Photos by John Lamm
New York City yellow taxicabs are as iconic as the city's towering high rises. Come 2013, more than 13,000 serving more than 600,000 passengers a day—which in the past have been mostly rear-drive Ford Crown Victorias—will be traded in and replaced by the tall, new Nissan NV200. In December of 2009, the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to invite car companies to submit their ideas for a purpose-built New York City taxicab.
In May of 2011, the Nissan NV200 was selected as the of the city for a term of 10 years, beginning in 2013.
The Nissan NV200 is based on the company's light commercial vehicle, and will be powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder powerplant driving the front wheels. Because of its taller stature, the NV200 should offer more room to carry four passengers and their luggage. Like modern passengers cars, the new yellow cab will carry modern amenities such as USB audio and charging ports for the driver, and a standard navigation system with integrated rearview backup monitor.
Other convenience features such as sliding rear doors, a mobile phone charging station, transparent roof panel and independent climate controls for the rear passengers will make the new taxicab experience more pleasant.
New Yorkers and visitors will appreciate the long list of safety equipment in the NV200. There are seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the front row, front and rear side-curtain airbags. What's more, standard traction and yaw control will help the NV200 during adverse weather. Nissan says the NV200 is the first New York City taxi to be crash-tested with all of its equipment installed.
Nissan is partnering with the Braun Corporation to develop a wheelchair-accessible model. It has also committed to provide six zero-emission Nissan Leaf EVs to test the possible electrification of the city's taxi fleet.
The new Nissan NV200 yellow cab has a suggested retail price of $29,700. It will be manufactured in Cuernavaca, Mexico.