This is the all-new taxi for London, unveiled by Japanese carmaker Nissan yesterday.
Based on the company’s venerable NV200 commercial vehicle, the taxi was first unveiled in August 2012, but has since been redesigned to look more like a traditional Hackney Carriage, following feedback from the London Mayor’s office and Transport for London.
So – like it or not – this is what the future of taxis is going to look like in London. In place of the NV200’s standard Nissan face, a new front end has been grafted on with road headlamps and a trapezoidal grille in the style of the iconic black cab.
The taxi also comes with new front and rear bumpers, and a ‘Taxi’ sign illuminated with LEDs, for greater visibility.
The finished product is the work of Nissan Design Europe (NDE), which is based in Paddington, and has past credits including the hugely popular Qashqai and Juke crossovers.
Nissan’s Design Excellence Manager, Darryl Scriven, said: “The main challenges were concerned with making sure customers can easily recognise it as a taxi. Being in London, we were able to go out and talk to cabbies about what was important to them as well as look at the vehicle from a customer’s viewpoint.
“It’s unusual for us to be able to work on something as bespoke as this, specifically for one location in the world and we are very proud to have been asked to do so.”
Unlike current black cabs, which use a 2.7-litre Nissan diesel engine, the NV200 will come equipped with a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a CVT automatic gearbox. It has been chosen as it emits less particulates and Nitrogen monoxide, which greatly contribute to the capital’s poor air quality. Fuel consumption is likely to be improved over the traditional black cab, too, due to vast savings in weight.
London isn’t the first city to adopt the Nissan cab, with versions already racking up serious mileages in Barcelona, New York and Tokyo.
The NV200 taxi will go on sale in December 2014, from an exclusive outlet in Canary Wharf, priced from £30,000.
Nissan is also developing an all-electric version, dubbed the e-NV200, which it aims to have fully running on UK roads by 2015.
What do you think of the design of Nissan’s taxi for London? Have your say below.