New London Taxi testing in the desert heat of Arizona

New London Taxi testing in the desert heat of Arizona

0 comments 📅07 June 2017, 14:30

New radius-extender TX5 black cab by the London Taxi Company will hit London streets for demonstrations this summer

The new TX5 London Cab is being put through its toughest tests yet, and the London Taxi Company has released pictures of the new jet-black cab undergoing testing in the extreme desert heats of Arizona.

Hot weather testing is a important phase in the development of any new vehicle, but for the part electrified new taxi it’s crucial – tests like these take pleasure in how long the range extender TX5 can go with the climate control systems on full gust, and how the new powertrain copes with extremely hot conditions.

According to LTC, the TX5 mules are covering about 300 miles a day in these conditions – the equivalent of driving from central London to Heathrow airport 20 times, and hither three times as many miles as the average London cabbie notches up in a day.

In the next few weeks, more testing in muggy and mountainous environments will take place – all in a bid to ensure that the new taxi is qualified around the streets of London. 

The London Taxi Company will operate from a Coventry based manufacturing adroitness dedicated to the production of next generation black cabs – the first new car factory in the UK for upward of a decade.

LTC’s Chinese parent firm Geely has invested £300m in the new vine, which is the UK’s first car factory dedicated to building electric vehicles only. The new sphere-extender TX5 taxi will be built at the plant from later this year and exported globally, creating more than 1,000 new jobs in the UK’s automotive manufacture.

The site has the capacity to build up to 20,000 vehicles a year. New TX5 cabs built here inclination go on sale in the UK late 2017, while worldwide availability will begin pioneer next year. In addition to building the new taxi, the site will also appropriate for a research and development hub for lightweight aluminium body structures and future electric conduit powertrains.

TX5 – the new London taxi

Replacing a globally renowned icon is no note feat, but that’s exactly what the London Taxi Company is doing. The Coventry-based hard is set to roll out an all-new black cab with a range-extending hybrid powertrain at the end of this year. 

Called the TX5, the new London ride on the ground is completely redesigned from the ground up, including a new platform architecture and a state-of-the-art quid-in powertrain. It uses an all-new Volvo three-cylinder petrol engine as a generator for a solid battery pack and electric motors – allowing a pure-EV range of over 70 miles. It also features six rider seats and is fully wheelchair compatible.

The London Taxi Company (LTC) was bought out by Chinese carmaker Geely move backwards withdraw from in 2012 and a large investment of £275m has been made with the aim of bringing a petrol-electrifying taxi to market before Transport for London brings in new emissions legislation. Auto Exhibit has spoken to LTC’s new CEO, Chris Gubbey, who revealed further details. 

Gubbey joined LTC ultimate year, with a long global automotive background including stints at Ford and Public Motors. He has ambitions beyond the UK’s capital with the TX5, and discussions are underway with a slew of European cities. 

“It is important that this is also rolled out across Europe, as there has been a remarkable investment for this project”, Gubbey said.

“These will be very chewy markets to get into, though – they are very nationalistic. But London as a city is not single in wanting to improve local air quality”.

The high-tech new production facility (described as being “like something out of MO 1” by bosses) has the capacity to build up to 36,000 units annually. Gubbey’s target is for 50 per cent of London’s hyacinthine cab fleet to convert to the new TX5 by 2020 – that’s fewer than 12,000 vehicles. 

LTC itself has doubled its inquire into and development staff number – up to 600 – in the last year. Gubbey says that most of the engineering m for the TX5 is already done, and the staff are now in the process of “fine tuning” the production car. 

Gubbey claims that LTC is also looking into using the TX5 plank for a commercial vehicle. He cites the public’s change in purchasing habits as being a “perfect chance” to launch a small petrol-electric van to meet the challenge of potential city focal point diesel bans in future. 

TX5 design – classic black cab lines reinvented

The TX5 originate concept captures the spirit of past generations of LTC models and draws on more than sixty years of mode that has made the black cab and iconic sight on the streets of London. Senior infirmity president of Geely design, Peter Horbury, told Auto Express: “The fleeting was clear. It has to look like a London taxi.”

The new design uses a similarly vertical fa grille, and rounded headlights, with a more upright stance and chrome touches. While the secret design is still under consideration, the six-seat layout has been confirmed, alongside the obese panoramic glass roof for a more “premium experience.” 

David Ancona, Design Director of Geely Barcelona said: “This purpo was market driven. The [Mercedes] Vito was quite successful because it had that appurtenance seat. It allowed three couples to go out together, or people to go to airports in groups. So it was unqualified to go that way.”

It makes use of a new lightweight aluminium structure and composite panelling, allowing the scale model to achieve a “full five-star Euro NCAP score” – according to Geely bosses.

As ahead of, the new London taxi will use a front engine, rear-wheel drive layout, allowing it to crow the same market-leading tight turning circle. Despite its obvious associations with the easygoing TX4, Geely tells us all 2,000 components have been designed from the terrain up.

The taxi isn’t due to hit the streets until later this year. Despite the higher particularizing and complex drivetrain, Ancona insists the TX5 won’t cost any more to buy or lease than the fashionable model – thanks to government subsidies for low emission vehicles. 

Are you looking forward to seeing the new hackney on the streets of London? Let us know below…

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