Roman's Taxi is a variant of the Albany Esperanto used by Roman Bellic's taxi company in Grand Theft Auto IV and The Lost and Damned. Roman's taxis are only driven by Roman and his employees, though Niko can drive them in a side mission between Concrete Jungle and Roman's Sorrow.
The car is visually distinguishable from the Esperanto by its minor alterations—red or yellow taxi emergency lights affixed to the front and back, taxi registration number on the trunk, advertising on the rear bumper and rear window, and a custom red interior. By default, Roman's Taxi is dark gray with a discolored gray driver's side front fender. It can be resprayed to other colors, and may be randomly resprayed back to its default appearance, except the driver's side fender will no longer be discolored. The taxi has a different horn to the regular Esperanto, and has only one exhaust pipe, as opposed to two on the regular Esperanto.
After aquiring the Middle Park East Safehouse, from completing "Hostile Negotiation," the Esperanto based taxis will be replaced by Cavalcades. Like the original taxi, it is made by Albany, is mostly black and Mohammed still drives it.
Performance and handling-wise, the taxi is heavier than the Esperanto (1700 kg to the Esperanto's 1600 kg), and has inferior acceleration, but has a significantly greater top speed of 295 km/h (183 mph) to the Esperanto's 218 km/h (135 mph); it also has slightly stronger braking and softer suspension. The handling feels good and can go around a corner at 40 mph without much trouble. It is slightly less prone to deformation than the Esperanto, and can better withstand collisions.
Use as a taxi
Niko can call Roman to send a taxi to pick him up, after gaining his favor. The taxi driver is notoriously short-tempered, with the taxi rides peppered with insults hurled Niko's way for being a "freeloader". The cabs are unavailable between The Master and the Molotov and Blow Your Cover due to the events of Roman's Sorrow. After unlocking the Algonquin Safehouse (at which point Roman's business appears to have become highly successful), Roman's taxis are replaced by a fleet of gray Cavalcades, with the same disgruntled driver as before. After this, the car is no longer available, unless the player has saved one at a safehouse.
The car can be stolen by the player when it arrives after the player calls for one.
- The ride, no matter where or how long, is free of charge.
- The driver won't leave when the player attains a wanted level.
- It is a good choice for a drive-by, having someone else drive.
- The vehicle's doors are locked, so if the player accidentally tries to carjack the taxi, they will not gain a wanted level for vehicle theft. Because of this, the LCPD will not be able to arrest Niko if the player gains a wanted level while inside the taxi.
Roman's Taxi is the first vehicle that the player drives in Grand Theft Auto IV, and was prominently featured in pre-release materials, with the car initially painted with an all-black body color. It features as part of several early missions, including GTA IV's taxi side-mission.
In Grand Theft Auto IV, in the mission, "The Cousins Bellic," Roman's taxi features an all-black body, To obtain the vehicle, park the vehicle in the parking space but do not head towards the mission marker, and commit suicide. The vehicle will be there when the player returns.
In The Lost and Damned, Roman's taxi may appear in the mission "Roman's Holiday." If Johnny Klebitz calls Roman (555-2222), Roman will arrive with his taxi shortly after the call. Soon after, Johnny and Malc will start kidnapping Roman in his taxi and bring them to the hardware store in Broker. Roman's taxi can be obtained if Malc is killed in this mission. If Roman is killed instead, Malc will drive off with it after the mission failure cutscene.
- "Albany" may actually have been the true beta name of this car. First, it had been seen on pre-release pictures a long time before Rockstar Games decided to incorporate Vehicle Brands to the game. And secondly, inside the file "american.gxt," the car's text entry is under the name "ALBANY."
- When driving Roman's Taxi while being chased by the police, the police scanner will refer the car as "Roman's Esperanto." This may have been another beta name for it, considering it is obviously based on the Esperanto.
- The Roman's Taxi driven during "The Cousins Bellic" features an all-black body, as opposed to other occasions when the car features a discolored quarter panel. It is also notable that Roman's Taxi in the cutscene sports wheels from the Marbelle, as more that this was the beta model of the car.
- The default radio station in Roman's Taxi is Vladivostok FM.
- Roman's Taxi features the door-ajar chime which can be heard easily in the first mission "The Cousins Bellic." Before moving the vehicle, switch the engine off and get out without closing the door. With a turned up volume, the player should be able hear the chime.
- Although Roman's Taxi always spawns in the default black paint job, it can be resprayed at a Pay 'n' Spray for a silver or red paintjob.
- The car will not retain misplaced fenders in silver or red, so only the stock variant is classified as a beater.
- The player can take the taxi in the mission "Roman's Sorrow" if they leave their car after the cutscene and take the taxi instead. After the mission, the player can save the car at the Bohan Safehouse. Once the player has completed all 30 of Stevie's Car Thefts, Niko can then sell the Taxi to him for $2000.
- Roman Bellic owned a fleet of Roman's Taxi, black Esperantos fitted with Taxi accesories.
- Esperanto, the base model of the car.
- Taxi, equivalent of the Roman's Taxi appeared in all games.
- Cavalcade, the Roman's Taxi successor, as a result of a huge replacement.