NISSAN last week unveiled its version of London’s iconic black cab, a market currently dominated by Chinese firm Geely after the carmaker bought the rights from the cab’s British maker.
Nissan claims its new 1.6-liter gasoline engine taxi will be cleaner than the current diesel cabs being used in the British capital.
“The NV200 cab for London is part of Nissan’s global taxi program, which also encompasses New York, Barcelona and Tokyo. The London version’s design is bespoke, reflecting the rich heritage and status of London’s black cabs,” the company said.
Toyota at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show had displayed its version of a London black cab.
Nissan’s new cab was first unveiled in August 2012, but after feedback from Mayor Boris Johnson’s office it has been redesigned to more closely resemble the black cab “face” with bigger headlights, a prominent taxi sign and a big front grille. The new cab adheres to the strict regulations governing the capital’s black cabs—known officially as Hackney Carriages—including the required 25-foot turning circle.
The vehicle will be produced at Nissan’s existing plant in Barcelona and modifications will be added in Britain, home to the company’s huge Sunderland plant. It will go on sale in London in December priced about $36,000.
Nissan enters the market as the original maker of London’s famous black cabs finds a new life. Chinese auto manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group last year rescued from bankruptcy what is now known as London Taxi Co.