London-town is on the verge of replacing the ubiquitous London black cab (the London Hackney Carriage Company’s black cab) with the NV200-based Nissan Black Cab. Yep, that photo is a the minivan-based taxi that has the same bones as the new New York taxi. This Nissan Black Cab was designed in London specifically for the London market at Nissan’s European center in Paddington, UK.
The new Nissan Black Cab (or Nissan London Cab) will launched in December of 2014 with an electric/zero-emission variant coming in 2015. The design is meant to draw a nostalgic line between the outgoing London Cab and the upcoming Nissan Black Cab.
Design Excellence Manager at NDE, Darryl Scriven, said: “Having already overcome the unique technical challenges presented by the development of a new Hackney Carriage for London ahead of our launch of the vehicle in August 2012, we turned our attention to making the vehicle look the part.
“The Mayor’s office and taxi drivers were very keen that we maintain the character of the Hackney Carriage, making it something that people in the city can be proud of.
“The main challenges were concerned with making sure customers can easily recognise it as a taxi. Being in London, we were able to go out and talk to cabbies about what was important to them as well as look at the vehicle from a customer’s viewpoint. It’s unusual for us to be able to work on something as bespoke as this, specifically for one location in the world and we are very proud to have been asked to do so.”
The most notable or unique differences between the Nissan Black Cab and the Nissan New York Taxi is the front section of the vehicle and the use of LED lights. A completely new front end complete with unique bumper panels and round headlights is the most notable exterior difference.
Normally aspirated Nissan Black Cabs will be available with a 1.6-litergas/petrol engine equipped with an automatic gearbox. No word if that automatic transmission is a CVT like the regular NV200 van. According to Nissan, compared to current diesel London taxis, the 1.6-liter gas/petrol engine will be much cleaner, with lower levels of polluting particulates and a smaller carbon footprint.
The electric Nissan Black Cab will look a lot like the gas version, but the grill will be replaced with a plastic solar panel. Nissan will adhere to the TfL (Public Carriage Office – Transport for London) regulations governing Hackney Carriages, requiring a 25-foot (7.6-meter) turning circle.
Andy Palmer, Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Corporation, said: “Since we launched our Taxi for London in August 2012, we have worked closely with the Mayor’s office and associated stakeholders and interested parties to ensure that Nissan’s new cab not only raises the bar for both driver and passenger, but is also as instantly-recognisable as its legendary forebears.
“Alongside this, our engineers at Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, have continued work on the cab, running real-world trials on the streets of London.”
It takes more than round headlights and a black paint-job to make a London Cab. It takes charisma and a hint of old-world personality. Perhaps the Nissan Black Cab will have some character too.
Speaking of Nissan, check out our off-road/snow video review of the 2014 Nissan Rogue!
I suppose it’s Fish n’ Chips vs Sushi.
I like both – yum!