Taxi! ... for the green Scotland 15 | 12 | 2010

    THIS IS the car VW believes could become the main taxi seen on Scotland city centre streets. The VW Taxi Concept, conceived by its design team in Germany and based on the forthcoming Up city car, is smaller than the company’s current production baby, the Fox, at just 3.73m in length, 1.66m wide and 1.6m high, but it is heavier, at 1500kg.

    Small as it may be, VW claims the concept — one of a number of vehicles aiming to cash in on the perilous position of the current 'London Cab' because of ever-more stringent EU emissions regulations — can accommodate two paying customers, with “legroom comparable to luxury saloons”, and several suitcases.

    VW's baby taxi is also environmentally-freindly in that its powertrain is a 112bhp electric motor fuelled by a 45kWh lithium-ion battery. Cleverly, the cable socket is hidden under the VW badge on the nose and VW claims 80% of its charge can be restored in just over an hour.

    Thanks to the use of light-coloured trim materials and a glass roof panel, the cabin feels airy. By designing the car with only a driver’s seat up front, the front passenger's space can be used to house luggage. The design also means the rear seats can be pushed as far back in the Up’s structure as possible. Access is through a large pivoting door.

    There's a touch of the ipad as well for the driver who gets a touchscreen display to show vehicle information, the fare and navigation instructions. And passengers are supplied with an infotainment panel that allows them to control the air conditioning and read information on the route and their immediate location.

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    Jim McGill

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