LONDON, England - Nissan has unveiled its new Taxi for London in January 2014, having adapted an existing van to make it as instantly recognisable as one of the British capital's original iconic black cabs.Nissan, which already supplies taxis in New York, Barcelona and Tokyo, said the new petrol-engined taxi would be based on its NV200 MPV and should be on British streets by the end of 2014.The automaker unveiled the taxi in August 2012 but had to adapt it after feedback from the city's transport bodies.LOOKING THE PARTNissan UK executive vice-president Andy Palmer said: "We've worked closely with the mayor's office and associated stakeholders and interested parties to ensure that Nissan's new cab not only raises the bar for both the driver and passengers but is also as instantly recognisable as its legendary forebears." Changes to the vehicle includes round headlights, a re-modelled grille similar to those found on the traditional London black cabs, and LEDs.It will be launched in December 2014 with a shell 4.41m long, 1.91m wide, 1.9m tall and with a wheelbase of 2.72m. The MPV is powered by an 86kW/158Nm 1.6-litre petrol driving an auto transmission. Nissan’s 2.7-litre TD27 diesel engine was fitted to the old-style FX4 'Fairway' and TX1 black cabs in the 1980's and 90's. TAKING ON LONDON TAXI, MERCEDESThe automaker will compete against the dominant manufacturer, London Taxi Co, which operated as Manganese Bronze until it was saved in 2013 by Chinese automaker Geely.Nissan is also developing its electric taxi, the e-NV200, which it wants on the streets of London years before the mayor’s target of 2020 for zero-emissions taxis. Nissan hopes its electric taxi will launched in England in 2015.Eco City Vehicles also runs Mercedes Vito taxis.Transport for London said there were almost 23 000 'black taxis' licensed to operate in the capital (Jan 2014), with the Mercedes Vito accounting for 2177. The rest are made by LTC.Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association, said the new taxi would be welcomed by the industry because it would be cleaner than the traditional diesel cabs.