New London taxi goes on sale from £55,599
The iconic black cab is one of the most enduring symbols of London life – and it's now been updated for 2017.
The vehicle follows on from the old TX4, and is given the simple moniker of 'TX' – from the newly renamed London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC). The vehicle can be purchased outright for £55,599, or leased for £177 per week.
Not cheap, but LEVC says the new taxi has lots of advantages over the outgoing model. Firstly, there's the new powertrain. TX4 cabs used an ancient, noisy and very thirsty diesel engine, famed for its longevity but not much else. Mated to an automatic gearbox they barely return 30mpg, and transmit vast amounts of vibration into the cabin.
The new TX ditches that for a planet-friendly hybrid powertrain. It mates a hefty battery pack – good for around 70 miles of emission-free motoring – with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, giving the whole outfit a range of around 400 miles.
With the average cabbie covering 120 miles every day, LEVC estimates that fuel savings could be as much as £100 per week – easily enough to cover the vehicle's increased leasing cost over the TX4.
Inside the driver's compartment, you could be forgiven for thinking you're in a modern Volvo. LEVC's parent firm Geely also owns Volvo, and the Swedish brand's interior tech features in the TX in a big way. The driver's seat is lifted from the S90 saloon – a big improvement over the driver's seat in the TX4, which cabbies claim is very uncomfortable. There's also a Volvo steering wheel, gear selector, and portrait-oriented touchscreen infotainment.
The passenger compartment has been given a significant upgrade too. There's an extra seat, giving a capacity of six passengers, along with separate air-conditioning controls, Wifi and built-in phone chargers.
LEVC says the new cab achieved a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating, too.
The taxi will being appearing on London streets soon, with LEVC expecting to see at least 100 on the road before the end of 2017.