Volkswagen unveils it’s proposed London taxi

This is Volkswagen’s idea of a new London black cab, conceived by its design team in Germany and based on the forthcoming Up city car.

One of a trio of ‘World Taxis’, the VW Taxi Concept is smaller than the company’s current production baby, the Fox, at just 3.73m in length, 1.66m wide and 1.6m high, but it is heavier, at 1500kg. The firm claims it can accommodate two paying customers, with “legroom comparable to luxury saloons”, and several suitcases.

See Autocar’s exclusive studio pics of the VW Taxi Concept

The concept’s powertrain is a 112bhp electric motor fuelled by a 45kWh lithium-ion battery. The set-up allows the taxi to reach a top speed of 74mph and travel for up to 186 miles between charges. The cable socket is hidden under the VW badge on the nose. VW claims 80 per cent of charge can be restored in just over an hour.

The cabin in the concept feels airy, thanks to the use of light-coloured trim materials and a glass roof panel. The requirement for only a driver’s seat up front has allowed VW to use the passenger’s space for the luggage, pushing the rear seats as far back in the Up’s structure as possible. Access is made easier still by a large pivoting door.

Read Hilton Holloway’s blog about VW’s concept cab

The driver gets a touchscreen display to show vehicle information, the fare and navigation instructions. Passengers have an infotainment panel that allows them to control the air conditioning and read information on the route and their immediate location.

VW is said to be considering putting a bespoke taxi into production — but the final vehicle would undoubtedly change to accommodate different markets’ requirements for turning circles, wheelchair access and a screen between the driver and the passenger compartments.

The firm is not alone in being attracted to the taxi market. Proposals are being prepared by a string of manufacturers, who are hoping to cash in on the traditional hackney cab’s increasingly perilous position in the face of tightening EU emissions regulations.

If Volkswagen and other car manufacturers can produce this style or similar style of vehicle for London taxi drivers, with room for 4-5 passengers and lugagge space at a competive price then they are on to a winner.

It would also be useful for car manufactures to think about thing like where to put your cabbys mate( sat nav), ipod, iphone, glasses, tea holder, maps, papers, receipt pads, etc etc, some where out of site but not all clustered together and in easy reach, all of this as well as our world famous turning circle in a  quality build vehicle, at low interest rates and competive price, then I might consider buying one.

Now it’s time for me to wake up in the real world, just a thought tho.

realistically is this the way forward for the private hire minicabs,who knows only time will tell.

By John McIlroy of Auto car

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