1976 Alfa Romeo Taxi Concept To Be Shown At Alfa Romeo Museum in Milan
All the way back in 1976, Alfa Romeo and Italdesign were asked to make a cleaner and more efficient taxi by the New York Museum of Modern Art. Both companies accepted the challenge. The concept car that was produced was certainly instrumental in creating the concept of the MPV.
Picture the New York taxi of the 1970s. The cars that come to mind are the taxis that were produced by Checker. The Checker A-series that was around at this time is the USA’s equivalent of our Black Cabs. However, these whilst they were purpose built taxis, were basically just normal saloon cars. This meant that they lacked the practicality that some taxis we have now have. Such as easy access for wheelchairs, copious amounts of storage options and a flat floor.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York therefore challenged Italdesign and Alfa Romeo. They wanted them to create a better taxi for New York. One that was cleaner and more efficient than the taxis used at the time. So Alfa and Italdesign got to work.
What they produced doesn’t seem like anything special in today’s day and age. The car however included a lot of technology that was new at the time. The car was based off of Alfa’s F12 van. It had a wheelbase of only 4,000 mm. Despite a short wheelbase, the car was extremely well packaged which meant it could seat 5. There was also easy access for a wheelchairs, and also built in storage for them. The car was also the first to have sliding doors. An innovation that makes for better ease of access to the taxi and something that has become popular on MPVs today. The car also had a completely flat floor, making sure that legroom wasn’t an issue.
Underneath, as I mentioned, the car was based off of an Alfa Romeo F12 Van. It had a 1.3 litre petrol engine and also had independent front and rear suspension. Many concepts introduced on Alfa’s taxi made it on to the Lancia Megagamma.
This car was influential as it introduced many things that we see on modern MPVs and taxis. On the 24th and 25th of August, the car will be on show at The Alfa Romeo Museum in Milan. This is an extremely unique concept car, so if you are in the area, it would certainly be worth having a look. Plus, along with seeing the taxi, the museum also contains lots of other interesting Alfas which you can enjoy taking a look at.