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Nissan NV200 London taxi unveiled

Mon, 06 Aug 2012

Nissan has revealed a new London taxi, dubbed the ‘NV200 London Taxi', following the compact van's selection as New York City's Taxi of Tomorrow. It promises to be just as controversial in the UK as it is Stateside.

The NV200, which measures in at 1,860mm high, 4,440mm long and 2,100mm wide, seats five passengers with three on a rear bench and two rear facing fold down seats while the removal of the front passenger seat increases luggage space, much in the same way as the traditional London taxi.

The rear seats fit on sliders, increasing rear cabin space and wheelchair access, while sliding doors have been added as a safety feature and for improved ease of access. Wheelchairs can be tied down easily using fixation points built into the floor and bulkhead.

The driver and passengers have separate lighting, heating and ventilation controls that can be easily reached by wheelchair passengers, and floor-level lighting is fitted to each door. A 1.2 square meter roof is designed to improve the passenger's experience of driving through the city.

London taxis are required by law to have a turning circle a 7,600mm (25 feet), and as such the NV200's front wheel articulation has been increased.

Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President of Nissan, said: "The design process for the NV200 London Taxi was exhaustive and will be further improved. In addition to ensuring drivers would be comfortable spending extended hours behind the wheel, we've had to consider every user for this vehicle. There are no specific customer profiles in the back of a London cab."

However, while it may be objectively superior to the traditional LTI black cab, which is now manufactured by Geely in China, its design is far less iconic. The cab's ubiquity in our cities is as important as the buildings between which they drive and as such the Nissan could be accused of representing as much of a negative cultural step in London as it does in New York.

By Rufus Thompson