The zero-emission Black Cab gets a redesign
The London Taxi Company (LTC) has unveiled the new design for its next-generation, zero-emission capable Black Cab, the TX5. The design concept draws on more than 60 years of style that have made the Black Cab an iconic sight on the streets of London.
While maintaining recognisable key features, the zero-emission capable TX5 has been updated to reflect the needs of today’s passengers and the move towards a low-carbon economy. In addition to a lightweight aluminium body structure and composite panelling, the cab benefits from a range-extended battery electric vehicle system.
As well as accommodating six passenger seats and featuring improved driver leg room, the TX5 also heralds the return of the rear-hinged door to improve passenger access and, for the first time on a Black Cab, a panoramic glass roof. It has sufficient space for a forward-facing wheelchair, helping to meet the travel needs of those with mobility issues. The TX5 is also equipped with Wi-Fi capability and provides charging points for drivers and passengers.
The new vehicle was conceived at the design centre of LTC’s parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely), in Barcelona, led by British designers Peter Horbury and David Ancona and supported by a 200-strong team of engineers and designers based in the UK. Horbury said his team was “acutely aware of the huge responsibility that comes with introducing a new generation of design for what is already an instantly recognisable and iconic vehicle”.
“We have sought to build on existing features such as the headlights, grille and strong roof lines,” he continued. “But we have also made sure that the new vehicle significantly builds on space and comfort levels for both passengers and drivers.”
Geely has also announced its intention to invest an additional £50 million in a state-of-the-art greenfield production facility in Ansty, Warwickshire — the first new vehicle production facility to be built in the UK for more than 10 years. At 31,000 m2, the facility will accommodate an enhanced R&D centre and additional technical facilities alongside the production line to build the new TX5.
The TX5 will be launched in the UK at the end of 2017 and across international markets in 2018. The Ansty site will also work on nine potential product variants, including light commercial vehicles that could be developed for LTC and the Geely group.
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