New Yorkers will see their new taxi for the first time starting this weekend.
New Yorkers will view this weekend for the first time in the flesh the taxi that will drive their city beginning in 2013 for the next 10 years. It is not yet the final product but a full vehicle prototype of the Taxi of Tomorrow, based on the Nissan NV200 van, will be on hand at this year's New York Auto Show. And it goes without saying that painting it in the traditional taxi cab yellow was a must.
The Nissan NV 200 was chosen for the job after a competitive two-year bid selection process by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). The process began in 2007 when city officials convened representatives of taxi drivers, owners and passengers to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab. The project was given the name the 'Taxi of Tomorrow'. In December 2009, the TLC issued a request for proposals, inviting auto manufacturers and designers to submit their best ideas for a purpose-built vehicle. The Nissan NV200 was selected.
For starters, it's not a big sedan, but a more convenient vehicle with sliding rear doors and a lot of baggage space. Four passenger seats are available at the back made of antimicrobial, environment-friendly, durable and easy-to-clean seat fabric, which simulates the look and feel of leather. The roof is transparent so passengers will be able to look up towards the New York skyscrapers. A flat "no hump" passenger floor area will make it easier for people to move within their compartment and floor lighting will be an improvement as well. There's also a mobile charging station for passengers, including a 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports.
Controlled rear air conditioning and Active Carbon Lined headliner will help neutralize interior odors. The horn's honk is described as low-annoyance and it will be accompanied by exterior lights flashing to indicate the honking for other vehicles and pedestrians.
The NV 200 is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engineered to lower emissions and fuel efficiency of the taxi's 150,000 mile powertrain warranty. "We're proud to introduce a new era of urban mobility to New York with the Nissan NV200 Taxi - New York City's Taxi of Tomorrow," Carlos Ghosn Nissan CEO said. "The exclusive Taxi of Tomorrow draws on Nissan's global experience in commercial vehicles, as well as insight from New York City taxi drivers and passengers, who helped identify important improvements over today's cabs. The Nissan taxi will deliver unprecedented levels of innovation and comfort to New York's 600,000 daily taxi riders."
Each day, 600,000 New Yorkers hop in the back of a taxi - the iconic yellow cab that is a symbol of New York City around the world. More than 13,000 taxis traveling cumulate some 500 million miles per year. The Nissan NV200 Taxi will be produced at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The total price per vehicle, with all planned standard features, will be approximately $29,700.