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Nissan Reinvents The Black Cab

By raccars Published

The Japanese company is hoping its NV200 will become a common sight on the streets of London next year, having already taken its place as the cab of the future in New York.

Nissan claims the NV200 is a cleaner, greener take on the traditional black, which, in its most recent form as the LTI TX4, is looking rather dated in its construction and technology. However, the version of the NV200 to be used in New York will require some adjustments before it will meet Transport for London's regulations – such as ensuring sufficient headroom to allow rear seat passengers to wear top hats!

Fundamentally, the NV200 must be able to achieve a 25 foot turning circle, which is said to allow cabs to complete the Savoy hotel roundabout in a single manoeuvre. This required a 200mm extension to the front track and suspension replacements. Another Transport for London regulation stipulates indicator placement according to vehicle width, which, in the case of the NV200, meant the light cluster indicators had to be placed on the front apron instead. Add also slip resistant flooring.

Having complied with more than 70 Transport for London regulations, Nissan gave some attention to passenger comfort. Panoramic glass sunroofs are convenient for tourists, USB inputs are very modern and adjustable seating can prioritise space according to the quantity of passengers or luggage. The rear doors are sliding, to prevent nasty accidents in traffic and allow wider access for passengers in wheelchairs.

However, the NV200's most important selling points are its clean, green technology and the knock on financial effects. The Nissan Juke's 1.5 litre diesel engine offers significant improvement upon the Fairway's 2.7 litre dinosaur – think fuel consumption of 53.3mpg as opposed to 35.3 and CO2 emissions of 139g/km versus the current 209g/km. It comes in 88bhp or 109bhp guises.

The cumulative effect of the modern technology is 39,000+ metric tonnes less in CO2 emissions annually and fuel bill savings of some £700. If that's not convincing enough, there's an EV variant in the pipeline.

Nissan has yet to confirm pricing but industry rumour suggests a figure from £28,000-£32,000, meaning the NV200 will not only have lower running costs but also a lower purchase price than the current TX4 or the popular alternative, the Mercedes Vito. The company hasn't gone into this venture half heartedly either, having collaborated closely with London's cabbies, to ensure the NV200 hits the mark. It lacks the traditional cab's distinctive profile but is hard to argue with in practical terms and looks likely to transform London's familiar cabscape.

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