Volkswagen has unveiled the latest in a series of World Taxis it's doing, prettying up London's admittedly iconic black cabs with a sheen of new paint, an all-electric drive, and an infusion of tablet-based infotainment.Designed to meet the challenges faced by vehicles in modern cities, with ever tighter restrictions on space and emissions, the Volkswagen London Taxi Concept is powered by an electric motor fed by lithium-ion batteries.
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. The theme running throughout the vehicle is simplicity, with an elegant, clutter-free look to the interior.
Despite its modest size, the Volkswagen London Taxi Concept feels luxurious, with use of cream leather and individual, as opposed to bench, seats. In the back a similar screen relays information to the passengers on their route and their immediate environment. The major functions of the vehicle including climate, entertainment and fare information are all grouped onto one touchscreen display mounted next to the driver.
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 London 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 .
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.