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This is London’s new cab

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As London's emissions regulations become ever more stringent, many of the 20,000 old Hackney carriages on the streets of Britain's capital are soon to turn their light off for the last time.

But what will replace them? Well, 18 months ago, Nissan revealed its potential replacement for our lovable, chuntering black cabs. The NV200 London Taxi was pitched as a cleaner, greener, more spacious and less vomit-specked taxi that retained the traditional black cab's ability to turn on a sixpence.

But there was a problem. Against to the postcard-worthy black cab, the NV200 didn't look like an icon in the making. In fact, it looked like a delivery van. Which it was: the “London” NV200 was the same van-based MPV soon to be seen cabbing around the streets of New York, Barcelona and Tokyo in the near future. Only with a black paintjob.

Strung by criticism its 2012 black cab didn't look British, Nissan returned to its London design studio in Paddington, cracked out its “Best of British” mood board and had another shot.

What you see above is the result. Stay calm and do your very best to carry on.

The London NV200 isn't exactly a complete rework of the 2012 effort, but it gets a new face, bumpers and an LED top light to "better reflect the iconic nature of the traditional black cab." It's fair to say Nissan's attempt to graft the trad Hackney carriage face onto its van was something of a botched operation. It's... not quite right, is it? Like one of those pastiche Chinese knock-offs that we've come to love to hate. Or a Mitsuoka.

Nissan's MkII London cab is more than a facelift, though. Instead of the 1.5-litre, 50mpg-plus diesel originally mooted, it's now packed a 1.6-litre petrol capable of 38mpg. Like it or not, it'll hit London the end of this year, likely followed by an all-electric version.

Rumours the Nissan black cab won't travel south of the river after midnight because “it'll get its stupid pastiche face smashed by some angry geezers on the Old Kent Road” could not be confirmed.

This story originally appeared on TopGear.com.

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