Nissan may have won the big contract to provide New York City taxi cabs, based on its NV200 van, but Ford is by no means ready to abandon the taxi business, which was largely dominated by the Ford Crown Victoria until it went out of production in 2011.
"(The first-generation) Transit Connect Taxi has been popular in major metropolitan cities since it debuted in 2010, and it has only gotten better," said Tim Stoehr, commercial truck marketing manager for Ford.
The 2014 Transit Connect Taxi comes with a new powertrain – a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine paired with a new six-speed automatic transmission – that is expected to achieve best-in-class highway fuel economy rating.
The redesigned for 2014 Transit Connect Taxi is lower than its predecessor, giving taxicab companies more clearance to place advertising on the cabin roof.
It is also longer, offering seating for five and increased cargo capacity – up to about 1700 litres behind the second row. The roomy, flexible interior is perfectly suited for livery service, the company says.
Technology for the driver also has been upgraded, with options that include a rear-view camera, 6.5-inch touch-screen display with navigation and Ford's SYNC with MyFord Touch voice-activated mobile communications system.
The 2014 Ford Transit Connect Taxi will go into production and arrive in dealerships by early next year.