Production of the iconic London Taxi Company TX4 ends this year, and designer Afzal Kahn has been tasked with making sure it goes out with style
The London Taxi Company, builder of Britain’s favourite taxi, has tied up with automotive designer Afzal Kahn for one of the five ‘Last of Line Edition’ vehicles to celebrate the end of production for the TX4 taxi.
Since 1997, the TX series of taxis has been the preferred mode of shared private transport in the capital, with the TX1 and TXII carrying the brand’s fortunes until the TX4 went into production in 2007. It’s run the same 2.5-litre straight-four diesel engine for the past decade, and despite the push for London to go electric, the popularity of the TX4 has stuck. With Kahn’s model, it’s even given the diesel engine a power boost.
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Kahn’s limited-run design maintains the iconic silhouette of the taxi and is available in a choice of five Rolls-Royce colours, with colour-coded contrast wheels, LED interior ceiling star lighting and a slotted front grille. Each vehicle will be unique, and it will hold a badge and certificate of authenticity, as well as a plaque bearing the names of those involved in the build process. Five are rolling off the production line, and three have already been sold.
Privacy glass separates the interior, which strays from the usual taxi style by featuring quilted and perforated Nappa leather front and rear seats. A reupholstered piano-black instrument surround, colour-coded seatbelts, leather-trimmed steering wheel and ‘Last of Line’ also adorn the inside.
Since the turn of the millennium Kahn has been involved in automotive design, starting from his base in Yorkshire and expanding into global operations. Two of his most famous coachbuilt vehicles are the handcrafted Aston Martin DB9-based Vengeance and the six-wheel Flying Huntsman 6×6, which originated as a Land Rover Defender.
‘While it’s sad to see a beautiful, iconic vehicle reach the end of its life, it’s a great honour to redesign and celebrate what is truly one of the most famous cars in the world,’ Kahn said of his taxi design. ‘I look forward to embarking on a journey with a select few clients who wish to own their own piece of British history.’
A spokesperson for the London Taxi Company added: ‘There was only one person for the job. Afzal Kahn is famous for his original designs and willingness to push the boundaries, and we admire his ability to capture the essence of a vehicle’s character.’
‘We believe he’s the best designer to give this iconic vehicle the send-off it deserves.’