There's a great history to purpose-built taxis. London still uses the same type of Black Cab, but while New York's iconic Checker cabs have long since disappeared – replaced by Ford Crown Vics and all manner of other vehicle – they're making a comeback in the form of the Nissan NV200.

Though based on an existing van design, the platform which the Bloomberg administration chose for the next-generation yellow cab has been comprehensively rethought to make for the ideal livery service vehicle. But what's been known until now as the "Taxi of Tomorrow" is about to become the Taxi of Today as production has kicked off in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

In order to accommodate taxicab production on its NV200 assembly line, Nissan modified the production process to include the installation of taxi-specific features like the panoramic sunroof, antimicrobial upholstery, plenty of lighting and grab handles aplenty. The paint shop had to also add that special shade of yellow, all so that the taxis could roll off the line ready to pick up their first fare in Manhattan.
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New York's "Taxi of Tomorrow" Moves Closer to the "Taxi of Today" as Nissan Begins Production

IRVINE, Calif. – Production of the Nissan NV200 Taxi – New York's "Taxi of Tomorrow" – is now underway at the company's assembly plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Nissan developed the new taxi, which is based on the NV200 compact cargo vehicle, to suit the specific demands of the more than 600,000 people who ride in New York City taxicabs every day.

In 2011, after a competitive two-year selection process, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) of New York City selected Nissan NV200 as the exclusive taxi for the city.

Manufacturing of the taxi
The Nissan taxi will roll off the line looking as if it's ready to be hailed. Preparations to launch production of the taxi in Cuernavaca entailed the challenge of modifying the production line to integrate exclusive taxi characteristics without affecting production volumes and while maintaining award-winning quality records. The Paint Shop added the exclusive New York taxi yellow color and new elements to achieve a perfect under-floor seal. The plant also added an exclusive afterline to complete taxi-specific manufacturing processes such as bodylines, side door windows and the vehicle's panoramic roof.

New York's "Taxi of Tomorrow"
Designed from the inside out using input from New York taxi drivers, medallion holders, fleets and passengers, the Nissan taxi features more content tailored specifically to the unique needs of New York City cab service than ever before.

Nissan created its own "New York Avenue" at its Arizona proving grounds to replicate harsh conditions of New York City streets to rigorously test the NV200 taxi so that the suspension can be tuned specifically to NYC road conditions. Additionally, Nissan hired New York City cab drivers to drive test vehicles around the city, collecting data which was then used to refine the vehicle. In total, these drivers logged more than 155,000 miles – enough to cover every street in Manhattan more than 300 times.

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:
  • 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

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

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 and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 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, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 59 Comments
      Ryan Schneider
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like a Johnny Cab!! http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y75/fffangirl/jc1.jpg
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Poor old NYC, tamely allowing Mayor Bloomberg to dictate the adoption of this unattractive, characterless, Asian van produced in Mexico, to represent NYC. Far from being the "Taxi of Tomorrow", it looks like what you would expect standing outside an Asian airport, waiting for ' economy class' passengers.
      Cameron Huntsucker
      • 1 Year Ago
      RIDICULOUS. A: Autoblog, it's not purpose-built. It's purpose-modified. B: I'm not blatant flag-waver, but America's city uses a Nissan that's built in Mexico??? One that doesn't even accomodate handicapped needs? And what happened to the purpose-built startup that was based in the US? It was ugly as sin, but....
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cameron Huntsucker
        Not only that, but.. Right now NYC is requiring all municipal vehicles to be hybrids as well as any new cabs. Yet they choose a Non-Hybrid model built in Mexico by a foreign company for the "cab of tomorrow". No matter who the winner was, they could have required local production (at the very least, in the US) and a hybrid powertrain. What a joke.
        King of Eldorado
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cameron Huntsucker
        I believe you're referring to the Vehicle Production Group (VPG) MV-1 accessible vehicle. Last I heard (May 2013?), the company had ceased production and laid off its employees, but had not filed for bankruptcy as it looked for a buyer. There are at least a couple in my nearby city that I see every now and then, but I don't know who operates them.
      q1ford
      • 1 Year Ago
      We bail out GM and Chrysler, and a american city like New York buys a Japanese van for a taxi that is made in mexico. Thats why this country is so screwed up.....
      Robert Fahey
      • 1 Year Ago
      Since styling obviously isn\'t a priority, why not use unpainted bumpers and add side moldings to take the inevitable scrapes and bumps in city driving?
      Technoir
      • 1 Year Ago
      It should be a HYBRID since it will be stuck in traffic 24/7. But this is not. It is absurd to use a regular powertrain. What the hell Bloomberg?
      Domenico Monti
      • 1 Year Ago
      They couldn't choose one with a better design, the front of this van has a sour face. Plus New York City will have these ugly things all over. I just hope they find a replacement soon. The design will age quickly. WTF Bloomberg!
      Deneway
      • 1 Year Ago
      At least in London the alternative to the traditional cab is a Mercedes Benz van. NYC has no class.
      bootsnchaps60
      • 1 Year Ago
      Was a revival of theGM "dustbuster" van design really what Nissan had in mind?
      canuckcharlie
      • 1 Year Ago
      Should have used a domestic brand, like the Ford Transit Connect
      Sasha
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love it. It's such a public display of how shitty government on all levels is destroying the very spirit of America. Taxis have always been RWD V8 affairs, and now thanks to Bloomberg every tourist to the Big Apple will be carted around in these toaster looking **** boxes. Of course, what does Bloomberg care, I'm sure the elite Livery companies aren't going to be ******* around with this nonsense.
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sasha
        You don't need a V8 to sit in traffic. It needs to fit it's purpose, which a toaster is better suited to shlepping people around slowly. I do wish it were built in America, though. Put some more Americans to work.
        789dm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sasha
        U should see them get stuck and sliding when it snow. Taxi stuck in snow not taking passengers and wasting gas is the best sight in the city.
      Pj Taintz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Still not a fan of this ride. Really wish that it was a chrysler gm or ford
        Cruising
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pj Taintz
        Well to be honest the GM van is the same thing as the NV200. http://m.autoblog.com/2013/05/14/nissan-nv200-puts-on-a-bowtie-as-new-chevy-city-express/
          Cruising
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cruising
          Canadian assembled Crown Vic's with US suppliers I think.
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