Nissan yellow cab next New York taxi
New York - A boxy van made by Nissan was chosen Tuesday as New York's future sole replacement for the variety of yellow cabs currently rolling through Big Apple streets.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the Japanese auto giant's NV200 had won a Taxi of Tomorrow contest for the approximately $1bn, 10-year contract, beating Turkey's Karsan and Ford Motor.
"We think it was far and away the best among the three finalists," Bloomberg said.
The van will be yellow and in a nod to New York traditions will sport a line of black checkers.
Otherwise, the Nissan will bear little resemblance to the hodgepodge of current vehicles, ranging from the cramped Ford Escape to the gas-guzzling Ford Crown Victoria workhorse.
Boasting increased leg room, USB ports for electronic devices, passenger air bags and a transparent roof panel to view the New York skyline, the Nissan will hit the streets from 2013. By 2018 the last of the current cabs will have been retired.
Bloomberg said the Nissan would be built in Mexico and finished in the United States.
Among its features are sliding doors to avoid the danger of opening into oncoming traffic, greater luggage space, and GPS navigation - a boon for passengers trying to reach the often taxi-unfriendly outer boroughs.