The classic black cab is as much a part of the London landscape as Ford Crown Victoria cabs have been to New York City and, before long, the Nissan NV200 may become a familiar site in both cities. Following the Nissan NV200 winning New York's Taxi of Tomorrow competition, a modified version will soon serve as an alternative to London's classic black cab.
The NV200 London Taxi is powered by a 1.5-liter turbodiesel I-4 engine, producing between 89-110hp and around 177lb-ft of torque. Nissan says that engine combined with the five-speed manual transmission is good for 53.3 mpg on the European testing cycle, or almost 50 percent better fuel economy than the London Taxi Company TX4 currently in service.
To prepare the cab ready for London's busy roadways, Nissan modified the NV200's suspension and steering systems to achieve the 25-foot turning circle required by the Transportation for London (TfL) taxi governing body. The van also receives a unique front fascia with integrated LED daytime running lights, a taxi sign mounted on the roof, and the traditional all-black paint job. Like New York's version, the NV200 London Taxi features dual-sliding doors that accommodate wheelchair-users. The cabin offers seating for five, and also includes USB charging ports and seats upholstered with antibacterial materials. To aid cargo space, the front passenger seat is removed.
Though it won't be here in time to handle the influx of tourists in town for the 2012 London Olympics, the NV200 London Taxi could soon be a common sight in the U.K. city if taxi drivers are willing to make a change from the classic London black cab.