3,000 more than for the Citroën AMI. That said, Estrima, which works in its after-sales service and offers home repairs, also offers second-hand cars for smaller budgets.
(1) 27 Rue des Archives, 75001.