The streets of Gotham are about to look a lot different. After being inundated with legions of bulky Ford Crown Victoria and the occasional Toyota Sienna or Prius for years, New York City's hack pool is slated to get a fresh crop of yellow ugly thanks to its "Taxi of Tomorrow" program.
Chief among those vehicles figures to be the Nissan NV200 Taxi, also unveiled at this week's New York Auto Show, but the Japanese automaker isn't the sole manufacturer to be in the good graces of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. The 2013 MV-1 seen here has also gained approval, and its maker, the snappily named Vehicle Production Group, notes that this is the first purpose-built vehicle to gain the board's approval since the Checker Cab.
And not only is the MV-1 purpose-built for taxi duty, it was designed with the Americans with Disabilities Act in mind – the square-rigged design is built around a 56-inch by 36-inch door for wheelchair access, and VPG will fit MV-1s with either manual or power ramps as requested. The American-made, body-on-frame MV-1 will also be available powered by Compressed Natural Gas.
It remains to be seen how many taxi companies are eager to buy vehicles from a startup automaker, but VPG says it has approval for up to 13,000 units. We imagine much of the MV-1's success will come down to pricing and reliability, as well as acceptance of the vehicle's unusual appearance. Of course, Nissan's new NV doesn't look like it will be contending for any design laurels, either...