London Cabs Turning Japanese

Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has launched a competitor to the London Cab which has more space, more comfort and more eco credentials than its iconic counterpart.

After upbeat responses to the NV200 from taxi drivers in Tokyo and New York, Nissan are claiming its new car for hire is 50 per cent more fuel efficient than current capital cabs. The NV200 has as 1.5-litre diesel engine offering 89bhp and just over 53 miles per gallon, as opposed to the existing cab’s 35 mpg. The engine pumps out just 139g/km of CO2 (compared with 209g/km).

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, said:

“Nissan already has a great footing in the London taxi market. The 2.7-litre diesel that featured in some of the early taxis was one of the greatest engines ever put in a cab. From what I’ve seen of the NV200 London Taxi, it’s important that it looks like a cab, is comfortable with good ingress and egress and is reliable. If the fuel consumption figures are as promised, it will be a big seller.”

The NV200 has been built on the same platform as Nissan’s NV200 van. Seating five adults (three on a bench, two rear-facing), the cab also includes a fold-down front passenger space for luggage. A sliding door design makes access easier too. Indeed, the NV200 has been specifically designed to accommodate those with mobility issues.

Alan Norton, from Assist UK, commented:

“We are proud to be associated with Nissan in the development of an accessible taxi to meet the needs of all disabled people. The work is on-going and future refinements are planned after the initial launch, as many ideas have been discussed and are currently undergoing development.”

The Nissan NV200 looks likely to receive London Taxi certification later in the year. There is an all-electric ‘e-NV200’ set for London trials in 2013.

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