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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Comments
77

6 August 2012

Some serious hostility here, and plenty of misinformation.

This is only a lightly modified NV200;essentially, a Note van. It drives like a diesel Note, so quiet, efficient and quick enough - altogether much more suitable for the city than a black cab. The NV200 is also remarkably well packaged - much more so than other car derived vans, like the many Doblo taxis you see on the road. All in, a good starting point for a decent taxi. What's the problem?

6 August 2012

C'mon Reasonable, I'll tell you what's wrong with it - its dull, uninspiring and looks like a van - nobody wants such mediocrity on the streets of London.

 

Why doesn't Nissan support LTi by making the efficient & Euro 5 diesel engines available? That would seem much more sensible to me.

7 August 2012

soldi wrote:

C'mon Reasonable, I'll tell you what's wrong with it - its dull, uninspiring and looks like a van - nobody wants such mediocrity on the streets of London.

 

Why doesn't Nissan support LTi by making the efficient & Euro 5 diesel engines available? That would seem much more sensible to me.

Why should Nissan help them out? They aren't owned by Nissan, are they? Besides, as they are a commercial vehicle, they are classed under different emmision regulations. I love the black cab, but it needs a thorough redesign to be more efficient in the city environment. 

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Woohoo! Page 2 and more are now back open for business Biggrin

6 August 2012

I was just saying that it's much the same as the Doblo taxis that seem so popular where I live. I was considering a small van recently, so I had a go in an NV, Doblo etc. the NV was car-like to drive and much bigger inside than the others in the class that I looked at. Coming from that angle, I don't see why an NV200 taxi is such a bad idea. As it happened, I bought an estate instead...

7 August 2012

I agree with the sentiments of Reasonable; don't fear change.

There seems to be a typical british attitude that everything should be traditional and how it used to be which is frankly nonsense and why we were lumbered with out of date and lacklustre Rover and Jaguar designs for so long..... the reason the old London cab looked like it does is not because it was designed with some idyllic British heritage in mind but because it was designed in 1958.

In Britain we shouldnt be afraid to push the boundaries sometime and come up with something genuinely new and fresh rather than a pastiche of something long outdated. I agree that a standard van based concept doesnt quite hit the mark though as the cab should be something unique to create a new icon in its own right.

7 August 2012

I agree with Reasonable too. The London cabs have been rubbish for too long. A ride to Heathrow is torture in the trad cab. I always try to take the new Mercedes vans that have been around for 2-3 years if I can as they are bigger inside, much more comfortable and faster. The real question is whether the Nissan is as good as them, not whether it is as good as the LT1, where it is plainly better.

 

7 August 2012

I love the old Fairway taxis (not so keen on the TX1 onwards) but, even after its appearance in the James Bond opening sequence in the Olympic opening cermony, I think we need to move on. The interior layout in the Nissan echos the old cabs with the rear seats pushed right to the back and no front passenger seat, but it adds a more space efficient design including sensible sliding doors which are much safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Not so sure about it having a manual box (and does it have a DPF ? - not good for an urban vehicle), but fit it with a hybrid petrol drivetrain and this could be a cracker.

7 August 2012

The FX4/Fairway was designed in the 50's, the current tx4 is from 2006 with the basic shape being from 1997. It's a purpose built taxi from scratch with being a taxi as the intention from the start rather than making a van into one. LTI's look more professional and give an identity which stands out from the rest which look cheap and tacky.

Yes they could be a lot better in terms of build quality and mpg but they are what they are, not some generic vehicle that has no connection to what it's now being portrayed as.

7 August 2012

... Either someone has cocked up BIG time in market research or Nissan has ZERO clue about its market, but what London "black cab" driver drives a MANUAL??

7 August 2012

At least it looks better in black than in canary yellow.  Interesting that the press photos showed the car with full colour bumpers, a nice set of alloys, side steps and foglights - none of which feature on the horrifically ugly NY taxi.  Will the real version of the cab be this dressed up or is this just PR spin?  

I'm all in favour of better and more efficient cabs for large cities, with provisions for historic models in small numbers.  It's nice to see the old Routemasters out and about every so often, and the same provisions should be made for the older London cabs.  The current LTI cabs are the New Beetle version of the older cabs anyway and completely lack the character of the originals, so I can't say I'll miss them.  I'd much rather a cleaner city and more efficient cabs - same applies to New York.  The old cabs were massive and hugely inefficient, so surely overall congestion would improve by replacing them with more spacious cabs that take up much less roadspace.

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