NEW YORK — It looks like something you'd see on a suburban cul-de-sac, not inching through Times Square.
A boxy minivan made by Nissan will be the next iconic yellow cab in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday.
The model, selected from among three finalists in a city competition, is designed so that it could eventually be updated with an electric engine. The city is exploring the possibility of ultimately replacing the city's entire fleet of more than 13,000 taxis with vehicles powered by electricity.
Bloomberg conceded at a City Hall news conference that the minivan — which offers extra passenger legroom and enough trunk space for the luggage of four people — might make some think of suburbia, but he said the distinctive yellow paint job will make them New York icons.
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The minivan features a panoramic overhead window that will give tourists a view of the city's skyscrapers and onboard outlets and charging stations that will allow professionals to treat the cabs as mobile offices. With such amenities, city Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said he thought the vehicles could become as beloved as the Checker cabs of yesteryear.