Tomorrow's Checker?

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
tomorrow s checker

TTAC commentator VanillaDude asks: “So? What would a 2011 Checker look like?” If VPG has their way, it’ll be this, their MV-1, supposedly going into production in October of this year. Well, it may, or not, be a legitimate Checker successor, but its still a hell of a lot easier on eyes compared to what they were planning to build before they touched it up a bit and rounded off the edges. Here comes, so be ready:

Ouch. Sure makes the revised version look almost palatable. The MV-1 ( site here) is the latest in a long series of concepts to capture the specially-designed taxi, livery, and mobility market the Checker once owned. But its chance may not be any better than all the other ones. It’s just too hard to compete with the economics of mass produced vehicles, especially since new ones are coming (or here already) that will do the job admirably, like the Ford Transit Connect.

Unlike the MV-1’s heavy body and Ford 4.6 V8 drive train, the Transit Connect Taxi uses the gas, CNG or LPG in its 2.0 Liter four. And it has the perfect tall-roof walk-in height to put even a Checker Marathon to shame. If Ford were really serious, they’d put the Escape’s hybrid drive train in the Connect, but that would be a pricey undertaking. Even without, it’s the most compelling taxi concept in a long time, and it’s for real.

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2 of 28 comments
  • Philadlj Philadlj on Apr 16, 2010

    I'll take the Connect. The MV-1 would hurt taxi business and tourism in NYC because people would be too embarrassed to get in them and tourists would flee in terror.

  • Buster Brew Buster Brew on Apr 16, 2010

    It seems that the taxi market is a natural extension for Carbon motors. The basic Police platform, without special lighting and with a revised rear seat, would make a fine taxi. A smaller, CNG powered, power plant would reduce casts. The extra volume would help the Carbon business model as well.

  • Frank Sounds like they dont want to debut it at the same time as the new Land Cruiser, which is probably smart. The new 'runner is ready to go I am told, so there's a reason for this delay.
  • IH_Fever My cousin bought a new 4runner 2 weeks ago. It is not much different than my mom's 2010. If it ain't broke, why fix it has always been toyota's motto. What's funny is even the salesman told my cousin "get the current one, when the engine changes there will probably be some issues with the first ones." Gotta be the most honest guy to ever sell a car.
  • Ajla They should just keep making this version forever. The next Tacoma and Land Cruiser have the new tech stuff covered.
  • CoastieLenn I still don't completely understand why Toyota left the 4.0 in the 4R when the Taco on which it's based got the arguably more efficient and stout 3.5.
  • FreedMike Same guys who were charging $15,000 over sticker day in, day out for the last two years? Cry me a river, fellas.