Just like the yellow cab that is associated with New York, the black taxi, known as a Hackney Carriage, is an iconic image for London. Japanese automaker Nissan has launched their own version of this in a bid to compete with Chinese car company Geely, which is currently dominating the market in the city.
Nissan claims that the NV200 cab, which runs on a 1.6 liter petrol engine taxi, will be cleaner than the current diesel cabs running around London, as it has lower levels of mono-nitrogen oxides, or NOx, and other particulates. A statement from the company says that this is part of their “global taxi program” which includes New York, Barcelona and Tokyo. The London version’s design is bespoke, reflecting the rich heritage and status of London’s black cabs,” said the company. They launched an earlier version last August 2012, but eventually went back to the drawing board to redesign it to make it look more like the black cab after feedback from the office of Mayor Boris Johnson, Transport for London and other relevant organizations.
The current version also closely follows the strict regulations imposed by the government on the black cabs, including the 25-foot (7.6-meter) turning circle. It now has round headlamps and a grille that is modeled after the “face” of the black cab, as well as LED lighting for visibility and new front bumper panels. The improved version will be on sale by December 2014 for around $36,000 and will be manufactured at an existing plant in Barcelona, with modifications to be added in their Sunderland plant.
[ via Motor Trader ]