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Ford introduces new Transit family in North America; emphasis on improved fuel economy in commercial vehicle segment

Highlights of the full-size Transit. Click to enlarge.

Ford unveiled the full new 2014 Transit family of commercial vehicles for North America, comprising the full-size Transit, the Transit Connect Van, and the Transit Connect Wagon (shown earlier, earlier post). The new Transit family reflects Ford’s ongoing strategy of platform consolidation, said Raj Nair, Group Vice President, Global Product Development. In this case, Ford has consolidated two regional platforms—E-Series and the Transit—into the single Transit commercial vehicle platform.

The total commercial segment presents more potential for growth than any other segment, Nair said; global commercial vehicle sales are expected to grow by 4.8 million during the next several years to 21 million units annually by 2017. “People need to carry things,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln. “It’s that simple.

In the US, Ford holds a 47.6% share in commercial trucks; of this, full-size pickups account for 60%, medium- and heavy-duty trucks account for 17%; and vans account for 14%.

Transit. With the full size Transit, Ford is moving from an exclusively gasoline engine lineup of two V8s and a V10 in the E-Series to offering a standard 3.7-liter V6, the same 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine used in Ford F-150 and an all-new 3.2-liter Power Stroke Diesel option (earlier post). Ford says that the Transit will achieve an average of 25% better fuel economy and haul at least 300 pounds more than today’s E-Series.

Ford will offer Transit’s 3.7-liter V6 with a compressed natural gas/liquid propane gas (CNG/LPG) prep kit. The 3.7-liter V6 is also engineered for optimal performance with E85 flex-fuel capability.

The all-new 3.2-liter Power Stroke five-cylinder common rail turbo diesel, based on Ford’s Duratorq global diesel engine architecture, features advanced fuel, turbo and emissions systems that meet US clean diesel standards.

Each engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission for rear-wheel-drive operation.

Highlights of the Transit Connect Van. Click to enlarge.

Transit Connect Van. Ford originally introduced the Transit Connect to the US halfway through the vehicle’s life; the company expects to sell 35,000 units this year, Farley said.

The new Transit Connect Van offers North American customers a choice between two four-cylinder engines: a standard 2.5-liter and an optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost estimated to deliver 30+ mpg US (7.84 l/100km) on the highway. Transit Connect Van is expected to deliver at least 5 mpg better fuel economy on the highway than Ram C/V Cargo Van while carrying more payload than a full-size Ram 1500 pickup truck, Ford said.

Transit Connect’s 2.5-liter engine can also be specified with a compressed natural gas/liquid propane gas (CNG/LPG) preparation package, enabling conversion by Ford-certified upfit specialists.

Both engines come mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, geared for around-town responsiveness and low-rpm highway cruising.



A utility vehicle similar to the Dodge/Mercedes 2500? A PHEV version would be popular with Postal (Public and Private) services?


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