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VW Taxi Concept Arrives in London - Web Exclusive

As home to the famous 'Black Cabs', VW has unveiled its latest 'World Taxis' Concept in London.

Dec 14, 2010

It's based on the underpinnings of the forthcoming UP! city car, and is being shown to Londoners as an indication of what the future could look like.

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

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

The Concept's long wheelbase and minimal overhangs allow it to have a spacious cabin with room for two passengers to be seated in comfort plus an allocated area for luggage. At the front, the driving environment is similarly spacious.

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The major functions including climate control, entertainment and fare information are grouped onto one touchscreen display next to the driver. In the back a similar screen relays information to the passengers on their route and their immediate environment.

The Taxi features tongue-in-cheek details such as the silver Union Jack on the roof and the City of London's coat of arms on either side of the vehicle as well as on the dashboard.

Elegant daytime running lights mounted within the headlights are joined by a distinctive 'Taxi' light on the roof.

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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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