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Geneva show: Ford’s new Transit unveiled

Vantastic: The Ford Tourneo Custom concept previews the new Transit commercial and MPV range ahead of its 2012 launch.

Production-ready Ford Tourneo concept previews next-generation Transit

Ford logo23 Feb 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

FORD has previewed the next-generation Transit commercial range in the form of an eight-seat people-mover dubbed the Tourneo Custom Concept ahead of its public debut at the Geneva motor show next month.

Featuring the same ‘Kinetic’ design language as the Blue Oval’s latest passenger cars, the Tourneo Custom previews the new family of Ford people-movers and one-tonne vans to be launched throughout Europe and Asia by the end of 2012.

While not sold in Australia, the Tourneo badge is used on people-carrying versions of the Transit across Europe.

The ‘concept’ features a car-like front end, including a similar trapezoidal grille to the one recently introduced to the Falcon range, as well as a striking slash running along the flanks and a distinctive kink in the front windows.

The driver-focused cockpit strongly resembles the Focus and Fiesta passenger range, with a cluttered instrument fascia and high quality materials said to offer the ambience of a higher-end sedan.

The seats – which in the concept are fully hand stitched with cloth inserts – re-arrange into a plethora of different configurations or can be removed altogether.

27 center imageInside the cabin are a number of innovative technologies including voice recognition software, Ford SYNC emergency assistance, a rear-view camera in the rear view mirror and lane departure warning with driver alerts.

Chief designer of Ford Europe Paul Campbell said: “We set out to create a design with clean, futuristic lines and with a real sense of occasion.

“With its sportier stance, bold rising shoulder line and flush glazing, the Tourneo Custom Concept brings something fresh and exciting to this class of people mover,” he said.

Power comes from a 114kW version of the new 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine introduced into the existing Transit range – including in Australia – last year.

This new oil-burning engine will be the sole powerplant on offer when the new model enters production, but will be offered in three different states of tune – 74kW, 92kW and the already-mentioned 114kW.

All engines will come with idle-stop as standard, with Ford targeting best-in-class frugality, and will be matched with a six-speed manual transmission. There is no mention yet of an automatic option.

Based on a new global front-drive platform, the Tourneo concept has been engineered to “deliver car-like dynamics, including agile, responsive handling, enhanced ride comfort and reduced noise-levels”.

The commercial range will be available in both short- and long-wheelbase configurations.

Ford of Europe chairman and CEO Stephen Odell said: “2012 is a tremendously significant year for Ford as we begin the roll-out of a completely new range of commercial vehicles.

“Our market-leading commercials have established a tremendous reputation for value and durability, and our new range is destined to raise this to a new level.”

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