You’ve got to give Nissan credit for gumption when it comes to its efforts related to its “global taxi program.” You may recall that Nissan had won the Taxi of Tomorrow program in New York City, wherein its taxified NV200 was going to replace the 16 different accredited models rolling through NYC. . .but then last fall a state Supreme Court judge put the kibosh on that.
Now it has developed its Taxi for London, which was designed at Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in Paddington (London).
Speaking of its approach to the classic black cab, NDE Design Excellence Manager Darryl Scriven said, “The Mayor’s office and taxi drivers were very keen that we maintain the character of the Hackney Carriage, making it something that people in the city can be proud of.
“The main challenges were concerned with making sure customers can easily recognize it as a taxi. Being in London, we were able to go out and talk to cabbies about what was important to them as well as look at the vehicle from a customer’s viewpoint. It’s unusual for us to be able to work on something as bespoke as this, specifically for one location in the world and we are very proud to have been asked to do so.”
In addition to which, engineers at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe based in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, worked on the Taxi for London, as well.
London-specific design mods include the round headlamps, a stately grille, new front bumper panels, and LED lighting for the “Taxi” sign on top.
The vehicle will go on sale in London in December 2014. It will be offered with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and automatic transmission, somewhat different than the traditional diesel and manual.
Nissan is also developing cabs for Barcelona and Tokyo.
The Nissan Design Europe studio, incidentally, is also where the Juke and the Qashqai (Euro crossover) were designed.