Chinese-owned London Taxi Company lifted the veils off their all-new TX5 Black Cab in the presence of the Chinese President and members of the British Royal family.
Being one of the most recognisable icons of British automotive design, the new London Taxi mixes the traditional lines with green technologies in order to meet the zero-emissions regulations required of all new taxis in London by 2018.
London Taxi Company showed a prototype of the new TX5 saying their new product is based upon a brand-new aluminum architecture that uses a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. LTC says that all of its 2,000 components have been designed from the ground up ‘incorporating the latest and best of technologies’.
The company didn’t share though any info about the technical details of the new TX5 apart from the fact that the new TX5 can run on electric power alone for extended periods and uses a four-cylinder petrol engine.
Designed at Geely’s design centre in Barcelona by Volvo’s ex-Chief Designer Peter Horburry and David Ancona, the new TX5 can accommodate up to six passengers and offers more leg room for the driver. The suicide rear doors returned to improve access to the cabin and for the first time on a Black Cab there is now a panoramic glass roof. Wheelchair access is a given while there is also a Wifi Hotspot and charging points for the driver and passengers.
LTC’s parent company Geely Holding Group announced also the additional £50 million investment in their new production facility located in Ansty, Warwickshire, bringing the total investment in the new site up to £300 million.
“We will have invested many years of development and more than £300 million in bringing the TX5 to market,” said Li Shufu, founder and chairman of Geely. “This is testament to Geely’s commitment to the UK and The London Taxi Company, and demonstrates our leading position on new energy technologies, our loyal and talented workforce and our competitive edge when it comes to delivering pioneering design and technology.”
The new factory is expected to produce at least 36,000 units per year and will build up to nine potential models, including light commercial vehicles. The new TX5 is expected to be launched at the end of 2017 in the UK and across international markets in 2018.