Along with Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and red buses, London's taxis are one of its most famous landmarks. There are around 22,000 black cabs patrolling the capital, and while most of them will be ferrying tourists and businessmen to and fro, a small handful are used for altogether more exclusive excursions.
While many of the world's wealthiest inhabitants choose to flaunt their riches from the back seat of a Rolls-Royce or the front one of a Ferrari, there is a certain group of similarly affluent people who recognise the benefit of discretion. Prince Philip, for example, famously used an LPG-converted Metro Cab to move covertly around the capital for nearly 20 years.
So, while Kahn Automobiles may be more famous for serving the former clientele, with their murdered-out SUVs and restyled supercars, it does make sense for the bespoke outfit to offer its services to the latter group as well. Which is what it has attempted to do with today's Spotted, this one-off luxury London taxi.
Specifically it appears to be a TX4, the final Hackney Carriage produced by the London Taxi Company before its purchase by Geely, relaunch as London Electric Vehicle Company and subsequent production of the new range-extender hybrid TX model. With over 2,000 of those expected to be on the road by the spring, it makes sense that there might be a few of the previous generation going spare.
This particular car is said to be brand new, with just 50 miles showing on the odometer. Despite receiving the attention of Kahn's production team seemingly straight off LTC's production line, though, the revisions look to be purely aesthetic. That'll mean 101hp and 180lb ft from its 2.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel, and the same Chrysler five-speed automatic transmission as standard. Still, a tried and trusted combination if ever there was one...
Far from standard is its interior, which has received the Kahn treatment in the form of swathes of black leather, including quilted seats and a wrapped steering wheel, VIP privacy glass and an LED-studded ceiling. The exterior has been treated to a similar overhaul, though while its lustrous "Rolls-Royce paint" is undoubtedly very smart, the two-tone colour scheme does somewhat detract from its stealthy appeal. Nonetheless, it wouldn't be too hard for a buyer in search of something less showy to return it to a fully black specification, leaving only the darkened hubcaps and grille to set it apart from more common or garden examples.
And the cost for your very own slice of Londonalia? Well, while a new, electrified TX can be bought for £55,599; the quilted Kahn will set you back the best part of six figures, at £99,999. While the obvious benefits of that outlay include the ability to blend in, the famously tight turning circle, and plenty of room to carry your friends and family, don't expect to be able to make use of taxi drivers' greatest perks. Only licensed taxis are allowed to skip the congestion charge, or use bus lanes to avoid traffic, meaning that however wealthy the owner of this TX4 may be, they'll be stuck in the gridlock with the rest of us.
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