However, the new London icon (pictured) will be made not in Britain but in Spain, a Nissan spokesman confirmed to WHIM, although she added that a thus far unconfirmed facility to convert the Barcelona-made NV200 van platform for its “new vision for the famous London Hackney Carriage” would be located in the UK.
The vehicle was first unveiled in August 2012 and Nissan says that in response to feedback from London Mayor Boris Johnson’s office, it has redesigned the vehicle “to better reflect the iconic nature of the traditional black cab”.
The company also insists that its taxi “has been developed for London, in London”, by Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in Paddington, the same design centre responsible for its Qashqai and Juke models. The new taxi, powered by a ‘clean’ 1.6-litre petrol engine and equipped with an automatic gearbox will be launched in December 2014. A zero emission electric version will arrive in 2015.
The Nissan will be head-to-head competition for the conventional TX4 London black cab now owned by the Chinese company Geely, which rescued its Coventry-based manufacturer from administration almost a year ago and re-started its production in the Midlands in September.
Nissan has some historic connection to the London taxi market with its 2.7-litre TD27 diesel engine being fitted to the FX4 ‘Fairway’ and TX1 black cabs during the 1980s and ‘90s
Nissan’s Andy Palmer said the company had worked closely with the Mayor’s office and others “to ensure that Nissan’s new cab not only raises the bar for both driver and passenger, but is also as instantly-recognisable as its legendary forebears”.
He continued, “Alongside this, our engineers at Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, have continued work on the cab, running real-world trials on the streets of London.”
Copyright Ken Hurst 2014