In 1908, Mann and Overton, a successful dealership, introduced the 12/16 cab based on the Austin Model 15. It quickly became the most successful taxi in London, and by 1914, it was the only one still available. We start our story here as, in common with our own vehicles, the Austin Model 15 served dual roles by also providing the chassis for a successful van series.
There are elements that are intrinsic to how our vehicles look and feel. Key features that make them instantly recognisable. The rounded rear of the roof. A robust, distinctive shoulder that signifies the qualities of a workhorse. A face and profile that is reassuringly familiar.
The result is something not too aggressive or retro, yet still able to project trustworthiness and dependability.
David Ancona - Chief Designer
“It is very tempting as a designer to push for an avant-garde design...but realised, on reflection, that an automotive fashion statement would look old and tired very quickly…what was required, was a timeless design that drew upon our heritage.”
It was in 1948 that what we now know as the FX series, and the traditional black cab came into being. And it was the FX3 in particular that set the standard. It captured the essence of a luxurious limousine, had generous space for both passengers and luggage, and most importantly, was purpose built for its trade.
The FX3 in 1953 brought diesel power, even more passenger space, and wheelchair access as standard. In over forty years of faithful service, it became a symbol of London as familiar and iconic as any landmark. This was ultimately recognised by the Design Museum, listing it in their ’50 cars that changed the world’.
Next came the FX4 which was the first production London cab to feature four doors, bringing a better working environment for the driver and passengers.
The limousine feel of the FX3 and the versatility and familiar shape of the FX4 have both inspired the design elements featured in the next generation of our vehicles.
The TX series was launched in 1997. As with every new taxi, it set a new standard for robust engineering, passenger comfort, and safety. With the TXII and TX4, further innovations helped us to continually evolve what is still the only purpose built professional taxi.
From guaranteeing Euro 6 compliance, to improving fuel efficiency and power, the TX series is the benchmark in a trade that doesn’t take prisoners - only passengers.