he Checker Manhattan was the iconic New York Taxi for decades before it was gradually phased out in favor of the Ford Crown Victoria. Now the Nissan NV200, the London Cab, even through its evolution over the years, has retained a distinct profile and shape, the most recent version being the Geely-built TX4. But the London Cab is about to get the biggest shakeup in its history with the introduction of the Nissan NV200-based "Hackney Carriage."

Knowing what an iconic fixture the vehicle is on London streets, Nissan decided the standard, utilitarian face of the NV200 was too plain and nondescript for such a visible symbol of the city, so it was back to the drawing board at Nissan's Paddington, U.K., design center to come up with a new nose treatment for the cab. Nissan is promising it will be "instantly recognizable" as a London Taxi. If you look carefully through the front cladding, you can see an outline of a rounded arch, suggesting that styling cue from the TX4 and its predecessors will carry over. Also, for the first time in many years, the main engine will not be a diesel. Nissan specifically points out a 1.6-liter gasoline engine as standard. A diesel engine is expected to be optional, and an all-electric version is under development. The styling of the new NV200 London Taxi will be revealed later in 2013.