With the introduction of a new Transit Custom, Ford is setting the look for a refreshing of the Transit line for 2018. As in 2012, the Custom is the first of the Transit line to hit the market.
Although instantly recognizable as a Ford with its large trapezoidal grille, the new Transit commercial van boasts updates to the front end in line with Ford’s ECOnetic design theme, and an all-new cabin with improved comfort, ergonomics and productivity-enhancing features. The van goes into production at the end of 2017 for early-2018 deliveries.
“Transit Custom has been a runaway success since it was introduced, and this new version raises the game once more,” said Hans Schep, general manager of Commercial Vehicles for Ford of Europe. “We have listened carefully to our customers, and delivered a one-tonne van that is even more stylish, even more productive, and packed with smart features.”
The new Custom continues to be available in two roof heights, in regular and extended wheelbases, and with payloads up to 1,450kg. It will again be offered in panel and window van variants. Transits in North America will likely again come in 150, 250 and 350 designations, with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings up to 4,700 kg.
It is expected that power will continue to be supplied by V-6s and 4-cylinder engines (gas and diesel). The ECOnetic option in Europe adds a super-efficient engine, but the part that is of interest to North American vans is the aerodynamic applications consisting of a new front bumper design (housing a larger lower grille than the previous model, and housing fog lights). Depending on model, LED lights and HID headlamps are available.
The interior design is inspired by the latest instrument panel in the Fiesta sub-compact, including redesigned seats, a large touchscreen (depending on model) and plenty of large cubicles for fleet drivers to stow all the business gadgets they need to bring along. Door panels have also been redesigned to include more stowage space and redesigned grab-handle.
Connectivity will also not be an issue, with the latest Sync (also depending on model), USB and 12V sockets, and integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Driving aids include an Intelligent Speed Limiter to keep fleet drivers under the speed limit, lane keep and blind spot alert, side wind stabilization, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and emergency braking.
As well, Ford is expected to offer a plug-in hybrid version of the refreshed model in 2019, with customer trials expected to start later in 2017.