Nissan NV200 is already selected as the next generation taxi for the mega cities – New York and Tokyo. And now even London has agreed to accept them as alternative to the iconic London Black cab, TX4. The passenger van or MUV will also be launched in India as the new Nissan Evalia in September, to compete with the Toyota Innova and the Mahindra Xylo.
The NV200 is a much better package than the current London taxis, which were rolled-out in 2006. The van has enough space to comfortably seat five passengers behind the driver, with the co-driver seat removed for extra space to keep luggage. The sliding doors also enable easy ingress and egress and it complies with the handicap regulations. Most importantly the car is backed by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, along with the London Taxi Drivers' Association, the GLA and disability groups.
The NV200 is powered by the 1.5-litre Nissan K9K diesel engine that produces around 90bhp and 200Nm of torque. These are the same specs as that of the Nissan Sunny and the base variant Renault Duster in India. The figures are certainly not spectacular, but they will help attain an efficiency of 18kpl and will produce about 50 per cent less CO2 than the current model. The Mayor, who plans to make London Taxi fleet emissions free by 2020, must have also been impressed by the fact that the full-electric version of the car is expected in 2014.
The Nissan NV200 is one of the most successful passenger van platforms in the world, and the Japanese car maker will be hoping to repeat the success story here with the launch of the Evalia. The Evalia was unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo in January and is expected to be launched latest by the end of September. The car has been modified to meet the needs of the Indian customers and should be priced around Rs 8 to 10 lakh, just above the Ertiga and at par with the Mahindra Xylo range.