New Concept Car: Volkswagen Taxi

All hail to the up! The latest addition to Volkswagen’s series of up! concept cars, called the VW Taxi Concept, is the last prototype before the city car goes into production next year – and this time designers have looked to our capital city for inspiration!

The final installation in a trio of ‘World Taxis’, the electric three-seater is designed to address the challenges facing cabs in modern cities, which include tighter emissions regulations and increasing demands on space.

Despite being unlike a London black cab in size or shape, the futuristic model features all the add-ons you’d expect, including a ‘Taxi’ light on the roof and the jet-black paint job.

Some more unusual cues include a monochrome Union Jack roof and the London coat of arms applied to the doors. But the smartest part is the use of space. Measuring 3.73 metres in length, 1.66m in width and 1.6m in height, it’s more compact than VW’s current smallest car, the Fox. But there’s still space for the driver plus two passengers, with legroom comparable to a saloon.

Luggage is stored where the front passenger seat would go, removing the need for a boot. The driver sits behind a touchscreen display which relays information on the vehicle’s vital functions, as well as fare and navigation data. Customers in the back are greeted by a large multifunction display showing weather information, their route and immediate location.

Based heavily on the Space up! and Space up! blue concepts, shown at the 2007 Tokyo and LA Motor Shows respectively, the newcomer has been restyled again. The swept-back headlights and vertical rear light assemblies have both been redesigned, while an asymmetrical door layout adds to the car’s functionality.

A conventional front-hinged door on the left allows the driver to climb on board, while an electric sliding door on the other side provides a much larger opening for passengers. Under the skin is an all-electric powertrain similar to the e-up! concept.

Lithium-ion batteries provide power to a single 113bhp electric motor, while the car’s total weight is 1,500kg – which points towards a 0-62mph sprint of 10 seconds and top speed of 74mph. VW claims a range of 186 miles between charges is possible.

The taxi-inspired concept made its debut at a dedicated event in the UK capital this week. The full production version of the up! city car will be revealed next summer. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express
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