Flexible new taxi model to be built by ADV manufacturing in Coventry from December
Mark Tisshaw
29 January 2014

Final assembly of Nissan's new NV200 Taxi for London will be undertaken by ADV Manufacturing in Coventry at a dedicated new plant.

The joint investment deal between ADV Manufacturing and Nissan is worth £6 million. New taxis, based on donor NV200s sourced from Nissan's Barcelona plant, are due to start leaving the Coventry site in December. 

ADV Manufacturing's work on a new site adjacent to its existing factory will include equipping the NV200 with "new bodywork, a taxi interior refit and revised suspension and steering", according to Nissan.

Nissan chief planning officer Andy Palmer confirmed the deal in a speech to Coventry University students. The firm revealed that ADV was chosen "on the basis of its expertise and track record in the production of specialist vehicles, and on its ability to meet Nissan’s rigorous manufacturing standards".

The new Taxi for London, unveiled in the capital earlier this month, is claimed to have a number of advantages over the traditional TX4 London cab, including notably lower running costs and a level of reliability "that comes from being derived from a global mainstream vehicle" rather than a low-production bespoke vehicle, according to Nissan. 

The NV200 Taxi for London follows similar NV200-based taxis for New York, Tokyo and Barcelona. It will initially be offered in 1.6-litre petrol form with an all-electric version to follow in 2015. 

The design of the taxi includes several nods to the classic black cab, including in its chrome-heavy front grille and round headlamps – the latter units taken from Nissan’s Juke model, although there’s no Nissan badge on the front.

The distinctive flared front wings have to accommodate the wider track of a new front suspension system, which is unique to the London version of this Nissan. This was designed to meet the TfL 7.6m taxi turning circle regulations. The raised ride height also allows the car to offer the minimum 10in ground clearance requirement.

Darryl Scriven, Nissan’s London-based design excellence manager told Autocar that the new taxi was developed at Nissan’s Paddington design studio, in close consultation with Transport for London, the Mayor’s office, disabled groups and London cab drivers.

Detail additions include running boards, an LED taxi light on the roof (which is easier to see when illuminated during the day) and twin, wider, sliding rear doors for wheelchair access. Driver comfort is also being flagged up as an asset, thanks to the ‘superior’ seats and adjustable steering column. Passengers in the capital also get to have a better look at the city thanks to a panoramic glass roof.

The rear cabin has three seats on the bench and two more that fold down from the back of the front seats. The front passenger seat and the space around it is used for luggage. 

Power for the taxi comes from a 113bhp, 117lb ft, 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a CVT gearbox. Economy figures have yet to be announced, but up to 40mpg is expected, with particulate (10mg/km) and NOx emissions emissions (1.0mg/km) significantly lower than traditional diesel taxis, which are a significant contributor to the poor air quality in central London. The Nissan’s real world economy is expected to be much better than today’s TX4 diesel cab, partly because the TX4 weighs nearly two tonnes.

The planned electric version will use much of the battery and EV technology from the Leaf hatchback.

There are around 20,000 black cabs on London’s roads, but upcoming emissions regulations will soon force many of the older cabs off the road, with Nissan targeting a significant share of the market this will open up. The lack of a diesel-powered version of the Nissan taxi also suggests that the capital’s authorities are trying to squeeze oil-burning cabs off the roads over the next decade.

The taxis will be sold exclusively by Nissan franchise dealer Glyn Hopkin in a purpose-built facility in Canary Wharf. Prices are tipped to be competitive with the existing LT1 TX4 taxi starting at an estimated £30,000.

Servicing costs are also expected to be lower than the competition, thanks to touches such as 14in wheels, which will reduce tyre replacement costs.

Hilton Holloway & Mark Tisshaw

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Comments
32

6 January 2014
And not very nice lipstick at that.

Hopefully cabbies will recognise that their customers still prefer a more aesthetically-pleasing design and stay away from this monstrosity.

6 January 2014
That fact that Mark has mentioned that this vehicle will not have a Nisan Badge on its nose but fails to mention it's seating capacity shows he's just repeating some blurb given to him.
Perhaps if he got of his arse and did some proper journalism he could find out the vehicles seating capacity and inform potential customers something of relevance.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

6 January 2014
.... the original van front end styling is better than a faux TX4 effort. other sources suggest this will have a capacity of 5 passengers including wheelchair & disabled access.

6 January 2014
These things are beginning to desecrate the streets of New York. A pale shadow of the Checker, Caprice Classics even Crown Vics. Hmm, how do we "restyle" it for London? Round headlamps and a big chrome grille! What could be more British than that? Do me a favour. It used to be so exciting travelling in different taxis round the world now will we end up in these things everywhere? I wonder how Nissan will "tailor" them for Berlin, Paris or Rome??

29 January 2014
ONoodle wrote:

Hmm, how do we "restyle" it for London? Round headlamps and a big chrome grille! What could be more British than that?

Not very British! The only time British cabs didn't have round headlights and chrome grilles was in the day of horse and carriage. Even the old post-war cabs in Carry-on Cabbie as well as 'Glamcabs' Cortina's had round headlights and big chrome grilles.

6 January 2014
Won't be authentic unless they make it sound like a hammer drill, belch clouds of soot and give the interior the odour of Eur de Subway Meatball sauce.

6 January 2014
Whilst Noddy and Big ears may be excited about this new addition to Toyland, I am less sure that your average Hackney Cabby driver is going to so enamoured about Nissan’s take on a taxi for London.
Whilst the TX4 may need updating or replacing for something more modern and efficient, is this really the best that can be offered? Do we not have the technical ability in Britain to produce a proper taxi design with a plug-in hybrid engine that could be sold all around the World?

7 January 2014
Harry P
Taxi for Toyland revealed
1 day 1 hour ago
Whilst Noddy and Big ears may be excited about this new addition to Toyland, I am less sure that your average Hackney Cabby driver is going to so enamoured about Nissan’s take on a taxi for London. Whilst the TX4 may need updating or replacing for something more modern and efficient, is this really the best that can be offered? Do we not have the technical ability in Britain to produce a proper taxi design with a plug-in hybrid engine that could be sold all around the World?

Something more like this you mean?

newmetrocab.com/

I'm still not entirely convinced by the design, but it's a damn sight better than Nissan's "effort".


6 January 2014
I don't really see why a taxi should look good - nobody is going to let one of these pass by on a cold, wet evening in order to wait for a nicer looking cab. If it saves them money then cabbies will like it.

Better fuel economy, lower running costs, less pollution - what's not to like (disregarding the irrelevant aesthetics)? Oh it's different to how cabs used to be and it's foreign. Those are really good reasons to write it off...

6 January 2014
Michael.P.Ross wrote:

I don't really see why a taxi should look good - nobody is going to let one of these pass by on a cold, wet evening in order to wait for a nicer looking cab. If it saves them money then cabbies will like it.

Better fuel economy, lower running costs, less pollution - what's not to like (disregarding the irrelevant aesthetics)? Oh it's different to how cabs used to be and it's foreign. Those are really good reasons to write it off...

Well said. Were I a cabbie I'd have this over the archaic, cramped, thin-seated (all in driver terms) FX4, or the overpriced Merc Vito any day of the week. It's cheaper to buy and run, and sure to be a million times less likely to break down than either. It's a no-brainer.

Were the FX4 presented today, the same numbskulls wah-wah-wah-ing about the Nissan's design would be falling over themselves to denounce its look. The FX4 has always been pig-ugly, but familiarity breeds respect, it would seem.

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