The platform Volkswagen has developed for the forthcoming UP! city car is also used for the ‘World Taxis’ project, the latest outcome of which is the new London Taxi Concept. If you are not a nitpicky kind of person, you could say that this VW is sort of inspired by the famous London Taxi.
Unveiled at Central London by Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design at Volkswagen, the VW Taxi Concept is 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.
Backed by 45 kW/h batteries, the electric motor in this car develops 115 PS, giving the car a theoretical top speed of 74 mph and an 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.
As it’s the case with concept cars like this, it has a very fancy interior with up to the minute features. 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.
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.