London taxis get new look

TX5 black cab to launch in 2017.

London's classic black cabs are to get a revamp with the 2017 launch of the six-seater TX5 which is described by its makers as cleaner, greener and more practical.

The new model will retain much of the black chrome look of the old TX4 Hackney Carriage design, which was introduced almost 20 years ago, however it will have a number of important new features.

Chief among these is the six-seat layout, allowing three couples to go out together, as well as catering better to families or people travelling to the airport with luggage. The 2,000 new vehicles will also run on an efficient hybrid powertrain system which means they will be cheaper to fuel and greener for the environment.

London Taxi Company (LTC) owner Geely, a Chinese multinational automotive manufacturer, has invested £300 million in the new London cabs which will be built at the company’s production facility in Warwickshire.

Despite the energy-saving running costs and the car's extra features, including a panoramic glass roof, the company insists the TX5 won’t cost any more to buy or lease than the current model, thanks to government subsidies for low emission vehicles.

There are currently 22,500 Hackney Carriage black taxis operating in London.