Taking full advantage of the London Olympics, Nissan has unveiled its concept for the future of the iconic London ‘Black Cab.”
After recently securing a contract to become the exclusive cab for New York City, the Japanese automaker is targeting London with the support of the city’s mayor Boris Johnson.
Along with offering more interior space and seats for five adult passengers, the NV200 concept has no passenger seat up front to make more room for luggage. Plus, it has sliding doors, which work better in cramped city spaces and which won’t create dangerous situations for cyclists.
But the NV’s biggest advantage says Nissan is its fuel economy, with a new 89-hp 1.5-liter diesel engine capable of 53.3 mpg, using 50 percent less fuel than the current cabs. It also produces significantly fewer emissions, an important part of Mayor Johnson’s Air Quality strategy for London. And cabbies will appreciate the fact that it will even cost less to buy than a current TX4 black cab.
“Nissan already has a great footing in the London taxi market – the 2.7-litre diesel that featured in some of the early taxis was one of the greatest engines ever put in a cab,” said Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association. “From what I’ve seen of the NV200 London Taxi, it ticks all the right boxes. It’s important that it looks like a cab, is comfortable with good ingress and egress and is reliable. If the fuel consumption figures are as promised, it will be a big seller.”
Said Mayor Johnson, “Improving air quality in London is one of the most important challenges I face as Mayor. Having taken the significant step of introducing the first age limit for taxis in London, I am absolutely delighted that manufacturers are stepping up to the plate and are responding to the challenge I set in my air quality strategy to reduce taxi emissions and improve efficiency. I look forward to when a fully competitive model comes to market.”
With final crash testing yet to take place, Nissan hopes the NV200 will be on sale soon, while it also looks to test a fully-electric e-NV200 model in London soon.