Toyota JPN Taxi-01

I’ve always been impressed by Tokyo’s taxis. Gleaming and spotless, with a polite, suited driver, the Crown Comforts aren’t cheap, but are reliable and comforting after a night out. The old-school RWD sedan has been around for ages, but all good things have to come to an end, they say.

If the end is near, here’s Toyota’s vision for a new generation of Japanese taxis. To debut at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, it’s clear that the Toyota JPN Taxi Concept is inspired by the iconic black cab of London, conceived by Toyota in line with the Japanese government’s programme for designing buses and taxis that are more user-friendly.

The cab’s proportions and packaging have been tailored to give it the manoeuvrability that’s essential in urban traffic, and to make access easy for passengers, especially children and older people, with a high cabin, low floor and electric sliding door. It also comes with a new powertrain, an LPG hybrid system that emits less of the bad stuff.

The Japanese black cab seats five and is equipped with a large interior monitor showing passenger information including the route to the destination and the fare. From the pics below, it’s clear that passengers have plenty of room and a good view out, courtesy of large windows and a rectangular glass roof.

No “for hire” sign shining above the windscreen, yet.