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Volkswagen London Taxi Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Volkswagen is putting it's own unique spin on a London icon. The VW London Taxi Concept, which is built upon the Up! city car platform, is an electric cab with an estimated range of 186 miles. Though the overall length of 3,730 millimeters means the Taxi concept is shorter than a VW Fox, its minimal front and rear overhang allow for plenty of room to accommodate the driver and two full-size adult passengers plus luggage. Inside, the Volkswagen London Taxi Concept features touchscreen displays that provide information on the surrounding area and the route being traveled.

Since this is just a concept, it doesn't conform to current London taxi regulations. However, it does provide a glimpse at what the future might hold for emission-free urban transportation choices.


Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept

  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept
  • Volkswagen London Taxi Concept


[Source: Volkswagen]


PRESS RELEASE
INNOVATIVE VOLKSWAGEN TAXI CONCEPT MAKES ITS DEBUT IN LONDON
14/12/10

A conceptual twist on a British institution has been unveiled in the form of the Volkswagen Taxi Concept – the latest evolution in a series of 'World Taxis' based on the underpinnings of the forthcoming UP! city car.

The man behind the project, Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design at Volkswagen, was present in Central London earlier today to unveil the car.

Designed to meet the challenges faced by vehicles in modern cities, with ever tighter restrictions on space and emissions, the Volkswagen Taxi Concept is powered by an electric motor fed by lithium-ion batteries. With a capacity of 45 kW/h the batteries allow the electric motor to generate a maximum power output of 115 PS, translating to a theoretical top speed of 74 mph.

The range of the Volkswagen Taxi Concept is estimated at 186 miles between charges with an 80 per cent charge taking around one hour to complete.

The Concept, which measures 3,730 mm in length, 1,680 mm in width and 1,600 mm in height, is shorter than the current smallest Volkswagen, the Fox. However its long wheelbase and minimal front and rear overhangs allow it to have a spacious cabin with room for two adults to be seated in comfort plus an allocated area for luggage. At the front, the driving environment is similarly spacious, an impression emphasised by the large glass area.

The theme running throughout the vehicle is simplicity, with an elegant, clutter-free look to the interior. The major functions of the vehicle including climate, entertainment and fare information are all grouped onto one touchscreen display mounted next to the driver. In the back a similar screen relays information to the passengers on their route and their immediate environment. Despite its modest size, the Volkswagen Taxi Concept feels luxurious, with use of cream leather and individual, as opposed to bench, seats.

The styling draws on that of the UP!, Space UP! and Space UP! Blue concept cars and features deliberately tongue-in-cheek details such as the silver Union Jack on the roof and the City of London's coat of arms resplendent on either side of the vehicle as well as on the dashboard.

Elegant daytime running lights mounted within the headlight units are joined by a distinctive 'Taxi' light on the roof. This has two settings – it glows green, indicating when it's free and red when it's not.

At the rear the light units are integrated into the 60:40 split tailgate, behind which are a pair of cubbies to house the belongings of the driver.

While the concept doesn't adhere to current legal requirements regulating taxis in London it does offer an insight into the possibility of a future small, efficient taxi that offers an alternative to conventional fuels
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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      The current London Taxis have Diesel engines that offer crap fuel ecconomy, have higher CO2 emmisions than the current BMW X5 diesel (also worth noting also more than Q7 and toureg diesels) and only meets Euro IV emmisions standard.
      I beleve it's the itallien company VM that supplies the engine which are also used in the Euro Crysler vehicles (i.e. crysler, dodge and jeep).

      lti website: http://www.london-taxis.co.uk/index.jsp
      • 4 Years Ago
      Aren't London taxis made in China? They're horrible cars really, the size of a Suburban, loud, smelly, noisy, wasteful.

      I'd love to have this VW as a taxi, but its steering wheel and door is on the wrong side.
        • 4 Years Ago
        London taxis are made in Coventry, UK.

        At 4.5m long, they are a meter shorter than a Suburban (5.6m), and about the same length as a Nissan Leaf (4.4m).

        For what they do, London taxis are quite amazing vehicles, but they are getting a little long in tooth - but not quite as bad as the Vic which is their ubiquitous alternative in the US.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "range of 186 miles"? Do tell. How much does it cost? What kind of batteries are you using.


      And what happened to your anti-EV stance? LOL!
      • 4 Years Ago
      And taxis are prime candidates for wireless charging -- they can park over inductive charging plates, and warm up/cool down while charging, and when they get a fare, just drive away. They can charge while waiting at established cab stands, and emit no local pollution. Pretty ideal, if you ask me.

      Neil
        • 4 Years Ago
        Interesting idea. Have that taxi line at airports support wireless charging.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The first big auto-maker that bites the bullet and produces a vehicle with the london turning circle requirement is going to clean up in taxi markets around the world. With electric drives replacing mechanical transmission in either an electic or hybrid this requirement should be easy. On top of this installing recharges at taxi ranks would be easy. And the selling points in reduced air and noise pollution should be enormous. This is a juicy market waiting for somebody to grab.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like this little machine. Almost 300klm per charge! Take the taxi stuff off it and bring it to the masses.

      G