After replacing the Ford Crown Victorias in New York City and then replacing the taxis on the streets of Barcelona, the Nissan NV200 has set its eyes on the iconic London Black cabs.
On the prestigious occasion of the 2012 London Olympics, Nissan has unveiled another Taxi version of the NV200 to replace Hackney Carriage also known as London’s Black Cabs. For London, the Nissan NV200 would be aptly referred to as 'NV200 London Taxi.'
What powers the NV200 London Taxi?
Unlike the New York version which is powered by a 2.0 Petrol engine, the London version of the NV200 is powered by the same 1.5L turbocharged DCi engine that does its duty in many Indian cars such as Micra, Sunny, Pulse, etc.
It is available with 90bhp or 110bhp. Both powerplants are fully compliant with the latest EuroV emissions regulations. The 90bhp version is mated to a five speed manual and the more powerful 110bhp is mated to a six speed manual (ala Renault Duster).
Nissan is working on an automatic version of the NV200 expected to debut in 2013.
Nissan claims a fuel efficiency figure of 18.87 kmpl for NV200. This makes the manual version 50% more fuel efficient than the current London taxi which delivers only 12.49 kmpl. An average London cabbie can save 700 pounds monthly if he adopts the NV200.
More importantly, the NV200 emits 139 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, a significant reduction the current Taxi’s average of 240 g/km. Nissan claims 38,000 tonnes of CO2 could be saved annually if all London Taxi Company black cabs were replaced by the NV200.
What are the cab passengers treated to?
On the inside, passengers are treated to a number of amenities such as:
- A 12.9-square-foot panoramic glass roof
- USB charging ports
- Individual climate and lighting controls.
The NV200 has seating for five in the back (three on the rear bench, two in rear-facing jump seats), and space for luggage to the left of the driver. It is completely wheelchair accessible thanks to a sloping entry ramp that extends from the floor.
Has Nissan made any changes to the NV200 to make it suitable for London's streets?
Yes, of course. London regulations state that any taxi has to have a turning radius of 25ft. Nissan has engineered a clever front suspension that helps the NV200 achieve the stipulated turning radius. The clever suspension has increased the front track to 200 mm.
[can't see the video above? Head over to Youtube]
The NV200 gets sliding passenger doors which are very convenient to open and close in tight spaces. They are also much safer for pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles simply because they don’t swing out.
So when does this ‘New’ London Cab hit the streets?
Early next year. Nissan aims to receive full London Taxi certification later this year including crash test results.
This is the perfect time for Nissan to introduce the NV200 for London because new regulations suggests that by the end of this month, any black cab over 15 years old will no longer be able to be licensed for use. Adding to that, UK-wide market for London cabs will significantly expand from today’s annual volumes of 2,000 to 3,000 cabs per year.
[can't see the video? Head over to Youtube]
Nissan also has plans to begin testing an all-electric, battery-powered, version of this London cab in 2013. The Japanese automaker is aware that the London cabbie travels more than 120 miles in a day, so it plans to install fast-charge points and possibly wireless charging at taxi ranks.