Nissan has signed off the van-like design of its new London black cab, defending its dividing body shape to Auto Express, saying, "We didn't want a car that looks like it was done in the 1950's."
Nissan's futuristic black taxi is based on its yellow New York NV200 cab, but apparently it has been redesigned to retain all the hallmarks of the classic black cab.
The NV200 will be sold with a 1.5-litre diesel engine, with an all-electric version to follow.
The new taxi is being developed with input from London cabbies, but Nissan admits it may be difficult to convince them of the virtues of electric cabs, and that take-up may hinge on how effectively fast charging points are introduced across the capital.
"Running costs are a fraction of the diesel, and it will work as long as you can get fast chargers in the right places," says Nissan's executive Vice President Andy Palmer.
He also defended the NV200's van-like looks. "You'll look at it and say 'that's a London cab', but what we didn't want is a car that looks like it was done in the 1950s.
"London needs something iconic. Boris Johnson said it needs to conjure up an image of a bowler hat, and I think it does that."
Cabbies will be pleased to hear the new NV200 has a turning circle under the required 28 feet – tight enough to negotiate the roundabout in front of the Savoy Hotel, then.