It takes but six months to crown a new American Idol, but the search for a replacement New York City taxi has taken five years, and the winner is finally ready to collect its flowers and contract.

The production taxi version of the NV200 is, except for its looks, just about all a cabbie and his passenger could want from their voyages together: more room, more lighting, a panoramic roof, airbags front and rear, climate control for back-seaters, charging ports and an active carbon headliner to absorb odors are just the start.

We've seen renderings of the interior, but the New York Auto Show is where locals will get a chance to meet their lemony carriages before they enter service next year. A mobility version for disabled passengers is being developed with Braun and will go on sale next year as well. Scroll down for the full skinny on the Taxi of Tomorrow, and click the image above to enlarge.
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NISSAN TAXI OF TOMORROW MAKES WORLD DEBUT ON EVE OF 2012 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

-Available for public viewing beginning April 6
-Driver and passenger input informs key vehicle features
-Coming to New York City streets next year


New York (April 3, 2012) – 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. Starting today, the first full vehicle prototype of the Taxi of Tomorrow can be seen by drivers, passengers and owners. The 2014 Nissan NV200 taxi, New York's Taxi of Tomorrow, will make its global debut tonight at a special event in SoHo with Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn and New York City officials.

Following the event, the Taxi of Tomorrow is headed to the 2012 New York International Auto Show, where it will be on display for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. The auto show at the Jacob Javits Center is open to the public April 6-15.

"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," Ghosn 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."

After a rigorous, two-year competitive bid selection process, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) selected the Nissan NV200 Taxi in May 2011 as the exclusive taxi of New York City beginning in late 2013. The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Design Trust for Public Space and Smart Design also have engaged with Nissan and the TLC in the vehicle's design.

"The Nissan NV 200 unveiled today will be the safest, most comfortable and most convenient taxi the City has ever had," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "New York City cabs have always been iconic, and now they will set a new standard. The 600,000 passengers who use taxis to get around every day deserve the cutting-edge technology and top-of-the-line safety features that this model delivers."

Designed from the inside out, using input from New York taxi drivers, medallion holders, fleets and passengers, standard interior features and passenger amenities include:

• Ample room for four passengers and their luggage, offering substantial improvements over current taxi models
• Sliding doors with entry step and grab handles, providing easy entry and exit
• Transparent roof panel, presenting unique views of the city
• Opening side windows
• Independently controlled rear air conditioning
• Active Carbon Lined headliner to help neutralize interior odors
• Overhead reading lights for passengers and floor lighting to help locate belongings
• A mobile charging station for passengers, including a 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports
• Breathable, antimicrobial, environment-friendly, durable and easy-to-clean seat fabric, simulating the look and feel of leather
• Flat "no hump" passenger floor area for more comfortable ride

Other notable vehicle features are:
• Proven 2.0L 4-cylinder powertrain, engineered to enhance the emission performance and fuel efficiency of the taxi fleet
• 150,000 mile powertrain warranty
• A low-annoyance horn with exterior lights that indicate when the vehicle is honking, so the horn is used less frequently. A 6-way adjustable driver's seat featuring both recline and lumbar adjustments, even with a partition installed
• Unique driver's seat material and stitching to promote improved airflow
• USB Auxiliary audio input and charge port for driver
• Standard navigation system with integrated rearview backup monitor
• Hearing Loop System for the hearing impaired
• Driver and passenger intercom system
• Pre-wiring for taxi T-PEP system

In addition, important safety features of the Taxi of Tomorrow include:
• Only taxi ever to be safety tested and certified with full taxi partition
• Front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags, and seat-mounted airbags for the front row
• Standard traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control
• Sliding doors to lessen risk of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists getting struck by doors opening unexpectedly
• Lights that alert other road users that taxi doors are opening

With more than 13,000 taxis traveling a cumulative 500 million miles per year, building a taxi with the utmost durability is critical to the development process. Drawing on its full range of commercial vehicle experience – including providing taxis for municipalities around the world – Nissan will conduct significant validation testing for the Nissan NV200 Taxi prior to the vehicle going on sale. Additionally, as acknowledged by Mayor Bloomberg during the May 2011 announcement, the Taxi of Tomorrow will be the first New York taxi to be crash-tested with taxi equipment installed, including the partition.

Nissan has also partnered with the Braun Corp., the world leader in automotive mobility products, to develop, engineer and produce a creative solution for a wheelchair-accessible taxi in New York. Drawing on Braun's innovation and experience in the mobility industry, Nissan will offer a mobility solution to New York taxi medallion holders when the taxis go on sale in 2013.

As part of the Taxi of Tomorrow program, Nissan is also working with the City and taxi owners on a pilot program to study the use of zero-emission, electric vehicles as taxis. Nissan will provide six 100-percent electric Nissan LEAFs and three Level 2 charging stations at no charge to taxi owners and New York City to test the electrification of the taxi fleet.

The Nissan NV200 Taxi will be produced in North America at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Total manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of the vehicle, with all planned standard features, will be approximately $29,700.

To stay informed on news and events related to Taxi of Tomorrow, follow it on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/taxioftomorrow or visit www.taxioftomorrow.com.

About Taxi of Tomorrow
In 2007, City officials convened a group of stakeholders, including representatives of taxi drivers, owners and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow. Taxi of Tomorrow was the result of a groundbreaking effort by the Design Trust for Public Space and the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission to re-imagine the entire taxi system – including the vehicle – for the 21st century. 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 to serve as a New York City taxicab. At the end of the evaluation, the Nissan NV200 was selected and will be the next New York City taxicab for ten years, beginning in 2013.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010 and has been recognized as a 2010 and 2011 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.6 million vehicles in 2011. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.

Nissan NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow Specifications*

Wheelbase (inches): 115
Vehicle height (inches): 73
Vehicle length (inches): 186
Vehicle width (inches): 68
Engine displacement (L): 2.0
No. of cylinders: 4
Air quality emissions rating: EPA Tier II Bin 5
Driven axle: Front
Availability: Late 2013
Model year: 2014
Estimated base taxi MSRP: $29,700

Included standard features:
2.0L Engine, front wheel drive
Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
Power windows
Opening side windows
Power locks
Power heated mirrors
Cruise control
Front compartment A/C
Front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags, as well as seat-mounted airbags for the front row
Premium vinyl seat materials
6-way adjustable driver's seat
Driver adjustable lumbar
Driver navigation system
Driver and Passenger Intercom System
Hearing Loop System
Primary partition
Vinyl floor
Exterior graphics
Yellow exterior color
Medallion holder
Low-annoyance horn
Exterior and interior taxi lighting
2nd row 3-passenger bench seat
Panoramic glass roof panel
Rear A/C with rear controls
Active Carbon Lined headliner to neutralize interior odors
Rear passenger reading lamps
Rear passenger charging station with 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports
Sliding doors with passenger entry step and grab handles

*Information on this spec sheet is tentative until final design.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 87 Comments
      Glynn Hadskey
      • 2 Years Ago
      5 square acres? So that we don't confuse it with linier acres?
      rstonnerdd
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can we get a "Wallpaper Download" count . . . not just for this but for all the products featured here? Might make for some interesting discussions on a slow news day.
      rmkensington
      • 2 Years Ago
      If its anything like most of Nissan's other products it probably will fall apart in a year.
        mchlrus1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rmkensington
        I truly can back his point up. I've had an X terra, and within a few day the water pump broke, I had small switches break. There was a rattling in the engine, etc. The interior, was pretty cool looking, so was the exterior...the reason I bought it. But it was all a cheap plastic, not normal cheap but excessively cheap, and the strange lighting really got on my nerves. My aunts Armada was/is even worse. Don't even get me started. If you're going to buy Japanese get a Honda or Toyota, like I have in the past. But I am satisfied with my current American brand car. ? Regardless, people who travel to the US look at New York as the a representative of what people buy in the US. I think the taxi should be a Ford because it would represent the growth of the American car brands again. This Taxi really hinders that. I really don't want to see this ugly thing there. Truly I doubt the designers of this "vehicle" had exterior design in mind.
          Gubbins
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mchlrus1
          The idea wasn't LOOKS, it was efficiency. Who cares about exterior styling for a cab? Its job isn't to look cool...
          Scr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mchlrus1
          They COULD have made it look better, but Nissan just shoved in a piss-poor off-the-shelf design they had sitting around in Europe. Taxis and busses can be an iconic image for a city. Look at the London Cab, the old Checkers, the Double Decker bus. Even the Crown Vic became iconic if for no reason other than longevity. These things will be gone in less than 6 years once Bloomburg is out of office and the stupid decision to mandate these heaps is overturned.
          mchlrus1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mchlrus1
          I for one think it should, there are thousands of them in a beautiful city; why shouldn't they be beautiful?
          Gubbins
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mchlrus1
          Was your Xterra bought new or used?
      Nickoo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Congrats to Nissan for winning the competition with the superior vehicle! Perhaps if American car companies could compete, they would have won the contract. Boohoo losers, better luck next time.
      Rick Intihar
      • 2 Years Ago
      I still can't believe they picked a Japanese brand over an American one.
        chickenflauta
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick Intihar
        Yeah I can't believe New York City would choose a far superior vehicle over Ford's 10 year old design! America championed the free market, right? The Transit Connect is a great vehicle, but it seems like the Nissan won out fair and square. At least Nissan is building the NV out of North American plants. The Transit is assembled in Turkey.
          lne937s
          • 2 Years Ago
          @chickenflauta
          If you actually paid attention to the selection process, the reason Nissan wan was pretty clear: Karzan was vaporware. They made big promises and the proposal looked futuristic, but they have never built a vehicle that passes US safety or emission standards. The city had too much doubt that they would follow through to give them the multi-billion $ contract. Ford underperformed the Nissan by every measure (performance, fuel economy, interior space, etc.). And they refused to crash-test it with the partitian in place. And Ford refused to do significant redesigns to the vehicle to meet TLC requirements. Nissan had a measurably superior vehicle (currently used in Europe) for a foundation. They were willing to develop safety equiptment and crash test for rear passengers with the partitian in place. And they were willing to work with the City to modify the vehicle to fit their specifications. So Nissan offered a real vehicle that was measurably superior and were willing to work with the City to make it better-- that's how they won.
          Sebastian Tombs
          • 2 Years Ago
          @chickenflauta
          Yes, the Transit Connect is assembled in Turkey, but there are plans to build it here in the US. It definitely is far more attractive than the Nissan IMHO.
          Ash Ayman Shairzay
          • 2 Years Ago
          @chickenflauta
          th0mb0ne might be right... The selection process smelled fishy. Ask New Yorkers, including myself, and Karsan seemed like the clear winner, Ford the sentimental pick, with Nissan barely considered. Karsan even proposed building the taxis in Brooklyn - whether or not that was feasible. Yet Nissan was selected. How's that now?
        AP1_S2K
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick Intihar
        this argument is freaking retarded because do you really think that everything IN THE U.S., that is used by the government has to be American made? Well, if that's the case get rid of all the T.V.'s, electronic equipment (Apple, Samsung, Hitachi, Sony, etc), and countless other products (clothes, food products, etc, etc). Are you watching an American TV like an RCA or Magnavox (if you are, all of them are made overseas and Magnavox is a brand name being licensed by a Japanese company).
          Black Fire
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AP1_S2K
          The Nissan NV200 has an international award for it's flexibility and over design. Nissan will be making these with an EV option, so it's not only the best choice for a taxi that meets "today's" needs, but will help make NY City cleaner. These are replacing the current fleet, so if anything, there will be more space on NY streets since the NV200 has a smaller footprint. The 2.0 liter engine is also very fuel efficient, and has a very good global warming score - all good benefits for NY City and the millions of visitors who will be using these taxi's.
          AP1_S2K
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AP1_S2K
          not to mention, a lot of the suppliers for replacement parts will be American companies. It's not just the country of origin or where the vehicle is made that matters.
        Vinuuz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick Intihar
        Or, let's say force them to manufacture this in the US (that also ain't happening, it seems to be an imported car - from Mexico..)
      muppethead
      • 2 Years Ago
      I still wish they had chosen a homegrown product. The Ford Transit van is actually a really good taxi vehicle. This thing is hideous, even the current Crown Vics are sharper looking. Damn, I love the panther platform.
        Sebastian Tombs
        • 2 Years Ago
        @muppethead
        Spot on! And the Crown Vics are easier to get in and out of! I see tourists dismiss the minivan cabs and wait for a Crown Vic. I know I try to get one versus the minivan/prius/escape, etc.
          Gubbins
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sebastian Tombs
          Crown Vics are NOT "easier to get in and out of"; the Nissan cab is specifically engineered for much better ingress/egress than the sclerotic Crown Vic platform. Notice in the press release it says "Sliding doors with entry step and grab handles, providing easy entry and exit"? Hip points are higher (less drop-down when seating, easier to lift up to exit) and higher roof line means better head clearance. You can't see that in the photos?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sebastian Tombs
          [blocked]
        Sebastian Tombs
        • 2 Years Ago
        @muppethead
        I would agree with Dean's comment that the Crown Vics are low. However, their doors are easy to open compared to any mini van. Plus, you don't have to push the armrest out of the way to get in. The biggest plus is that they have the best leg room than any of the option currently out there. All of the CUVs and smaller sedan's are extremely cramped. To be fair, I have not sat in the new Nissan.
        Famsert
        • 2 Years Ago
        @muppethead
        lmao .. did you just call this hideous and praise the Ford Transit?
      Sebastian Tombs
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is plain ugly. Not to mention, NYC should have used an American car and company. Come to think of it, they shouldn't have contributed to the demise of the old Checker Cab Company! We should have a modern version of the Checker like London have with their Black Cabs.
      Basil Exposition
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a real shame.
        Quen47
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        Why? This is about a thousand times better than a Crown Vic
          Jesus!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Quen47
          We will see how long they last compared to a CV.
        789dm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        Real shame why? You want big cars/SUV in the city that have limited space? Sorry if you never drive in NYC before. The city took many lanes for bike lanes, bus lane and pedestrian plaza. Now NYC have narrow streets and avenues. Why not having big SUV for taxi? and let all those big taxi stuck in traffic jams for hours. If you don't live in the city and don't know what is the problem please stop nagging.
      Sam
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope someone restyles this within the next few years - it's butt-ugly and makes me gag.
      Jim R
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe those of us in the civilized world (that'd be New York City) can tell those of us in the uncivilized wasteland (known as "the rest of the world that isn't New York City" to those who live in NYC) exactly why anyone drives at all in that town? It's got the best public transit system in the country, possibly one of the best in the world--and just about the worst traffic of any major metro in the country aside from maybe Los Angeles. It doesn't make sense to me.
        clquake
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jim R
        It's pretty impossible to carry three suitcases, kids & accessories (car seats, bags, toys, etc) on the subway or bus. That's where taxis come into play.
        chickenflauta
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jim R
        For the same reason why anyone would take a cab anywhere in a major European city? If you're a banker on Wall Street heading home late at night, do you really want to wait around in a dirty subway station? The difference between NYC and LA is that almost no one who lives in or close to Manhattan has a car, but cabs are a lot more convenient for those who have the means. NYC subway is well-connected, but it's also a LOT dirtier than its European counterparts, and if you're a wealthy lady heading home from a shopping trip to Bloomingdales who can afford a cab ride, you might just skip the train. Also unlike most US cities, NYC and most other East Coast cities known for their traffic predate the mass usage of the automobile. So yes, the traffic is going to be bad!
        lne937s
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jim R
        NYC transit system is shaped kind of like a spider-- there are legs that reach out to the outer boroughs, but to get from one part to another, you often have to go all the way into Manhattan and all the way back out. For example, if you live in Kew Gardens, Queens, 2.5 miles from the proposed new Aqueduct convention center, it is 1:15 to get there by subway or :45 minutes to walk... By car/taxi, it is 10 minutes. You can get to the Javits Center (much farther away) in less than 20 minutes via LIRR. And even though they added the Airtrain, getting to airports is a pain without taking a car. Also, have you ever bought something larger than what you would like carry for a mile+, up and down stairs, through turnstiles, etc.? Have you ever preferred not to walk a mile+ in the rain/snow/100+ degres outside? Late at night, you can also get stuck waiting a long time for the train to come. There is transit, but you have to walk/carry things to get there-- I am a mile from Penn and a quarter mile from the train station in Queens. I walk that every day, both ways... but there are times (i.e. Costco, Home Depot, getting to meetings, late nights, etc.) when a car/taxi makes more sense.
        Dick Cheney
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jim R
        I have owned a car in NYC for a year and it's been great. I live in Greenpoint (North Brooklyn), which basically is a transit system desert. We have a train called the G which a joke -- it's only is a couple of cars long, so if you miss it, you have to run down the station and catch up with it. It also only comes every 15 minutes and only goes on to make connections to other trains in Brooklyn & Queens. From my apartment it takes about an hour by train/bus to get to work in the city. It's a 20 minute bike ride and a 30 minute car ride, and I don't have to deal with massive swarms of humanity, just massive swarms of cabs on the Williamsburg Bridge. Actually, biking is the fastest way but also the most dangerous as Greenpoint is always full of big rigs due to the film industry and heavy industrial / manufacturing still being done around a bunch of new condo developments. At night, after 7pm hanging out / going to dinner with friends
          789dm
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dick Cheney
          Yes biking is the fastest way in the city. Now go back to the topic of taxi, if they use normal car that use swing open door for the taxi there will be a lot of bikers gonna get hit by those taxi when they open the door but using the sliding type doors there will be less likely a biker will get hit by the taxi doors. Plus they actually USE Ford Connect for the NYC taxi while they slowly change their crown vic fleet to Nissan NV200.
      Fishhawk
      • 2 Years Ago
      My gosh, New York is about to get a whole lot uglier.
      David Hu
      • 2 Years Ago
      As someone who regularly takes a NYC cab (and subway), I really don't get bothered about the looks of my CAB. I don't know about the people below who'll "puke" or "gag" at the sight of a cab, but I'm more concerned about the looks of the car I DRIVE. It's not like it has been great-looking taxis snaking through the streets: Crown Vics, Escapes, Priuses, Siennas, etc. If this new cab is CLEAN and gets me to where I need to go COMFORTABLY, I'm sold. The USB chargers are a welcomed feature. Also, sound-proofing against car horns would be nice, too.
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