Those that arenít aware, the current London black cab is the TX4 cab, which still looks like the Austin FX4 black cab from the 1950s (in use till the mid-1990s). The design of the current TX4 cab was deliberately styled to recall all the styling cues of the original, hence keeping with tradition and for me personally, making that trip to London all the more worthwhile.
I suppose Nisan contends that the NV200 is designed to be flexible and economical to run. The MPV (which is what it actually is, and not a proper looking car) has sliding doors and a five-seat passenger compartment. It also complies with London taxicab regulations that call for a 25 ft (7.6m) turning-circle and the ability to accommodate a passenger in a wheelchair. Nissan aims for the NV200 to be certified and will begin testing soon.
But with the London black cabís shape and style imprinted in my mind to be a certain shape I truly hope that no black cab company adopts it. How can a MPV give that proper London taxi experience compared to the TX4?
It is actually the same in New York, but not to the extent of what would happen if London adopts the NV200. We used to imagine large yellow Fords and Chevy 4 door sedans ferrying passengers. Instead, there will be NV200 MPVs doing the same. The New York experience is slightly watered down as you may not step into something American when you first touchdown over there.
Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer said "Nissan is proud to be delivering a 21st century vision for one of London's most iconic vehicles. The Ďblack cab' is as much a part of the London landscape as Big Ben and, whilst there will always be a place for that familiar silhouette, the Nissan NV200 London Taxi focuses as much attention on its interior as the exterior - a better experience for drivers and passengers."
After looking at the photo below I doubt that an MPV has the same silhouette as the current iconic London cab. Tempura flavoured fish ní chips without the tartar sauce but with wasabi in newspaper anyone?