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What Checker began, AM General's Standard Taxi aims to build on.

What Checker began, VPG and AM General's Standard Taxi aims to build on.

Granted – the headline is a mouthful, but how else could I get across the specifics and uniqueness of these exclusive photos?

After showing early concepts and prototypes as early as 2007, Vehicle Production Group has refined the design of  its upcoming Taxi – giving the vehicle a softer and friendlier look. And we caught the first running prototypes with the new design characteristics.

Working with the General Motors Powertrain folks, as well as Clean Energy Fuels Corporation (for the CNG version) – and with assembly scheduled to start by 2010 at AM General’s Mishawaka, Indiana facility, it appears that the “Standard Taxi” is planning to finish what Checker started.

Below is an excerpt from a VPG press release dated 2008:

“VPG is working with General Motors through its on-highway integrator Powertrain Integration LLC. Marketing, technical, and infra-structure logistical support for the CNG model will be provided by Clean Energy Fuels Corp., founded by T. Boone Pickens, both of whom are also investors in VPG. The vehicle will be assembled by AM General LLC, in Mishawaka, Indiana, and will employ a classic front-engine, rear-wheel drive architecture which includes a durable body-on-frame structure. Vehicle access is compliant with the vehicle requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The vehicle includes an integrated automatic ramp that will provide quick and easy access for individuals who use wheelchairs, motorized scooters and other mobility devices. Originally introduced as the “Standard Taxi”, VPG’s vehicle has undergone design and functional enhancements based on input from the marketplace.”

* More views available @ LeftLaneNews.com

Photo Credit: Brian Williams for Brenda Priddy & Company

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