After winning the race to replace the iconic Ford Crown Vic yellow cabs of New York City, Nissan is now taking on another icon, London’s black cab. The company has unveiled “a bold new vision for the future of the London black cab” called the Nissan NV200 London Taxi.

Based on the NV200 van, the cab will offer lower CO2 outputs compared to the current black cab, in line with Mayor Boris Johnson’s Air Quality strategy for London. The Mayor has joined disability groups and the influential London Taxi Drivers’ Association in welcoming the launch of the NV200 London Taxi. An all-electric e-NV200 concept is also set to undergo trials in the English capital.

The NV200 London Taxi comfortably seats five adults – three on a rear bench with two on rear-facing, fold-down seats. The front passenger seat has been removed to create space for luggage. The sliding passenger doors, besides being easy to open and close, are much safer for pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles simply because they don’t swing out.

The NV200 also delivers lower running costs. The 89 hp 1.5 dCi six-speed manual drivetrain achieves 18.9 km/l on a combined cycle, or almost 50% fuel savings over the most efficient TX4, the London Taxi Company’s current model.

Fuel costs account for around 10% of taxi driver overheads, so over the course of a year, NV200 London Taxi drivers would spend around 50% less – about £700 – on fuel than TX4 drivers, Nissan says. The NV200 is also expected to be competitively priced below the new TX4.

The NV200 London Taxi’s Euro 5 engine emits up to 138 g/km of CO2, compared with 209 g/km from the greenest TX4 model. Nissan says that if all of London’s licensed taxis were replaced with the NV200, there would be a CO2 reduction across London of 37,970 metric tonnes each year, the equivalent of planting 10,000 acres, or two Congestion Charge zones, of trees every 12 months!

“Nissan already has a great footing in the London taxi market – the 2.7-litre diesel that featured in some of the early taxis was one of the greatest engines ever put in a cab. From what I’ve seen of the 200 London Taxi, it ticks all the right boxes. It’s important that it looks like a cab, is comfortable with good ingress and egress and is reliable. If the fuel consumption figures are as promised, it will be a big seller,” said Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association.

Subject to final testing, including a crash-test, the diesel-powered Nissan NV200 aims to receive full London Taxi certification later this year.

Click here to see the NV200 in NYC yellow cab form. Tan Chong sells it here too, as a commercial van.