This morning near the Flatiron building Nissan executives and city commissioners unveiled the (partially done) version of the NV 200 Taxi cab.
They did a fine job of explaining new features like the bump-less floor, panoramic sunroof and anti-microbe seat covers. Especially given that they had to focus through a din of hecklers clapping and chanting their disappointment that the cabs aren't more accessible for people in wheelchairs. Eventually the commotion died down to a single woman chanting "access is a civil right" and "New York City is breaking the law," whom the people at the podium resolutely ignored for the duration of the conference. It was kind of awkward--but very New York.
Awkwardness aside, here are the new things we learned about the van, which will hit the street in 2013. (And yes, it is most definitely a minivan. We're just going to have to deal with it.)
Planned Standard Features
• Bigger cargo area that will hold luggage for four passengers
• Transparent roof to provide unique city views
• Sliding doors with grab handles and an entry step
• USB access and a 12V electrical plug for charging devices
• Passenger-controlled rear heat/air conditioning with an air filter to improve cabin air quality
• Flat floor
• "Enhanced" interior materials that apparently will help the cabin smell fresher
• Anti-microbial seat upholstery
Other Vehicle Features
• 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that is "significantly" more fuel-efficient than the current fleet. MPG numbers have not been released.
• "Low-annoyance" horn with exterior lights that show when the vehicle is honking
• Overhead reading lights for passengers and floor lighting
• Six-way adjustable driver's seat with recline and lumbar adjustments
•Front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags; seat-mounted airbags for the front row
• Standard traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control
• Sliding doors to lessen risk of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists getting struck unexpectedly
• Lights that alert road users that doors are opening
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