The London Taxi Company has unveiled its new range-extender electric TX5 taxi prototype.
The prototype of the new model was unveiled in the presence of the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is on a four-day state visit to the UK, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The TX5 includes a range extended battery electric vehicle system. No components have been carried over from the TX4.
The taxi includes improved driver leg room, the return of the rear-hinged door to improve passenger access and a panoramic glass roof.
It also has sufficient space for a forward facing wheelchair.
The TX5 is also equipped with WiFi internet capability and provides charging points for drivers and passengers.
LTC’s parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, also announced its intention to invest an additional £50 million in its new production facility in Ansty, Warwickshire, to turn the site into the group’s UK R&D headquarters. This will bring total investment in the site, which is due to open next year, to £300 million.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The British economy is one of the most open and welcoming anywhere in the world I am delighted that President Xi Jinping is here with me to see Chinese investment helping to deliver a twenty-first century vision for a truly British icon as well as vital private sector jobs outside of London”.
Peter Johansen, CEO of The London Taxi Company said: “We are hugely excited to be unveiling the TX5 prototype design for the first time and in such high company. The new vehicle has a wealth of new features, which will all be tried and tested and then tested again to provide a perfect balance of timeless design driven by ground-breaking technology”.
The new vehicle was designed at Geely’s design centre 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.
The TX5 will be launched in the UK at the end of 2017.