Thursday, May 5, 2011

NY hails upcoming Taxi!

"A new king will be running the streets of New York!" -hitwheels

Nissan has pulled off a huge coup by winning a contract that will see its one of its commerical vehicles become New York's next yellow taxi. The reason for the change is to find a successor to the discontinued Ford Crown Victoria and the mixed collection of hybrid cars and sport utility vehicles that are temporarily filling in.

Previously the famous cabs were Ford Crown Victorias but Nissan beat the blue oval Ford and Turkish maker Karsan Otomotiv with a purpose-built version of its NV200 Vanette. The 10-year contract is worth around £600m and will start in 2013. The winning design from a Japanese auto maker would ultimately replace the 16 different car models currently used by the city's 13,237 licensed taxicabs! The old cabs will be ultimately phased out by 2018.

Interior Cabin of the NV200

While the Nissan MPV's (multi-purpose vans) looks are hardly evocative of a traditional New York 'yellow cab', the taxi is designed specifically for its role, featuring a glass roof to offer views of skyscrapers, charging points for phones, ample, flexible seating, sliding doors for easy access and satnav. The new king wasn't 'off the rack', but rather custom-tailored to create the best fit for the drivers, owners and passengers of NY city. Of the three finalists, the NV200 was the cheapest at £18,000 (Php 1,272,316) per vehicle and with fuel economy of around 25mpg, much less thirsty than the 12mpg (5.1 km/L) Crown Victoria. By 2017, Nissan will offer electric versions too.