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Ford reveals new Transit Custom van
The new Ford Transit Custom will make its global debut at the Birmingham CV show next week, prior to its public launch to world markets later in 2012.
Ford’s decision to launch the new Transit Custom in Britain is a real coup as this is a vital new van for the brand and the latest evolution of the long-running Transit line first launched in 1965.
The new van will compete in the one-tonne commercial vehicle class, and boasts a bold new design that’s more car-like than any previous Ford van in this sector: Ford CV director Jesus Alonso says it is a “stylish, modern van which customers will be proud to have on their driveway.
“The launch of this new range marks the start of a far-reaching transformation of Ford’s global commercial vehicle range,” he added: Ford says it will refresh its entire van line-up by 2014.
The new Transit Custom shares the same kinetic design as Ford passenger cars, including a big trapezoidal grille and bold wheelarches.
Inside, there’s a smart dashboard that mimics the modern layout of the Ford Focus, which can be packed with technology including Ford’s SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system. This enables mobile phones to be connected and operated by voice control.
Ford also offers premium car features such as a rear-view camera, lane-keeping alert and a driver alert system that detects drowsiness and signals a wake-up warning.
There are front, side and curtain airbags on offer, plus a Ford Focus-style ESP stability control system with Torque Vectoring Control – similar to the system on a Porsche 911 Turbo!
It’s greener than before: the 2.2-litre TDCi engine will be offered in 100hp, 125hp and 155hp guise and, courtesy of engine stop-start, can average up to 42.8mpg – that’s “best in class”, says Ford. It only requires servicing every 30,000 miles.
Ford will offer the new one-tonne Transit Custom with two wheelbase lengths, and says it not only offers maximum load volume that beats its rivals, but also has more convenience features than competitors too. Payloads from 600-1,400kg can be accommodated.
“This may be a more stylish Transit, but it’s a more functional Transit too,” said Barry Gale, Commercial Vehicles chief engineer, Ford of Europe.
“The additional features we have built into the load space make everyday functions more convenient – so it’s easier for customers to do their job.”
What’s more, although the arrival of the new Transit Custom will signal the end of regular Transit van production at Ford’s Southampton plant from 2013, the factory still has a secure future.
It is to become the European home of Ford Transit chassis cab van production – the platforms for conversions to box vans and motorhomes. This will actually lead to a boost in production, to more than 35,000 vehicles a year, securing 500 jobs at the plant that’s been the home of the Ford Transit since 1972.
Ford’s Southampton plant actually built the 6 millionth Transit in 2010: the arrival of the new Transit Connect will see that tally grow further when it is launched later in 2012.
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