A London staple on the touristic level of red telephone boxes and the Houses of Parliament, the recognisable taxis that serve the city are set for an overhaul – but not before the final luxurious Last of Line edition.
Brought to life by British automotive designer Afzal Kahn, best known for high-end upgrades of vehicles from Aston Martins to Land Rovers under the Kahn Design brand, the swish cabs eschew the usual black livery made famous by the London Taxi Company.
Instead, the limited edition of five TX4 model taxis come complete with "Rolls-Royce" paint, while the interiors are almost as unrecognisable from regular London cabs.
Hidden from the outside by privacy glass, the seats are fitted with quilted, perforated Nappa leather, with colour-coded seat belts and a leather-trimmed steering wheel, plus glittering LED ceiling lighting.
The taxis are powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine.
“While it is sad to see a beautiful, iconic vehicle reach the end of its life, it is a great honour to re-design and celebrate what is truly one of the most famous cars in the world,” Kahn said.
You will need more than "The Knowledge" if you want to buy one, however: three of the five taxis have already been sold, while Kahn will personally select the remaining two owners, making the cabs instant collector's items.
The London Taxi Company is now known as the London EV Company, which is owned by Chinese car giant Geely.
That change in name reflects the fact that the diesel TX4 taxis, a model that evolved from original 1950s designs, are being phased out to be replaced by electric equivalents.
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