Covers off next year’s Transit Connect


Ford unveils next in line of iconic compact light commercial offering

Covers off next year’s Transit Connect
Ford's new Transit Connect

 

Ford has launched the new 2019 Transit Connect Cargo Van in the US, though local Ford sources were unsure when or if it might arrive here.

On its side of the pond, the American behemoth’s pitch has a heavy tech focus with it pointing to "new and exclusive" driver-assist technologies to go with two new drivetrains "including the only available diesel in the segment".

 "The original Transit Connect’s compact size resonated with customers searching for a more manoeuverable and efficient commercial van," Ford general fleet marketing manager Tim Stoehr says of the vehicle that is to be available in the northern autumn.

"We’ve enhanced Transit Connect’s available technology and powertrains to keep up with what our customers need. It is a critical tool with smart features to help improve productivity out in the field."

Ford says Transit Connect has the most driver-assist technologies in the segment, including automatic emergency braking: "Transit Connect Cargo Van debuts as the only vehicle in its segment to offer the technology as standard across all models, helping to reduce accidents and time in the shop".

It also offers:

  • standard pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection
  • standard side wind stabilisation
  • standard rearview camera
  • optional blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert
  • optional lane keeping system helps drivers avoid lane drift to keep the vehicle centred on the road
  • optional adaptive cruise control makes highway driving easier by automatically slowing the vehicle when radar detects traffic slowing ahead

Warming to the IT these, Ford says the vehicle comes with "the only standard embedded 4G LTE modem in the segment provides Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices, while an available 6.5-inch floating touch screen running SYNC 3 helps drivers keep their eyes on the road as they field customer calls and text messages hands-free or navigate to job sites".

The wireless phone charging option is said to be a segment-first feature, while fleet owners are lured with FordPass, which "helps monitor small fleets, including driver location, fuel level, tire pressure and more".

Ford’s MyKeyprogrammable ignition key remains standard for Transit Connect XLT, "enabling owners and fleet administrators to preset warnings and limits for vehicle speed, while restricting the entertainment system’s audio to 45 percent of maximum volume".

Powertrains

In the US, three engines capable of running on five different are on offer.

A standard new 2-litre inline four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine with auto start-stop is paired to a new 8-speed automatic transmission to deliver responsive around-town performance and low-rpm cruising on the highway. "This engine is E85-compatible and comes with a standard heavy-duty battery and available heavy-duty alternator to supply power to even the most demanding of upfit applications."

Transit Connect’s new 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel engine – the only diesel in the segment – is targeted to have an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of at least 30 mpg on the highway (actual mileage will vary; final EPA 1.5-liter EcoBlue fuel economy estimates are expected in early 2019). "Like the new 2.0-liter, the 1.5-liter EcoBlue comes with EcoMode and EcoCoach, which monitor fuel economy and encourage fuel-efficient driving behaviors."

Exclusively for fleets, a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder with 6-speed automatic and CNG/propane gaseous fuel prep package is also available.

Cargo

The new Transit Connect has dual sliding side doors, a vinyl-covered floor, near-vertical walls and integrated tie-downs.

Given it can take a US 48-inch (1,219 mm) pallet through 180-degree swing-out rear cargo doors that can be locked in the open position, it should be able to handle the slightly smaller Australian version.

It will come with a 907kg towing capacity and have a 11.6 metre turning diameter.

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