It's official: the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission voted to adopt the Nissan NV200 "Taxi of Tomorrow" as the city's designated taxi from October 2013. Nissan had long expected its compact van to win the honor -- as the currently prevalent Ford Crown Victoria taxi has gone out of production -- but New York officials didn’t officially confirm the choice until now.
The Nissan NV200 taxi was shown publicly at the New York auto show earlier this year. It boasts a laundry list of features that are far more advanced than the city's current fleet of taxis, most of which are the aging Crown Victoria. A 2.0-liter inline-four engine is supposed to be much more fuel-efficient than the V-6 and V-8 mills in current taxis, a "low-annoyance" horn should cut down on noise in gridlocked traffic, and there are even curtain airbags for rear-seat passengers.
Other innovations include a skylight so passengers can see the city's skyline, sliding doors, opening rear windows, separate climate controls for the rear passengers, and USB ports so travelers can charge their gadgets.The driver can take advantage of a standard navigation system and backup camera. The Nissan NV200 is expected to cost taxi companies $29,700.
The yellow paint on the taxis didn't come about by accident -- Nissan apparently asked the TLC whether it could use other colors for the NV200, like purple or green. When those requests were declined, Nissan set about picking the exact shade of yellow that would best suit its new taxi. As the video below reveals, designers carefully studied many yellow paints to select one that would be easy to repair, yet remain visible in the crowded city.
"You have all of these yellows currently on New York taxis, we wanted to make it look slightly lighter and slightly fresher," Nissan senior manager of color and design Francois Farion said in a statement.
Nissan had previously faced charges that its NV200 would violate Americans With Disabilities Act requirements for wheelchair access, so the company is working with Braun Corp. to create a "mobility solution" in time for the taxi's launch next fall.
Nissan also hopes that its NV200 will eventually replace London's iconic taxis -- albeit painted black instead of yellow.