Despite rumours within the trade, the vehicle has an automatic gearbox and a new front bumper panel
Nissan says the 1.6 litre petrol-engine taxi will be cleaner than the current diesel cabs which are used in the capital. But with a new launch date of December will Nissan lose market share to proposed new modifications from Mercedes, the TX5 Hybrid and the all electric MetroCab.
The NV200 taxi, which was first unveiled in August 2012, has been modified following feedback from taxi drivers and the Mayor of London's office.
The iconic round headlamps of the FX and TX models and a re-designed grille are key features of the new taxi, which unfortunately doesn't goes on sale till December 2014.
The Taxi has been developed by the company's European design centre in Paddington, west London.
Nissan says the latest version adheres to TfL's conditions of fitness which include a requirement for a 25ft (7.6m) turning circle.
Following consultations with TfL, LED lighting was added to improve visibility of the traditional taxi sign and the vehicle was given new front bumper panels.
The grille was also remodelled to mirror the traditional front of a black cab.
Nissan NV200 London Taxi Specifications*
Vehicle Height 1.9m
Vehicle Length 4.41m
Vehicle Width without mirrors 1.91m
Vehicle Width with mirrors 2.1m
Turning circle 7.6m
Engine Displacement (L) 1.6
Number of cylinders 4
Engine Power (HP/kW) 115/86
Torque (lb-ft/Nm) 117/158
Driven axle Front
Estimated Base Taxi MSRP
Price to be confirmed, but significantly lower than TX4 price
Key Feature List:
1.6 Petrol Engine, Front Wheel Drive
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)
Power windows front, rear pivot with sliding porthole in doors
Front and rear compartment A/C
Premium Vinyl Seat Materials
Exterior and Interior Taxi lighting
2nd row tip seats with integrated seat back
3-passenger Bench Seat split 60:40
Panoramic Glass Roof
Rear heater and rear controls
Passenger Entry Step and grab handles
Wheel chair access through nearside sliding door
Integrated rear facing restrained wheel chair position
USB and 12v passenger charging points
*Information we've been given is tentative and subject to change.
Editorial Staff Comments:
During the presentation it was explained that Nissan wanted to retain the iconic look of the “London Taxi” and you could say that to some extent they have managed to achieve that aim. But an alternative view could be taken that they have merely tried to paste the front of a TX onto the NV200 Van.
It appears that this launch was basically just to show off a redesigned front end of the NV200 so we were only invited along to have a look at a couple of headlights and a grill as the rest of the vehicle including the interior has not yet been finished. We were not allowed to sit inside and sample the drivers legroom or viewpoint, we were not even allowed to open the doors as they were locked!
The hire sign on the vehicle did look good and showed up quite brightly even in the extremely well lit innovations centre and should not pose any problems while working the streets. The paintwork on the Taxi was of a very high standard as you would expect with it being a launch vehicle.
One thing that I think may present a problem, is the side running boards they have decided to include which protrude quite a bit and could pose problems on high kerbs and may even be of concern when 2 NV200 are trying to pass each other on one of London’s narrow streets.
Also the front wheelbase of the NV200 is quite a lot wider than that of the rear which will require some adaption when parallel parking in reverse as the when the rear wheels are close to the pavement the front wheels will be scrapping along kerb.
Something I found quite interesting, was that this launch NV200 was fitted with Alloy wheels, which have not been seen as standard before on a London Taxi. I wonder will these stay, or whether they will be replaced with steel wheels once the vehicle is launched.
Nissan state that the expected Launch date for the NV200 London Taxi is to be December 2014 which is quite different from the original launch date which was proposed as January 2013 and then October 2013 so only time will tell as to whether Nissan actually met this launch date or not. Also, the Nv200 will initially only be available with a 1.6 Litre petrol engine and it remains to be seen as to how well this engine will cope with 6 passengers and driver onboard going up Highgate Hill?
Nissan stated today that they are committed to bringing an NV200 Electric Taxi that will be launched somewhere in the UK, they didn’t say that it would be London but that it would be a UK City, the Electric Taxi is expected to have a range of about 120 miles but that is under perfect driving conditions where you need to coast along to red traffic signals so that the batteries are being recharged, also I wonder what effect driving at night in the rain with the heaters and heated rear screen on would have on the range of the batteries?
The Worlds big media companies were present at this launch and seemed to show a lot of interest in both Fitz and myself, as we were the only real working Taxi drivers present. We gave a few interviews and aired our views with regards to the NV200. Nissan seem to be putting a lot of money and energy into promoting this Taxi and in their presentation they stated that they hope to produce 140,000 of theses Taxis in the first year of production which is more than LTI/LTC have produced since 1948 which is quite and ambitious projection.
Will this NV200 Taxi be good for London?
That is the million dollar question?
Competition is always good to keep the existing manufacturers of purpose built taxis on their toes and to keep them improving on the vehicles that they build but will it further dilute the traditional iconic image and presence of the London Taxi?
Will it bring us another step closer to blurring the division between the London Taxi Trade and Private Hire that is one question that I am not sure of.
Read more from Supercabby at: http://london-taxi.co.uk