When it comes to taxicab design, there are two basic templates: the big boats out of Detroit like the Crown Victoria and the quainter, more bulbous look of the London taxi. It's that latter form factor that prevails in the new concept car--er, taxi--from Ford Motor.
In fact, underlying the hackney concept vehicle is a van straight out of Ford's European fleet, the Transit Connect. The automaker has been selling that van in Europe since about 2003 and plans to bring it to the U.S. in 2009. The taxi version is just one possible configuration; Ford is primarily pushing it as a handy conveyance for small businesses.
What makes the Ford Transit Connect taxi concept a truly 21st-century vehicle, rather than a throwback to a bygone automotive era, are some high-tech amenities. The vehicle has an in-dash computer for the driver (GPS, Bluetooth, etc.) and a touch-screen entertainment center for the passenger.
For more, see "Photos: Ford's boxy, high-tech taxi."