The London Taxi is one of the world’s best known automotive shapes, and saw its biggest upgrade in decades in 2018, thanks to the arrival of an all-new range-extender hybrid model. But even with bits borrowed from Volvo, you could hardly call the taxi’s hard-wearing rear compartment a nexus of luxury. That’s all set to change for a range of ‘VIP Class’ models, that are so plush that cabbie’s will have to turf their passengers out when the ride is over.
Likened to travelling in a private jet, the Sutton VIP Class Taxi can seat between two and six lucky high-net-worth individuals and Bitcoin magnates. There’s a 20-inch media screen to keep an eye on the stock market, a WiFi router and a thumping sound system. Of course, being British, there’s also real wood veneer for a touch of old-world charm, and built-in umbrellas for the 156 days of the year that it rains in the nation’s Capital.
To warn others there are VIPs onboard, the luxury TX has been given a subtle makeover, comprising a classy ‘two-tone’ paint finish with Grigio Silverstone over black bodywork. Customers will also be able to select from a wide range of colours and bespoke interior finishes. The model pictured has a hint of Rolls-Royce Phantom, thanks to its cream leather upholstery, silver cupholders and cool blue ambient lighting.
The sumptuous taxis have been made possible thanks to a collaboration between the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) and luxury car specialists Clive Sutton. As part of LEVC’s Authorised Converter Programme, operators will now be able to get hold of ultra-luxurious conversions of the iconic Black Cab.
Just like the standard TX Taxi’s humming around London, its eCity powertrain provides an EV range of around 64 miles, and a range-extended range of 318 miles. The battery pack can also be topped up using a 50kW charger, with an 80% refill taking 30 minutes. In other words, the VIP Class isn’t out of action for long between jobs.