The Volkswagen London Taxi is, in VW's words, "a
conceptual twist on a British institution".
It was the third in a series of electric powered concept
taxis developed by Volkswagen to showcase different variations
on the UP! compact electric
car. VW's designers have previously covered Milan
and Berlin in
their faux-taxi lineup.
The concept was unveiled by Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design
at Volkswagen, at a special event in London on the 14th
The Volkswagen London Taxi Concept was designed to help
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 horsepower - allowing for
a top speed of 74 mph.
The Volkswagen London Taxi Concept has an impressive range
of 186 miles. And the batteries can take in 80 percent
of their maximum charge within one hour.
The Volkswagen London Taxi Concept is more compact than
the Volkswagen Fox (the company's current smallest car)
however thanks to its long wheelbase and short front and
rear overhangs the concept has generous interior space
- with room for two adults to be seated in comfort, plus
an allocated area for luggage located where the front
passenger seat would normally reside.
The overall design theme running throughout the VW London
Taxi Concept is simplicity, with an elegant, clutter-free
look to the interior. The major functions of the car including
climate, entertainment and fare information are all grouped
onto one touchscreen display located next to the driver.
In the back, a similar screen allows the passengers to
keep up-to-date on their route and current location.
The styling of the Volkswagen London Taxi Concept deliberately
features tongue-in-cheek details such as the silver Union
Jack on the roof, and the City of London's coat of arms
on each door. 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
when the driver's looking for work, and red when he's
At the rear the light units are integrated into the 60:40
split tailgate, behind which are a pair of integrated
storage units to hold the driver's belongings.
While the Volkswagen London Taxi Concept doesnt
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.
It might need to offer more than two passenger seats though!
Similar and related vehicles:
VW Berlin Taxi
VW Milano Taxi