Ford Transit Connect NYC Taxi Cab – Click above for high-res image gallery

New York City is one step closer to choosing its next official taxi cab. With the Ford Crown Victoria getting on in years, the city is looking for a more efficient and functional way to move its citizens around. So far, the designs have been whittled down to three choices, and no matter who comes out on top, you can bet that the world will be seeing a lot more minivans in the Big Apple. Nissan, Ford and a Turkish company by the name of Karsan all have designs in the final round, and each eschews the traditional sedan taxi form in favor of something with a taller roof line.

Right now, New York City uses a fleet of 13,200 cabs built by a variety of manufacturers, but none of the vehicles are purpose-built people movers. For the next generation, NYC wanted a vehicle that was specifically designed to handle the average 70,000 miles of stop-and-go abuse per year that the city's taxi fleet endures.

Ford has thrown a version of its Transit Connect into the fracas, while Nissan's effort looks to be an industrial minivan that the company says could be fully electric in just a few years. Meanwhile, the Karsan design is spacious and wheel-chair accessible.

The winning design is set to be selected next year, with the new cabs hitting the street by the Fall of 2014. Thanks to all for the tips!

[Sources: NPR, WNYC]

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