Ford tells us that the new Transit will help operators to be even more productive when the 2-tonne van goes on sale in mid-2019, with up to 80kg more load-carrying capability following a top-to-bottom programme of weight savings.
Sophisticated engineering including Ford’s first aluminium bonnet for a commercial vehicle in Europe, a composite bulkhead and spin-formed wheels were optimised during the development process using advanced computer-aided design (CAD) systems typically employed in the aerospace industry.
These are among the innovations that have helped Ford engineers reduce the kerb weight of the new Transit to enable customers to carry larger loads for greater operating efficiency. The new Transit rear-wheel-drive 350GVM, long-wheelbase, medium-roof model, for example, is 80kg lighter than the comparable out-going model. The equivalent front-wheel-drive van is 48kg lighter.
“Payload is critical for businesses. Lighter weight also improves fuel efficiency and CO2emissions, so every part of the Ford Transit team worked to a weight-saving target, while maintaining strength and durability as a priority,” said Michael McDonagh, Transit global chief programme engineer. “The increased payload further enhances the Transit’s reputation for outstanding productivity.”
The new Transit is also up to seven per cent more fuel efficient, thanks to an upgraded 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel line-up delivering CO2 emissions from 156g/km, a more powerful 185PS variant and a new 10‑speed automatic transmission for rear-wheel-drive models. A segment-first EcoBlue Hybrid 48-volt mild-hybrid option further improves upon 2.0-litre EcoBlue fuel efficiency by up to an additional eight per cent in stop-start urban applications, delivering CO2 emissions from 144g/km.
New driver assistance tech and advanced new connectivity features make working days less stressful for operators, and FordPass Connect on-board modem technology will help fleet professionals to improve vehicle utilisation and optimise running costs.
Ford is the number one commercial brand in Europe and Ford Transit range sales rose by 11.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same period last year, with total sales of 81,700. Ford sold 380,900 commercial vehicles in its European 20 markets in 2018.