New York’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” could be London’s, too

Nissan NV200 London taxiNissan’s compact NV200 van is already New York’s “Taxi of Tomorrow,” but now the Japanese company is trying to make inroads in a new market, one that already has an iconic cab. Nissan is currently pitching the NV200 as an alternative to the famous London black cab.

A European-spec NV200 taxi will seat five passengers, with three on a bench seat and two in rear-facing jump seats. The area normally occupied by the front passenger seat will be used for luggage. Nissan will outfit the NV200 with London-specific lighting and the trademark black paint job.

The NV200 has an advantage in the U.K. because it is closer in size to the standard London Taxi Company (LTI) TX4 than it is to the massive Ford Crown Victorias preferred by New York cabbies.

According to Nissan, the NV200 is greener than the TX4, so it will pollute less and save drivers precious pounds at the pump. The TX4 is powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine, which makes 99 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. The NV200 is powered by a 1.5-liter diesel with 89 hp and 151 lb-ft.

The Nissan may have less power, but its makers say it will return 44.4 mpg, compared to the TX4’s 29.4 mpg. It’s the same story with emissions: the NV200 emits 139 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, the TX4 emits 240.

For the ultimate in eco-taxi driving, Nissan will also import the electric e-NV200 as a cab.

Nissan also hopes to trump the traditional Black Cab on interior accommodations. The NV200 comes with a 12.9-square-foot panoramic glass roof, perfect for sightseers, as well as USB ports and individual controls for lighting and heat/air conditioning.London Taxi Company TX4

Both vehicles are handicap-accessible, but Nissan says its van’s layout should make getting in and out easier. In a TX4, a side ramp unfolds for wheelchair access, and a pair of seats are stowed to make room. The NV200 also has a folding ramp, but its seats slide backward instead.

The NV200 may equal or better its aged foe in practical terms, but the TX4 has the styling contest all locked up. The Nissan isn’t an ugly car, but it just looks like any other minivan. The TX4 is unique and instantly recognizable, thanks to styling that dates back to the 1960s Austin FX4 taxi.

There is something to be said for that. London’s taxis are symbols of their city; if cabbies start driving the same vehicles as everyone else, things will be a little less interesting.

Cars

Formula 1 is putting data in the driver’s seat, and not all racers are happy

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Cars

Bentley’s 542-horsepower Continental GT V8 is the best kind of downsizing

The Bentley Continental GT V8 has fewer cylinders than its W12 sibling, but Bentley expects it to offer better gas mileage and more agile handling. The V8's top speed of 198 mph is also pretty darn fast.
Mobile

The iPad Mini, Apple’s tiny tablet, makes a return with powerful specs

Apple has finally revealed the iPad Mini. With all-new and upgraded specs, support for the Apple Pencil, and a fantastically inclusive price, here's everything you need to know about the iPad Mini.
Cars

Volvo wants to use speed limiters, in-car cameras, and data to reduce crashes

Volvo believes new tech is the best way to improve car safety. The Swedish automaker will let owners set speed limits when loaning out their cars, install cameras to monitor drivers, and use data to design better safety features.
Cars

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe teased way ahead of its November debut

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is coming to the United States, eventually. The new compact BMW won't be unveiled until the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The Gran Coupe will be based on a front-wheel drive platform.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.
Cars

Tesla lets you skip the dealership, order a car from the comfort of your couch

Tesla has always bypassed traditional dealerships, and it has now adopted an online-only sales model that lets customers configure and order their car without leaving their couch. Here's what you need to know.
Cars

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.
Cars

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group uses Microsoft cloud platform for connected cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is launching a new cloud platform for its cars. Based on Microsoft Azure, the Alliance Intelligent Cloud will enable features like connected services and over-the-air updates.
Cars

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.
Cars

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.