Nissan has just unveiled the new London taxis based of the Nissan NV200 commercial truck platform. These new Nissan taxis will keep the classic and iconic London black Taxicabs look and feel while adding updated tech and features that passengers are looking for nowadays.
It is important to understand that while the new London taxis has been developed for London streets, in London. The platform and design came out of Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in Paddington, UK. This is the same design center responsible for the Nissan Qashqai and Nissan Juke. The new London taxi will be launched at the end of the year, December 2014, and will be equipped with a modern 1.6-liter gas engine mated to an automatic transmission. Compared to current diesel London taxis, this engine will be far cleaner, with lower levels of noxious fumes being released into the atmosphere. Nissan is also planning to launch a zero emission electric version of the Nissan NV200 taxi for London streets in 2015.
The NV200 cab for London is part of Nissan’s global taxi program which includes several major cities around the world like New York, Barcelona and Tokyo. New York City recently launched the updated fleet of Nissan NV200’s which the public voted on what features they wanted on taxis. The commercial Nissan NV200 has also been used for cool projects like a Guitar Restoration Van. Nissan’s taxi program also includes utilizing Nissan Leafs in Mexico City.
The new London taxis design is British “bespoke” reflecting the rich heritage status of London’s black cabs have around the world. They will feature round headlamps and a redesigned grille mirroring the traditional black cab ‘face, LED lighting to improve visibility of the traditional taxi sign, and completely new front bumper panels. In developing the NV200 Taxi for London, Nissan has ensured that it adheres to the strict TfL regulations governing Hackney Carriages, including the required 25-foot (7.6-meter) turning circle.
“The Mayor’s office and taxi drivers were very keen that we maintain the character of the Hackney Carriage, making it something that people in the city can be proud of.” said Darryl Scriven who is Design Excellence Manager at Nissan Design Europe. The fleet of London Taxis was first unveiled as a bold at the London Hackney Carriage in August 2012. The London Mayor’s office then took feedback and response from organizations like the Transport for London.
“The main challenges were concerned with making sure customers can easily recognize 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.” commented Scriven. Nissan has been doing tests with the new taxis on London streets to get a better idea of how they will perform.
Nissan franchised dealer group, Glyn Hopkin, has been assigned as the exclusive dealership to sell the Nissan NV200 London taxis from a purpose-built facility based in Canary Wharf. Nissan has a history in the London taxi market which some might not expect. This started with the its 2.7-liter TD27 diesel engine which was fitted to the FX4 ‘Fairway’ and TX1 black taxicabs during the 1980s and ’90s. These engines gained a reputation for reliability and durability (which is not surprising since they were not built by a British automaker.)
While Londoners will be looking forward to the new Nissan NV200 London taxis that will be on the streets at the end of the year it will be exciting when Nissan releases the all electric e-NV200 in 2015.
New London Taxis
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