The FX4, launched in 1958 to replace the FX3, and the resulting vehicle would become the longest running and most recognisable British motor cars of all time. The design of this London Taxi would not only become the globally recognised and iconic Black Cab shape, it would also become an integral part of British history, synonymous with England's capital city.
The new vehicle was once again the result of a collaboration between Carbodies, Austin and Mann and Overton.
Prior to the official launch of this vehicle, members of the London Taxi trade were invited to Coventry to review and feedback on this new design, which featured four full doors, unlike its predecessor the FX3.
The Fairway built upon the design heritage established with the FX4 and was launched into the London Taxi trade in 1989. It has been described as the best version of the FX4 ever built and this reflected in the high levels of uptake within the London trade.
The name was the brainchild of Carbodies founder Bobby Jones, inspired by gold, one of the favourite pastimes of the London Taxi trade.
The vehicle was available in three specifications - Bronze, Silver and Gold - and was an immediate hit with the trade.
This new London Taxi was designed from the ground up to meet not only the London Condition of Fitness, but later was updated to reflect new requirements brought in under the Disability Discrimination Act.
The TX1 was launched in 1997 following changes in requirements for motor vehicles to meet European Whole Type Approval, which were came into force in 1998.
The vehicle took 28 months to design and included improvements in comfort, safety and styling, and was originally to be named the Fairmile.
However, following an ideas forming meeting, the team settled with TX1 - TAXI with 'A' taken away.
The TX1 was the first London Taxi to be available as left hand drive, opening up additional international markets for the company. The vehicle was also available in Bronze, Silver and Gold specifications.
The TXII in 2002 and featured additional product improvements including a passive anti-theft system, single-piece centre division, increased luggage room, improved driver visibility and full width glass in the rear passenger doors.
Similar in styling to the TX1, the TXII was also available in Bronze, Silver and Gold.
The TX4 was introduced initially in 2006, redesigned to reflect key design elements of the original FX series, as well as compliance with Euro Emissions regulations.
The new vehicle was initially available in Bronze, Silver and Gold specification options.
It has since updated twice since it initial launch in order to comply with Euro Emissions requirements, and is now available in either Style or Elegance specifications.
Exterior styling was revitalised with a larger front grille, new front bumper design, fog lights, taillights and rear number plate housing. Internally a new driver's headrest was introduced, passenger head restraints, redesigned driver-passenger intercom, as well as improved
in-car entertainment and a new heating system.
Mechanical improvements included the introduction of Anti-lock Braking System, a Diesel Particulate Filter, coil rear suspension with anti-roll control, Electronic Stability Control and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
Accessibility remained an important aspect of this vehicle update, with a folding wheelchair ramp, hearing aid induction loop, high visibility grab handles and passenger seats, swivel seat and an additional removable intermediate step fitted as standard.
It is the safest, cleanest and most efficient London Taxi to date.
The future London Taxi is in development, due to go into production in 2017.