London's mayor is unveiling the latest incarnation of a British icon.

Boris Johnson says the fuel-efficient shiny red double-decker bus is expected to hit the streets of London the same year as the 2012 Olympics.

An earlier model, London's well-known Routemaster, was retired from general service in 2005. Its replacements — boxy, modern double-deckers and giant articulated buses — have largely failed to win Londoners' affection.

Johnson spent Thursday morning showing off a life-size model of the new bus — one that conserves the rounded curves of the much-missed Routemaster model. He said standing at the back of the bus "brings back a sense of nostalgia."

The new buses are being designed and built by U.K.-based Wrightbus and Heatherwick Studio.

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