Aston Martin jump on board to design a thoroughly modern London Routemaster bus

When London's Mr Magoo-ish buffoon turned Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced a competition to design a 21st century version of the beloved Routemaster bu

When London's Mr Magoo-ish buffoon turned Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced a competition to design a 21st century version of the beloved Routemaster bus, ears pricked up at Aston Martin HQ. Teaming up with Sir Norman Foster's Gherkin-creating architecture practice Foster + Partners, they created this sleek electric reimagining.

Electric motors in the wheel hubs drive the new Routemaster, reducing the height of the floors and making it easy for disabled people to get onto the bus. The bus is also far more nimble than its diesel powered forebear with a 10% better turning radius. (continues below)

The engine can easily be swapped out for maintenance and upgrades while the windows are far larger and include skylights to fill the bus with natural light. The sunlight will also charge the bus's batteries (assuming London's sunny enough).

There's also the kind of luxury touches you expect from an Aston Martin design. Filthy fabric seats have been switched out for reconstituted leather and the floors featured recycled wood paneling.

While these images are just artful renders, the AM/F+P Routemaster will become a reality in 2011 when prototypes will take to the streets of London.

If the super-green electric bus has whetted your appetite for more eco-transport revisit our vidcast special.

(via Coolhunting)