Written by Tracy Wilkinson ▼

New British built Taxi world launch

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The famous London style taxi is an icon of British motoring and it is sold all around the world. Today it is

regarded as the most instantly recognised vehicle on the global stage.

The world reveal of the new generation TX4 London style taxi took place last week at the Lords Cricket

Ground, itself an iconic London landmark.

LTI Vehicles from Coventry said today their all new TX4 Hackney Carriage represented a milestone in the history

of the British taxi and the taxi industry.

The new TX4 is the first purpose built taxi to have a Euro IV compliant diesel engine. The new 2.5-litre engine has

been specifically developed for the new TX4 taxi by VM Motori, which is owned 51% by the US Penske Corporation

and 49% by DaimlerChrysler. Two new transmission options, manual and automatic, are also introduced and ABS

braking has also been added to the standard specification.

Total on the road prices range from £26,995 to £35,495.

Peter Shillcock, Managing Director of LTI Vehicles said “The new TX4 is an evolution of past generations of

purpose built, iconic London style black cabs gained over almost 60 years of experience. Just as its predecessors,

the TX4 is distinctively styled, it cannot be mistaken by users as anything other than a purpose built taxi and it

cannot be confused with mass produced Private Hire Vehicles. It is the best and most advanced purpose built taxi

in the world."

He added, “Our new taxi has enhanced passenger and driver safety features, easy to use facilities for able and

disabled passengers and it retains the unique 25 feet turning circle required by The Public Carriage Office."

Other changes include a re-styled front end, a highly distinctive mesh grille, the use of the latest all-round coil

spring suspension and a general upgrading of the interior specification and level of comfort for the driver and

passengers.

LTI say the new TX4 is so named as a tribute to their first purpose built Hackney Carriage taxi, the FX4, launched

in 1959. The name is also in line with the use of a new Euro IV compliant diesel engine and for this reason LTI

chose not to use the TXIII title. The new TX4 range of taxis replace the TXII models introduced in 2002.

Peter Shillcock, said, “We have invested three years and over £5 million in bringing the TX4 to market. We are

committed to continually improving our taxis and the development of the TX4 has undergone more component and

road testing than anything we have ever built. Over one million kilometres of trials have taken place, equivalent

to 30 times around the world, and this has included nearly 5,000 kilometres over Pave cobbled road surfaces. The

TX4 has been proved in real-life extreme hot and cold climates as well as simulated conditions using the wind

tunnel at MIRA."

He added, "We believe without question the TX4 is quite simply the best purpose built taxi ever made and it will

set the standard for years to come. The TX4 is without doubt a milestone not only for LTI Vehicles but the whole

taxi industry."

“No other taxi is as robust or renowned as the TX series and now we have made it even better. The new TX4 has a

cleaner, more efficient Euro IV compliant 2.5-litre, 100hp turbodiesel engine that will also run on the approved

5% Bio-Diesel fuel mix. The legend lives on."

Matthew Cheyne, Sales and Marketing Director for LTI Vehicles said, “For our new TX4 taxi we have moved away

from using a Ford sourced diesel engine such as the unit we used for the outgoing TXII."

“There are several reasons for this. Seventy per cent of our customers specify an automatic transmission and the

new VM engine comes complete with such a unit which is specifically compatible for use with their latest Euro IV

engine. The same compatibility applies to the manual transmission."

“The Italian VM Motori company produces engines for markets and manufacturers around the world, including

Chrysler and LDV. Since our taxis are now sold to world markets we needed to change to a world engine."

He added, “The engine mapping has been configured to supply maximum torque at low speeds for quick

acceleration and improved flexibility across a wide power band for optimum performance in traffic and on the

open road, all with the lowest possible emissions and fuel consumption. This engine is cleaner and quieter than

the previous power units used with no loss in power or performance. The engine can also use 5% Bio-Diesel mix

without modification."

“Another reason for switch to VM is the fact that a Ford unit was not suitable for fitment to our new TX4 left hand

drive models, so again this meant a change of engine supplier."

LTI Vehicles from Coventry, who design and manufacture the TX4, are now the largest British owned independent

motor manufacturer.

Earlier this month Manganese Bronze Holdings plc, the parent company of LTI Vehicles, announced it had signed a

Heads of Terms agreement with Chinese car manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd (Geely) to

establish a £53 million joint venture company to produce the iconic London black taxi in Shanghai for the Chinese

market. From mid-2008 the joint company will produce 20,000 London taxis for sale in China and there is the

possibility of supplying some Chinese sourced components to LTI’s UK manufacturing headquarters in Coventry.

It was also announced by Manganese Bronze that LTI’s full year financial figures for 2005/06 showed a before tax

profit of £3.67million, an increase of 29% year on year.

LTI employs around 400 staff and produces nearly 3,000 purpose built taxis a year for the UK and 35 export

markets. Since the company built its first taxi in 1948, based on an Austin vehicle, they have built over 100,000

vehicles.

Prices

The new TX4 is available with four levels of specification, Driver, Bronze, Silver and Gold with on the road

prices ranging from £26,995 to £35,495.

Matthew Cheyne said, “The £2,000 price increase over the outgoing models is due to the introduction of a

Euro IV compliant engine, new transmissions, the adoption of ABS braking and the vastly enhanced equipment

levels for the benefit of the driver and passengers."

“Deliveries of the TX4 will start to our dealers next week and in a short time the new British taxis will not only be

appearing on the streets of London but in most cities and towns in the UK" he added.