Should you wish to travel in the lap of luxury but don’t fancy driving, the chauffeur-driven limousine is the usual choice of businessmen the world over. But there is a quicker – yet equally sumptuous – way to get to the airport and that’s by taxi, using bus lanes.
Not any old taxi, mind. This conversion from the bespoke coachbuilding division of premium car specialist Clive Sutton is appointed like a private jet for the road. Customers can opt for a plethora of luxury fittings from leather-clad, electronically-reclining heated rear seats with footrests, to a fibre-optic roof mimicking the night sky, or electronic self-closing door fittings from a Rolls-Royce Ghost.
Customers can choose from a four-, three- or an ultra-spacious two-seat set-up with a drinks fridge, on-board WiFi and Bluetooth as standard.
Thick-pile carpet, an ambient lighting system and hand-crafted wood veneers further lift this taxi above the realms of the prosaic. You can even specify a PlayStation or Xbox, its console connected to a 20-inch screen within the leather-clad divider between the front and rear compartments.
Colour choices are almost limitless, according to the firm, enabling owners to be as discreet or as ostentatious as their wallet allows.
Company founder and CEO Clive Sutton said: “While many of our clients seek power, performance and stand-out style, another portion prefer discreet, unique, customisable luxury.
“Our VIP LEVC Taxi enables the most comfortable, spacious and private journey through the city with extravagant features usually reserved for superyachts and private jets.”
The standard LEVC VIP taxi costs £104,680 including VAT. Sutton’s show car weighs in at £121,480 thanks to the addition of two-tone paintwork, built-in umbrella holders and a high-end audio system.
Other options include an electric rear door closure system transplanted from the Rolls-Royce Ghost at £8,400; PlayStation or Xbox built in and incorporated in the AV system for £750; four-seat rear cabin (instead of rear bench seat, two individual rear seats with electric recline and footrests), plus rear fixed centre console incorporating folding tables for £6,720; two-seat rear cabin as four but without rear-facing fold away seats for £5,400.
It is powered by the standard LEVC taxi’s plug-in hybrid system, consisting of a full-time drive battery that’s topped up by a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine acting as a generator when the charge gets low. This gives a claimed range of 317 miles.
Apart from the perhaps the price, the only drawback seems to be the need for the driver to hold a taxi licence – else he can’t use the bus lanes. Gor blimey, Guv’nor.
To talk all things motoring with the Telegraph Cars team join the Telegraph Motoring Club Facebook group here