I’ve hailed my fair share of taxis in New York City, which are mostly Crown Victorias. That ancient car ceases production next year though, so New York held a contest seeking a replacement taxi, and today announced three finalists.
New York employs over 13,000 taxi cabs currently, many of them still Crown Victorias, but I’ve seen a good number of Prius and Ford Escapes as well. New York City is looking for a more uniform look though, as well as more fuel efficient vehicles. Makes sense financially as well as environmentally, because these taxis see upwards of 70,000 miles of city driving annually. The Crown Victoria has a 4.6 liter V8 engine that isn’t exactly optimized for city driving.
The first two finalists are from companies you have certainly heard of, Ford and Nissan. Ford is offering up a version of its Transit Connect work van, set up to have its doors slammed between 60 and 70 times a day picking up passengers. Nissan meanwhile designed an heavy-duty minivan it looks like, and with Nissan’s work on electric vehicles, such a design could easily go electric down the road.
Then there is the third finalist, from a Turkish car designer called Karsan. This is the only design that is wheelchair-accessible and it looks pretty spacious on the inside as well. A shame none of the entries are hybrids or even electric vehicles (though to be fair, all the details on these designs haven’t yet been released).
Still, did they ALL have to be minvans?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness atSublime Burnout.