Got a lift to Blackpool to pick up the taxi that will be taking us to Le Mans and back (I hope). We gave it the once over, and all seems to be well mechanically, although the list of niggles is quite long.
A 4 speed auto (yuck) box, and a naturally aspirated 2.7 Nissan Diesel engine, this is apparently the cream of the FX4 taxis. The trip across the Pennines was interesting, as it’s not the fasted vehicle I’ve ever driven. Top speed of 70mph (once, downhill), but I’m not inclined to do that as it felt very much like I was staring into the jaws of death. Average cruising speed of about 55mph.
The steering is vague to say the least, but you can put on a 1930s suit and pretend you’re in an old film as you waggle the wheel from side to side. At least you’ll crash with your sense of humour intact. Once it bites however, you turn, and boy how you turn. Believe everything you’ve read about the astonishing turning circle of these things, and if you’ve read much about chronic understeer and heart-in-mouth moments when exiting roundabouts, believe that as well.
The brakes are excellent though, as the RX8 that I nearly destroyed will testify. My bad, as I was trying to follow the advice when driving automatics, and left foot brake. That’s fine until 10 years of instinct kicks in when going slowly up a hill and reaching to change down.
I think I’ll stick to traditional methods in future.