With Ford’s venerable Crown Victoria now officially out of production, Nissan is stepping up to fill the big sedan’s equally big shoes with its NV200 van.
That’s right. New York’s current fleet of roughly 13,200 yellow cabs, which ferry upwards of 600,000 people per day, will be phased out over the coming years and replaced with a fleet of NV200s.
Nissan won out over Ford's Transit Connect Taxi and an entry from Turkish firm Karsan in a city-run contest held last year.
The first fully complete Nissan NV200 Taxi makes its debut later today at a special event being held in SoHo and attended by Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and several New York City officials. Following the event, the taxi will go on display at the 2012 New York Auto Show also taking place this week.
Each of the NV200 Taxis offer room for four passengers and their luggage--said to be considerably higher than current taxi models--along with sliding doors for easier ingress and egress. They also feature a transparent roof to improve the view, independently controlled air conditioning, special odor-neutralizing materials, a mobile phone charging station for passengers, which includes a 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports, as well as a standard navigation system so drivers have no excuse for getting lost.
Safety features include a backup camera for drivers, a hearing loop system for the hearing impaired, an array of airbags for front and rear passengers, and standard traction and vehicle dynamic control systems.
Powering the NV200 Taxi will be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine though plans for the adoption of alternate powertrains are being considered. Nissan is also working with New York City officials and taxi owners on a pilot program to study the use of zero-emission, electric vehicles as taxis. Nissan will provide six Nissan Leafs and three Level 2 charging stations at no charge to taxi owners and New York City to test the electrification of the taxi fleet. Fuel economy data for the NV200 is yet to be released.
The Nissan NV200 Taxi will be produced at Nissan’s plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and will retail for around $29,700 with all planned standard features. The first examples will start ferrying passengers in late 2013.