Up-based Taxi Concept shows Volkswagen’s vision for a new battery-powered black cab

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.

John McIlroy

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Comments
24

14 December 2010

[quote Autocar]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.[/quote]

[quote Autocar]The firm claims it can accommodate two paying customers[/quote]

Eh? VW you really have missed the point of a black cab.

The whole idea of a London black cab is that you and a group of mates can all bundle in the back.

I am sure they will protest that X% of journeys are made with just one fare paying passenger but I don't know a cab driver that would trade the flexibility of their current vehicles for one of these.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

14 December 2010

Not only does it carry less than half the number of passengers, I'd like to see how it gets adapted to carry a wheelchair too...

14 December 2010

And a few large suitcases. The current black cab just needs a drivetrain redesign and charging points at taxi ranks, most journeys would then be electric.

14 December 2010

Old news. That's Milano Taxi concept. Search it.

14 December 2010

At least mention the only passenger door is on the wrong side!

14 December 2010

I'll go against the grain of the other comments and say that a 2-seater taxis would probably do very well in London. I doubt that more than 10% of taxis you see in use are carrying more than one or two passengers.

14 December 2010

A pointless exercise for the forthcoming UP city car. There may be a small market for compact taxi's that don't have wheelchair access but I can't see Boris ordering a job lot.

14 December 2010

That's not the point. The London taxi regulations probably insist on the vehicle being able to carry ten pigs on strings, a bloke with two top hats, two ladies in full ball gown regalia and a twelve month old heifer.

Look it up; it'll be somewhere at the back.

14 December 2010

At least it is better looking than the Geely version... http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?AR=248783

14 December 2010

[quote March1]I'll go against the grain of the other comments and say that a 2-seater taxis would probably do very well in London. I doubt that more than 10% of taxis you see in use are carrying more than one or two passengers.[/quote]

+1. And there is no need for every cab to be one of these.

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