New black cab designed for London

New London black cab design
Image caption The vehicle has an automatic gearbox and a new front bumper panel

A new black cab designed specifically for use in London has been unveiled.

Car manufacturer Nissan says the 1.6 litre petrol-engine taxi will be cleaner than the current diesel cabs which are used in the capital.

The taxi was first unveiled in August 2012 but following feedback from the Mayor of London's office the vehicle was modified.

Round headlamps and a re-modelled grille are key features of the new taxi, which goes on sale in December.

The car has been developed by the company's European design centre in Paddington, west London.

Remodelled grille

Nissan says the latest version adheres to Transport for London (TfL) regulations on black cabs which include a requirement for a 25ft (7.6m) turning circle.

TfL licenses black cabs in London, which are traditionally known as Hackney Carriages.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) welcomed the new vehicle and said it would bring more competition to the market.

"There are three vehicles and all are different, the traditional TX4 which has been around for forever and then there's the Mercedes which is much larger and often used by people going to airports," said Steve McNamara, general secretary of the LTDA.

Image caption The vehicle has LED lighting to make the taxi sign more visible

"Nissan is marketing itself as the alternative, and drivers will have to make a choice."

Nissan says that the car will emit lower levels of nitrogen oxide compared to traditional diesel models.

Following consultations with TfL, LED lighting was added to improve visibility of the traditional taxi sign and the vehicle was given new front bumper panels, Nissan said.

The grille was also remodelled to mirror the traditional front of a black cab.

Nissan will also launch an electric version of the taxi in 2015.

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