Manganese Bronze yesterday launched the "most technologically advanced London taxi ever built" which features an engine compliant with the latest European emission laws.

The company said the TX4 has a modified braking system to incorporate anti-lock brakes and had also undergone "a significant external facelift" to modernise the taxi without detracting from its classic design.

About £5 million has been invested in developing the TX4 with £3.3 million spent this year.

Other features include revised rear suspension and an improved interior.

Chairman Tim Melville-Ross said: "Current vehicle sales are ahead of last year and we anticipate a further uplift from the new TX4 model and the introduction of new emissions regulations in London."

Manganese said there were around 17,000 black cabs operating in London that do not meet Phase Three European standards on emissions. By July 2008 all taxis in London must be Phase Three compliant.

"We believe the need for drivers to comply with the new regulations will benefit our sales from July 2006 through July 2008 and beyond," the firm said.

Peter Shillcock, managing director of London Taxis International, said the new cab had been well received by drivers and operators.