News : Meanwhile… a new Metrocab emerges

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Andrew Elphick

Metro Cammell’s Metrocab is long since a footnote in history, but its moniker isn’t – future technologies (and Bristol owners) Frazer-Nash are the latest custodian of the Metrocab identity. Trade paper www.taxinewspaper.co.uk spied its prototype range extender Taxi earlier this year and asked the probing questions – read the report here.

A potential world launch on 4 September in Luxemburg seems to been quashed too despite partner Genii-capital’s press release, which promised amongst other things ‘seven seats’ and ‘less than 50g/km of CO2 emissions’. With Manganese Bronze in the hands of administrators and rival van based Taxis ready for fares from Mercedes-Benz and Nissan, is the new Metrocab destined to be a what if or a world beater?

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

40 Comments

  1. Still quite a few Metrocabs running around in Brum, used to be made in Tamworth. 52 plate is latest one.
    This new one doesn’t look great, but will it be UK assembled?

  2. That vehicle has obviously been given a less than therapeutic birching with the ugly stick. It looks rather like a child’s drawing of a London Taxi rendered rather ham-fistedly in three dimensions. And it’s predecessor was no looker either. The front end looks very unhappy- like it is about to start to cry. Very ungainly and rather over-bodied.

    Just hope LTi manage to survive their current difficulties.

  3. If your going to have relatively small wheels on a car, don’t emphasise how small they are by fitting it with huge wheel arch surrounds. It simply makes it look like the car was hastily redesigned for smaller wheels by dint of hurriedly adding plastic arch extensions to cover the original arches.

  4. Crikey! What an awful looking thing.It only shows that trying to keep an iconic shape and make it modern looking is very difficult to achieve, if not impossible , in this case. Nissan’s ‘world’ taxi is the way forward,our manufacturers have been left behind again and will die. Sadly, the same old story.

  5. Not the greatest looker, but still recognisable as a British Taxi I think. What LT type TAXI was ever good looking? Iconic and all that yes, but good looking, no.

  6. Looks ungainly, underwheeled, top heavy and whats with the silver plastic around the grille?
    Almost looks like one of those pound shop toy models of a Taxi.

  7. Looks like it was designed by the same muppet that designed the modern Rolls – especially the front end. Magnese Bronze will go out of business, and Geely will buy up the design on the cheap and manufacturer it in China for the world market not just China. This could be good if they based it on a current model as specialist taxi’s are too expensive to build.

  8. It would look OK if they cleaned up the detailing – what on earth is that vile indentation on the boot lid – some sort of half hearted nod to the FX4’s gracious curves? And that cheap plastic grille – ugh!

  9. The back end is reminiscent of the Fiat Multipla – I wonder if they have bought some tooling from Fiat? Also, how cheeky that they have pretty much ripped off the appearance of the LTI? Still, seeing as they have pobably bit the dust, who cares.

  10. Rear ugly, wheelarch surrounds wrong, front not too bad if a fraction childish but spoilt by the ‘right angle’ wings.

  11. ‘Go and design a can that’s even uglier than the TX series’. ‘Challenge accepted’!

    I’ll forgive it if it’s British made, though…

  12. To be fair, on second viewing, if the alternatives to the TX are Vans of various shapes and sizes, this at least seems to offer van like proportions in a more friendly and familiar package. Let’s not forget that the London Taxi Cab is globally recognised as being intrinsically British and it would be a crying shame of that familiar shape was to be lost completely – what would all those souvenir shops do with their old stock of fridge magnets, bookmarks, plates, piggybanks and tea-towels? …

  13. @james

    It hasn’t affected sales of NY Checker cab souvenirs, even though they are now turning to Honda Odysseys, Ford Explorers and those Nissan things, even their Crown Victorias are a dying breed.
    Likewise the Routemaster bus souvenirs are popular in London even though they have been mostly replaced by regular double deckers, though Wrightbus of Ballymena is making a new version inspired by the the original.

  14. Not overly attractive – but with the passage of time and design trends since the original London Austin cabs were built, we have to expect some outlandish designs like this.

  15. What would be the O T R price be, would the body still be fibre glass, what is the engine size, you show us a picture and nothing else

  16. @27, Keith,

    Well, lets hope that the prototype is only wearing a frumpy ‘disguise’, and that underneath there is something rather more attractive.

    Even Ssang Yong would baulk at producing something that looks like that.

  17. I like this cab the more i look at it,there is something Rolls Royce about the lines on this car i cant quite put my finger on.

  18. being a retired taxi driver who drove metro cabs for 20 years they were a world beater. if they were still made I would buy a new one .but I do not think I would buy the new noddy taxi

  19. hi I like this cab very much its about time some one made something that will very green n saves money for drivers on fuell that costs more then gold if work it out.we need something new its about time,but can some one forward me phone no of who ever is making this or ther email thank u.

  20. I hope no.1 it fibreglass, as i still own a metrocab and dont fancy driving a metal cab through plymouth on a new years eve with piss heads kicking and denting the body work. Thats the special party trick of the metrocab i hope they kept it, and looks wise, well the m8 and pugs look nice and streamlined, but whats the point of having that in traffic doing 10mph ? this metro looks like a cab and for one makes me proud to be british, as long as its built here, made of glass sign me up today ! not supporting the chinese economy bu buying a tx thats for sure !!!!

  21. Utterly revolting in the most hideous way possible. Many times worse looking than the Ssangyong Rodius (if that is possible!)

  22. This is way better than the Hunchback from Nissan. I really do like the TX4 most for London but this is the first good alternative.

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