A specially adapted Nissan NV200 has been revealed as a new rival for London's iconic black cab.
The Nissan has been modified to meet strict operating standards, which includes the stipulation that vehicles must offer a 25ft turning circle. Nissan has achieved this by widening the track between the NV200's front wheels by 20cm and making changes to the steering and front suspension.
Power is provided by a 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine, in 89bhp or 110bhp form. Average fuel economy for both versions will be around 53mpg, with CO2 emissions of approximately 139g/km.
Passengers benefit from sliding rear seats and a glass roof in the back.
Nissan claims 38,000 tonnes of CO2 could be saved annually if all London Taxi Company black cabs were replaced by the NV200. The most efficient current black cab produces 206g/km of CO2 and does 35.2mpg.
Nissan will also trial an electric version of the NV200 taxi, which has the same powertrain – and 109-mile range – as the Nissan Leaf hatchback. Nissan is aware that this isn't enough for the average 120-mile daily needs of the London cabbie, so it plans to install fast-charge points, and possibly wireless charging, at taxi ranks.
The NV200 black cab is due on sale by the end of 2013, and is likely to costs around £28,000. Trials of the electric version will start in 2013, ahead of its planned launch date in 2014.
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