Nissan's NV200 bid ended up getting the contract (although other manufacturers have since gained approval as well. We've already seen what the van-based shuttler will look like from the curb, but a taxi cab certainly isn't about exterior styling. Like a certain Arabian beggar in a Disney movie, it's what's inside that counts. And that's just what Nissan is demonstrating with a special exposition in New York.
Opening tomorrow on the pedestrian plaza across from the iconic Flatiron Building at Broadway and Fifth, Nissan's Taxi of Tomorrow Design Expo will showcase the full interior of the NV200 Taxi. The cab is accessed via sliding doors (for easier ingress and egress in the city's tight spaces), a panorama roof to let tourists enjoy the upwards view (real New Yorkers, of course, never look up), a flat floor, a large cargo area for luggage, USB charging outlet, easily cleanable surfaces and an air-filtration and climate-control system independent of the driver's.
Sounds to us like a nice place in which to cruise around the city, at least while all that stuff is still in working order. But don't take our word for it: check out the high-res images in the gallery for a closer look – including a nifty infographic on taxi usage in the city – and the details in the press release after the jump. Or if you're in the area, stop by the expo from Tuesday through Saturday of this week.
NISSAN OFFERS NEW YORK CITY A PEEK INSIDE ITS NEW TAXI; DESIGN EXPO OFFERS FIRST LOOK AT INTERIOR OF 'TAXI OF TOMORROW'
Nissan 'Taxi of Tomorrow' Design Expo opens to public on Nov. 1 with special 'Ni$$an Taxi Trivia' challenge hosted by Cash Cab's Ben Bailey; Interactive exhibit showcases Nissan NV200 Taxi's seating, legroom, interior amenities
A host of New York City officials, including Taxi & Limousine Commissioner David Yassky, today were among the first to preview the interior design planned for the Nissan NV200 Taxi, New York City's exclusive 'Taxi of Tomorrow,' at the Nissan 'Taxi of Tomorrow' Design Expo. The exhibit will be open to the public Nov. 1-5 and features an interactive display that allows New Yorkers to fully experience new and unique taxi features developed for – and with – New Yorkers.
The NV200 Taxi design reflects the input of hundreds of taxi owners and drivers, and thousands of passengers from all walks of life, who shared their ideas and priorities with Nissan designers and engineers. It also reflects ongoing collaboration with organizations long at the forefront of the 'Taxi of Tomorrow' program, including the Design Trust for Public Space and the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Interior features planned for the NV200 Taxi include*:
- Spacious cargo area to accommodate luggage for four passengers
- A transparent roof panel to provide unique views of the city
- Sliding doors with entry step and grab handles for easy entry and exit
- USB charging access for passengers
- Independent, passenger controlled rear-seat heat/air conditioning with a grape phenol-coated air filter to improve cabin air quality
- Flat floor – with no hump
- Enhanced interior materials intended to help passenger cabin smell fresher
- Breathable, anti-microbial, easy-to-clean and environmentally friendly seat upholstery
"Over the past century, New York City's taxis have become known around the world for iconic exterior styling," said Joe Castelli, vice president, Nissan Fleet & Commercial Vehicles. "Now, with the NV200 Taxi, Nissan is bringing iconic design inside the taxi, while improving the comfort and safety of passengers and drivers. We're committed to sustaining the New York City taxi's heritage while meeting the modern needs of 600,000 passengers every day, and we're looking forward to hearing New Yorkers' feedback after they sit in this display property and fully experience the vehicle's many first-of-a-kind features and amenities."
The Nissan 'Taxi of Tomorrow' Design Expo is located on the pedestrian plaza across from the Flatiron building at Broadway and Fifth Avenue, and will be open to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 1, noon-9 p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 2 through Friday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; and, Saturday, Nov. 5, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
To celebrate the exhibit's public opening, the host of the Discovery Channel's Cash Cab game show television series, Ben Bailey, will host a special social media edition of the trivia program, with New York online influencers as contestants, live from the Design Expo site. Blogger contestants who demonstrate mastery of taxi trivia, including details about Nissan's NV200 Taxi, will accrue donations for a local charity of their choice. Additionally, Nissan's social media fans on Twitter and Facebook will compete for a taxi prize pack as Ben challenges them with trivia questions via video.
"I'm excited to participate with Nissan in such a fun, social program to get the word out about New York City's Taxi of Tomorrow," said Bailey. "As a licensed NYC cab driver, I'm looking forward to the improved comfort and safety the NV200 Taxi will offer both myself and the passengers."
The 'Taxi of Tomorrow' project began in 2007 as an initiative to establish the vision for a next-generation New York City taxicab. Following a rigorous evaluation process, Nissan's NV200 Taxi was selected in May 2011 as New York City's exclusive 'Taxi of Tomorrow' beginning in late 2013. Following that announcement, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution and the Design Trust for Public Space have engaged with Nissan and the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission in the vehicle's design and development.
To stay informed on news and events relating to Taxi of Tomorrow, follow it on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/taxioftomorrow or visit 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 Americas
In the Americas, 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 was recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 and 2011. More information on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com.
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 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.1 million vehicles in 2010, generating revenue of 8.77 trillion yen ($102.37 billion U.S.). With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models 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 and 2011 World Car of the Year.
For more information on our products, services and commitment to Sustainable Mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.
*Final material selection subject to final TLC approval and testing results