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When most people think of London taxis, they picture the classic black cabs that have become an iconic symbol of the city. However, few know there is a U.S. market London taxi made by London Taxi International (LTI) in 2003 and 2004. LTI marketed these left-hand drive models in the U.S. as the “London Executive Sedan.” They were produced exclusively for the American market.

How many London Taxis are in the U.S.?

A London Black Taxi driving with the Big Ben in the background
London Black Taxi | Dan Kitwood via Getty Images

According to reports, LTI made 250 vehicles for the U.S. market in 2003 and 2004. The vehicles were designed to meet U.S. safety and emissions regulations and featured a V6 engine and automatic transmission. They also had various amenities like air conditioning, leather seats, and power windows.

Despite their unique design, the London Executive Sedans failed to capture the American market. Sales were disappointing, and the vehicles were eventually discontinued after just two years of production. However, the London Executive Sedan did find a few notable fans, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, who owned one of the vehicles.

Why are London cabs black?

A London Black Taxi driving in downtown London
London Black Taxi | Tolga Akmen via Getty Images

London cabs are black because of a law that was passed in 1907. The law, known as the “London Hackney Carriage Act,” required all cabs in London to be painted black. This was done to create a uniform look for the city’s taxis and to make them easier to spot in the streets. Before the law, taxis in London were painted in various colors.

However, the introduction of the black cab quickly became a symbol of the city and remains an iconic feature of London’s streets today. Despite changes in technology and design, the classic black cab is a popular choice for tourists and locals alike.

Are London taxis electric?

A London Black Taxi picking up a passenger
London Black Taxi | Robert Alexander via Getty Images

Many London taxis are now electric as the traditional black cabs have transformed in recent years. The shift towards more environmentally-friendly modes of transportation is reflected in this move. Consumers’ changing needs and the growing concern for the environment have played a significant role in switching to electric vehicles.

The British government’s efforts to reduce air pollution in London have encouraged the adoption of electric vehicles. This transformation has not only made taxis cleaner and more efficient, but it has also helped to reduce noise pollution in the city. As a result, London’s iconic black cabs are now part of the growing trend towards a cleaner, greener future for cities worldwide.

Should the London taxi return to the U.S.?

Despite these changes, the London taxi remains an iconic symbol of the city, and the fact that there was a U.S. market taxi is a reminder of the enduring appeal of this classic design. While the London Executive Sedan may not have been a commercial success, it remains a unique and exciting piece of automotive history that will surely surprise and intrigue car enthusiasts worldwide.