New Car Launches
London Taxis Get a Makeover
posted on Jan 21 2014 by Jade Hensby
As an iconic feature on the streets of London, the black taxi has been given its own interpretation from Nissan, which will be launched by the end of the year.
The new look of the London taxi is based on a van. Called the NV200, it was originally shown in August 2012. Nissan had received feedback from several key organisations which included the Mayor’s office and Transport for London, and have since designed a new face for the vehicle so that it can “better reflect the iconic nature of the traditional black cab”. The design changes were carried out at Nissan’s studios in Paddington, London. It included changing the grille to make it look more like a traditional black cab. There are also new bumpers and LED lighting for the taxi sign.
An important aspect of the taxi is that it has a 25-foot turning circle, which means the vehicle can adhere to TfL regulations for Hackney Carriages. It is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine, which is connected to an automatic gearbox.
Design Excellence Manger for Nissan, Darryl Scriven, said “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” he went on to say that “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”.
As it stands, there are currently only two other alternatives for London’s 22,600 cab drivers, the traditional L TI TX4 and the Mercedes Vito. The taxi for London is one of several vehicles that is being launched around the world, with the programme including versions for New York, Barcelona and Tokyo.
Nissan have stated that a zero emission electric version is due for release in 2015.