Volkswagen's design team in Germany has come up with a new London black cab based on the upcoming Up city car. The VW Taxi Concept, one of three ‘World Taxis’, is smaller than its current production model, the Fox, at only 3.73m in length, 1.66m wide and 1.6m high. However, this concept is heavier, at 1500kg.
VW said that this vehicle can carry two paying customers, with “legroom comparable to luxury saloons”, as well as several suitcases.
The concept’s powertrain is a 112bhp electric motor that’s partnered to a 45kWh lithium-ion battery. The taxi can reach a top speed of 74mph and travel for up to 186 miles on a single charge. The cable socket is hidden under the VW badge on the nose.
VW claims that charging a little more than an hour can restore 80% of its power. Because of the use of light-colored trim materials and a glass roof panel, the cabin in the concept feels airy. Due to the requirement for only a driver’s seat up front, VW can use the passenger’s space for the luggage.
The rear seats would only need to be pushed as far back in the Up’s structure as possible. A large pivoting door makes for easier access. A touchscreen display shows vehicle information and the fare and navigation instructions to the driver.
Meanwhile, passengers get an infotainment panel that enables them to control the air conditioning and read information on the route and their immediate location.
It’s believed that VW is considering adding a bespoke taxi into production. However, the final vehicle would certainly change to accommodate various markets’ requirements for turning circles, wheelchair access and a screen between the driver and the passenger compartments.