Nissan's new London taxi is '50 per cent more fuel efficient' than current London cabs and could save cabbies £1000 per year in fuel bills

This is the NV200, Nissan’s take on the classic London black cab which will go on sale in 12 month’s time. The new vehicle aims to both finally break the hold the classic LTI taxi has on the market and dramatically undercut the new Mercedes black cab on price.

Powered by a 1.5-litre, Euro V, diesel engine in either 90bhp or 110bhp guises, the new cab will be priced from £28,000. In manual transmission form, the NV200 is claimed to offer "50 per cent" better economy than today’s most economical London cab, which is expected to translate into a figure of around 42mpg. Nissan is also working on an automatic version of the new cab.

Nissan claims that this engine will save the average London cabbie about £1000 per year in fuel as well as seeing a significant reduction in particulate pollution. This is seen as essential by London Mayor Boris Johnson, because London blacks cabs travel around 230 million miles per year and, although there are only 22,000 black cabs on the road, they are responsible for 20 per cent of the particulate pollution in the capital.

Nissan will also begin testing an all-electric, battery-powered, version of this London cab in 2013. Nissan says it was inspired to break into the British market for London cabs after winning the competition to supply the new-generation taxi for New York, which is also based on the NV200 van.

Competition in the London cab market has been strictly limited because of the regulation that requires cabs to have a tight 25ft turning circle. Nissan has managed to achieve this in a front-drive vehicle by re-engineering the front suspension.

Bolted to the bottom of the NV200’s McPherson strut is a similar ‘wishbone’ attachment to that used on Vauxhall’s HiPer strut. The drive shaft is split into two, with a second universal joint mounted on the lower wishbone. This means the drive shaft attached to the front wheel is very short, allowing the wheels to turn to a much more acute angle than conventional front-drive vehicles can manage. This set-up means that the front track is now about 200mm wider than on the donor NV200 van.

Features include twin sliding doors to boost passenger access, and a ramp into the rear to enable easy wheelchair access.

Nissan sources say that they expect the normal UK-wide market for London cabs to significantly expand from today’s annual volumes of between 2000 and 3000 per year. New scrappage rules aimed at taking the most polluting vehicles off the market come into force in London. At the end of this month, any black cab over 15 years old will no long be able to be licenced for use.


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6 August 2012

This is the new New York Taxi too... Wow that is a great steal for Nissan if all goes ahead.

Funny how we get a 1.5 Diesel and the US gets a Petrol 2.0. All taxi's should be Economical diesels or hybrids in cities like London and New York. Pointless having a 2.0 petrol IMO, its not like you need the performance crawling at 10mph. I imagine the diesel has more torque too. Alternatively Hybrids have the city MPG. The Prius+ is approved in NYC now too so makes the 2.0 Nissan a bit redundant on paper.

Still better than a V8 like the Crown Vics. I think the only reason they and the US police use them is they are incredibly cheap to repair.

6 August 2012

Looks like the NY Cab that is to replace the Crown Victorias in that city.

A bit of a shame, as in NY big yellow saloon cars are part of the cityscape, as in London black cabs are part of the stereotypical view, alongside red double deckers. Now both are to be replaced by a generic Japanese van.

They really need an autobox too.

(Incidentally the FX4 Fairway, introduced to address complaints about the unreliable Land Rover unit, used a Nissan diesel engine.)

6 August 2012

The black cab is a great icon, but it really needs a cleaner engine in it. In Edinburgh, there are loads of the merc taxis. I spoke to one of the drivers, he said the difference in economy is staggering, and that is in a taxi that is larger, and carries 6 rather than 5, and a bigger boot. 

I think this Nissan is no where near iconic enough, but it is good to see that Nissan have done some clever engineering to get its turning circle down. I think you will be surprised by how many will be sold for fuel economy alone.

6 August 2012

I don't suppose fares will also come down accordingly.

6 August 2012

Do you really want to see these ugly vans trawling the streets of London?  No, nor do I.

They might get better fuel economy and lower emissions, but so would a TX1 with an up-to-date engine.

Maybe somebody should ask Toyota to supply their successful Prius powertrain, as it looks like Nissan is now in direct competition and may not be willing to offer good engines to the TX1 anymore..........

6 August 2012

That's all this is, i.e. the answer to a question nobody's posing. After a few years of these monstrosities running around the capital some Future Boris will be approached by Future Hilton with an idea for Future LTI offering nostalgic Londoners a little hint of 'room for a gentleman to wear his top hat', a suggestion of there being 'sufficient space upfront for the bale of hay' and a rear wheel by which the driver can relieve himself on the carriageway providing he or she is 'shielded by a policeman's cape'. Then somehow everyone will ignore the fact that (just as it was the Routemaster's conductor which made it all work and not just a decision to give it doors at the back) producing a cab which is painted black and simply looks like not-a-normal-car is not the same as producing one which really does the job for which it was designed....

6 August 2012

Yes it's a bland box with the wrong gearbox.

The LTi is woeful though and desperately needs an update. Noisy, slow, and pretty uncomfortable, I don't understand the iconic status they have. A cheaper more fuel-efficient cab..hmm, do you think cabbies might pass on some of those savings?

6 August 2012

Seems to me that Nissan have done a mischievous bit of monkey figures. Dropping from their venerable 2.7 Diesel to a wheezy 1.5L is nothing short of cheating. I cant imagine how awful this will be on a trip from Heathrow into the city. Being a manual as against the auto is again there to justify the so called economies - RUBBISH. A taxi owner is never ever going to buy it in this format. Sooooooooooooooo, it begs the questions

a) Will it have a decent 2.0L modern lump or not

b) will that arrive in 2013 with  a 6 or 7 speed autobox?

c) In that guise - which would sell - what will be the price?? prob the same as the Merc or the existing well tested and trusted LTi ??

In other words Nissan - stop polishing the blarney stone and give us the reality show

what's life without imagination

6 August 2012

I don't think that Nissan or Renault or Dacia have this 1.5 litre engine mated with an auto gearboxanywhere in their respective ranges, so they may never put an auto box on this one as it will be a relatively small seller. They will probably end up putting the 2 litre diesel from the Xtrail in it, ruining the co2 figures and making it as expensive as the rivals.

6 August 2012

They need a complete re-think of the London taxi, just as with the new Routemaster.  They need to make them less polluting - currently they belch out particulates, which is bad for the drivers' health, and as well as everyone else.

The sooner hybrids and electric cabs can be introduced, the better.  Boris has done a great job with the new bus and should set his sights on the Boris Taxi.



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