My Panamanian friend Pedro was recently in London on a business trip, and he excitedly called me up to tell me, in his hilarious accent, that he’s riding in a van named after me. Apparently, the Mercedes-Benz Vito Traveliner has been licensed to work as a “Black Cab” in London.
The Vito is more fuel efficient and “greener” than the traditional London black cab, and it has better passenger comfort and cargo capacity. Really, the only thing the traditional black cab (the TX4) has going for it is it’s look, since it has that old fashioned “London Black Cab” look. Well, the times are changing, my oversea cousins, and I think the London taxi fleet may soon be made up of Vitos.
Steve Bridge, Mercedes-Benz UK’s van sales and marketing director, said: “(The Vito) is a fantastically versatile taxi, superbly comfortable and fuel-efficient, and boasting a comprehensive array of active and passive safety features.” The new Vito meant for taxi use has an additional steering rear axle that allows it to turn in an extremely tight circle.
Of course, I’d rather have an SL-class Benz named after me, but hey, it’s something.