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Nissan unveils new NV200 black cab
Next time you hail a taxi in our nation's capital you could end up in one of these - the new NV200 taxi is Nissan's "bold new vision for the London black cab".
The black cab is based on the NV200 compact van that Nissan launched in 2009. Taxi versions of the NV200 have already been launched in Tokyo and in New York, where the vehicle has been designated as the 'taxi of tomorrow' and earmarked to replace the city's classic yellow cabs in the coming years.
Taxi versions of the NV200 have already been launched in Tokyo and in New York
The NV200 black cab can take five passengers and has been modified to adhere to the Transport for London (TfL) London Taxi Conditions of Fitness. Under these rules, a taxi must be able to accommodate a wheelchair passenger and achieve a super-tight 25ft turning circle.
To get this level of manoeuvrability, the NV200 London Taxi has a front track widened by 200mm and increased wheel articulation. The turning circle requirement is said to have been imposed so that licensed Hackney Carriages could get around the tiny roundabout in front of the Savoy hotel on the Strand in one go but it also comes in handy for every cabbie's favourite manoeuvre - the U-turn.
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Nissan has a longstanding link with London's black cabs, its TD27 2.7-litre diesel engine provides the power for the classic LT1 FX4 'Fairway' model but the new NV200 taxi has a smaller and environmentally friendly powerplant.
In standard guise, the NV200 is powered by a 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine with a six-speed manual gearbox. With combined cycle economy of 53.3mpg, the engine helps make the NV200 around 50% more economical than the most efficient of the current TX4 black cabs. There's a similar benefit in terms of emissions with the NV200's 139g/km CO2 output trumping the 209g/km pumped out by the greenest TX4.
there's a full electric version with the powertrain of Nissan's LEAF electric car
Boris Johnson, mayor of London, said: "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."
An automatic version of the NV200 will also be available even though only a tiny percentage of cabbies are expected to take it up. More usefully, there's a full electric version going on trial in London with a powertrain based on that of Nissan's LEAF electric car. The e-NV200 is estimated to have running costs of around one fifth those of a diesel-powered Hackney Carriage
Socialvoices: The loss of traditional taxis would be a tragedy
Video: inside the Nissan NV200 black cab
Inside Nissan's New York taxi
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