27 October 2011

Futuristic Taxi Cab in New York City by 2014

Update: Mayor Bloomberg has announced that the winning entry for the New York Taxi contest is the Nissan NV200.

New York City! Central Park, The Empire State Building, and yellow taxi cabs from Turkey.

Turkey? Turkey, the country Turkey? eh?


If all goes well, Turkey, a country 5,000 miles away will be making the city's world renowned taxi cabs. Turkish car maker, Karsan is one of three finalists in NYC's search for the taxi of the future. Their entry is a glass roofed, eco-friendly vehicle built from scratch. Actually the Karsan V1 is the only entry that's built and designed from scratch.

If they win, their winning entry will be New York City's exclusive taxi cab for ten years or so. And yep, it will still be in yellow.

Turkey isn't really known for making cars. It doesn't even register as a country that makes one. But that's because all cars that the country makes are built under license for other major car makers such as Hyundai, Peugeot, Citroen and Renault. Winning this entry will certainly put them on the map.

Jan Nahum, executive director of Karsan says, "Having a vehicle designed and built in Turkey being used as a New York taxi would be a very strong branding opportunity for the Turkish automotive industry,"

Video: The Karsan V1:

The Karsan V1 is designed to be wheelchair accessible, have enough room to hold five passengers and a stroller, as well as a glass roof to give passengers a view of New York's skyscrapers. It can run on gasoline, natural gas, or by fuel cells if it goes electric. The engine will depend on which technology is the most efficient at the time..

Currently, there are 16 different vehicles from nine manufacturers in the current fleet of around 13,000 taxicabs. The winner of the "Taxi of Tomorrow" contest will be the first ever custom-built New York taxi. "...this project marks the first time ever -- anywhere -- that such an exercise will be backed up by an automotive manufacturer that can turn these concepts into tangible reality," New York Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said in a statement.

The winner will be announced early next year and the vehicles are expected to be on the road by 2014.

Aside from Karsan, Ford and Nissan are included in the top 3. Ford's entry is the Transit Connect while Nissan's design is based on the Nissan Van. Ironically, if Ford wins, the Transit Connect will be built in Turkey and adapted in the United States.

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