London is getting a new taxi, and its based on the same Nissan NV200 as New York's recently failed 'Taxi of Tomorrow.' The van-like taxi will hit the streets of London in December 2014, with an electric model set to roll out in 2015.
London has said goodbye to its famous Hackney cab once and for all.
A custom version of the Nissan NV200 has been debuted as the Taxi for London. Based on the same model as Mayor Bloomberg’s recently-quashed “Taxi of Tomorrow” here in New York, the new Taxi for London boasts being “designed in London, for London.”
"Having already overcome the unique technical challenges presented by the development of a new Hackney Carriage for London ahead of our launch of the vehicle in August 2012, we turned our attention to making the vehicle look the part,” Darryl Scriven, Design Excellence Manager at Nissan Design Europe said in a statement. “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.”
Based on the exterior photos released by the automaker, it appears that the famed round headlamps and grille are all that remain.
Much more van-like than London’s current fleet, the Nissan NV200 made headlines in New York City last year when Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Schlomo Hagler blocked the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s plan to mandate taxi owners buy the NV200, just weeks before the new taxi hit the streets.
The vehicle is currently part of city taxi programs in Barcelona and Tokyo.
While it is not immediately clear if the rear jump seats that allowed the Hackney carriage to hold a minimum of five passengers, the new Nissan model is expected to be handicap-accessible.
Powered by a 1.6-liter gasoline engine, the NV200 is expected to be much cleaner in terms of emissions than the outgoing diesel models
According to Nissan, the production model will be launched by the end of this year, with an electric model slated to hit the streets in 2015.
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