Ford may eventually scrap the legendary Crown Victoria yellow taxi for a modified European transit van that's more efficient and high-tech.

The Ford Transit Connect, unveiled at the New York Auto Show last week, is based on the Ford Tourneo Connect -- a vehicle that's been trundling along UK streets, delivering brown goods and generally offending eyeballs since 2002.

Thankfully, its specs have been been vastly upgraded for the taxicab concept. The passenger compartment will feature a 13-inch touchscreen display that provides a running tally of the cab fare, plus control over entertainment and navigation options. Passengers can watch video and music selections, news, weather and sports headlines, or view a map of their local area complete with points of interest.

The driver compartment is home to an in-dash computer based on the Microsoft Auto platform. This could offer taxi firms real-time transmission of vehicle location and maintenance information, satellite navigation and Internet access, plus compatibility with wireless keyboards, mice and printers, should the driver fancy running some kind of mobile Internet cafe in his spare time.

In addition to the obvious tech improvements, the Transit Connect could also bring environmental benefits. Ford says it emits 90 per cent less carbon monoxide than the old Crown Victoria, and we reckon it should get around 50 per cent better fuel economy, too. Our only reservation is that it looks so damn European -- it'll look hideously out of place on NY streets.

Click the thumbnails for a closer look and more info, then let us know what you reckon in the comments below.

The Transit Connect looks more York than New York, but we may have to get used to seeing it on US streets if Ford gets its way.
The Transit Connect has a large, sliding door for easy access, and space for three forward-facing rear passengers.
This 13-inch touchscreen can play videos and music to entertain passengers. The silver ball in the centre is used to get money to and from the driver, and is known as the Sputnik.
The touchscreen keeps a running tally of your journey's cost, and helps you work out how much extra money you should tip the driver. Y'know, for doing his job he's paid to do and stuff.
This map mode gives you an idea of surrounding businesses or attractions, and can help you keep an eye on whether the driver is taking too circuitous a route.
In the driver's compartment, the Transit Connect has an in-dash computer based on the Microsoft Auto platform. It'll do sat-nav, provide Internet access and more.
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