The “world’s most luxurious black cab” has been unveiled by a bespoke coachbuilder at high end car show Salon Privé, and its features are more private jet than Hackney Carriage.
The LEVC TX black taxi-based plug-in hybrid has been completely overhauled by St John’s Wood-based coachbuilder and specialist car dealer Sutton Bespoke and is now “appointed like a private jet for the road”.
It includes electronically-reclining heated leather seats with footrests in the rear, self-closing doors and, like a Rolls-Royce, umbrella holders and a fibre-optic starlight roof that twinkles.
If buyers don’t want the starlight roof, they can choose a glass one with a blind that slides back at the touch of a button, allowing views of the real night sky.
Potential buyers can opt for two-, three- or four-seat set-ups in the rear, with smoked glass for the privacy you’ll want when you raid the on-board drinks fridge.
For gamers, a PlayStation or Xbox can be installed, with a 20in screen incorporated into the leather-clad divider that separates the front from the rear. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth come as standard, as does a high-end sound system.
Although it’s based on a black cab, paint colour choices are “almost limitless”, according to the company.
The Sutton cab is more finely finished than its workaday counterpart, of course, with thicker carpet-pile and hand-crafted wooden veneers on the door caps.
Mechanically, Sutton Bespoke hasn’t made any changes to the TX’s original powertrain. It has the same plug-in hybrid set-up featuring an LG Chem-sourced 31kWh battery driving a 110kW Siemens electric motor, allowing an electric range of around 63 miles in the regular cab, though considering the weight of all the bespoke additions to the Clive Sutton model, the battery range is likely to be reduced.
But with its range-extending 1.5-litre Volvo-derived turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine acting as a generator when the battery gets low, it’s possible to fill up at a petrol station in minutes to enable journeys of hundreds of miles.
The cab is exempt from London’s Ultra-low Emissions Zone and Congestion charges, as one would expect, though unless drivers are actually licensed by London Taxi and Private Hire, driving the Sutton black cab isn’t a way to avoid those costs for private owners.
The black cab isn’t Sutton’s first luxury conversion. The company has been reworking Mercedes vans for some years, creating outwardly unobtrusive vehicles with incredibly luxurious VIP interiors trimmed in leather, with PlayStations, smart TVs and coffee makers.
Clive Sutton, CEO of the company, said: “While many of our clients seek power, performance and stand-out style, another portion prefer discreet, unique, customisable luxury.
“Our Sutton VIP LEVC Taxi enables the most comfortable, spacious and private journey through the city with extravagant features usually reserved for superyachts and private jets.”
The two-tone black cab show-car on display at Blenheim Palace was priced at £121,480.
- After reading how Clive Sutton coachbuilder reveals “world’s most luxurious black cab” at Salon Privé show, you might be interested to read that Amazon-owned Zoox unveiled a self-driving ‘robotaxi’ with a 16-hour runtime between charges
- Also check out how London taxi maker LEVC revealed a plug-in campervan
- Or read how Brexit and Covid are blamed for shortage of 76,000 HGV drivers