London, you know it, the city hosting a sporting event at present, and also the home of the London Black Cab which carries over 300,000 passengers each day and clock up over 230 million miles each year, will see a new taxi hit the streets in 2014.
The clever folk at Nissan have unveiled their vision of the ‘taxi of tomorrow’, the NV200 London Taxi, a project first initiated in New York City.
Nissan’s bid to become the future London taxi of choice is big business, with over 20,000 black taxis running on the capital’s streets each day. The manufacturer has a history of involvement with the black cab – it supplied the 2.7-litre diesel engine to the iconic 1989 FX4 Fairway, a favourite of the capital’s cabbies.
The NV200 London Taxi has been modified from the New York Model to meet Transport for London’s legal requirements, including specific headroom height originally introduced to enable passengers to wear a top hat in the back.
The London version has a 200mm wider front track to house the NV200’s new front suspension, reworked to give the London cab a turning circle of less than 25 feet, allegedly so that cab drivers can make it around the roundabout at the Savoy hotel in one go.
All taxis will have a panoramic sunroof for sight-seeing, plus USB sockets to enable passengers to charge gadgets on the move. The taxi seats move back and forth to give more passenger or luggage space. Sliding rear doors not only boost access for wheelchair users, but also stop people opening doors into traffic.
The NV200 cab will use a 1.5-litre diesel engine capable of over 50mpg, more than 50 per cent more efficient than today’s most economical black cabs, and it’s ready for electric. Next year, Nissan will start to trial all-electric NV200’s in the capital, which could go on sale as soon as 2014.
Nissan says converting London to all-electric taxis would remove 38,000 tonnes of CO2 from the capital’s smoggy atmosphere, as well as saving the average cabbie over £1000 in fuel bills each year.
Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President of Nissan, said: ‘Nissan is proud to be delivering a 21st century vision for one of London’s most iconic vehicles. The ‘‘black cab’’ is as much a part of the London landscape as Big Ben and, whilst there will always be a place for that familiar silhouette, the Nissan NV200 London Taxi focuses as much attention on its interior as the exterior – a better experience for drivers and passengers.
‘The Nissan NV200 is a global taxi, launching in the biggest and brightest cities in the world. Safe, comfortable, efficient and convenient – it’s a great step forward for providing a transport solution that is good for both its users and other city inhabitants.’ (Quote & Image source: Nissan Insider).