Based on the NV200 light-commercial vehicle, the Nissan NV200 Taxi for London was designed at Nissan’s European design centre in Paddington, with input from the London Mayor’s office, Transport for London, and several other key organisations.
While the NV200 forms the basis for several taxis around the world, including cabs in New York, Barcelona and Tokyo, the Taxi for London’s design is largely bespoke, with unique round headlamps, a re-modelled grille, LED lighting for the ‘taxi’ sign, and completely new front bumper panels all designed to make the vehicle instantly recognisable as a black cab.
“The main challenges were concerned with making sure customers can easily recognise it as a taxi,” Nissan Europe design excellence manager Darryl Scriven said.
Upon its launch in December, the Nissan taxi will feature a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to an automatic gearbox, and will also adhere to the strict TfL regulations for Hackney Carriages, including the required 7.6-metre turning circle. In 2015, this drivetrain will be joined by a zero-emission EV version, the Nissan e-NV200 (pictured below).
The vehicle retains the sliding rear-door set-up of the NV200, as well as its ability to seat five passengers and a driver.
Nissan is not an entirely random choice of provider for London’s black cabs; in the 1980s and 1990s, the manufacturer fitted its 2.7-litre TD27 diesel engines to the FX4 ‘Fairway’ and TX1 black cabs, gaining a reputation for reliability and durability in the process.