Ford Reveals New Transit Custom
By Kyle Lindsay
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 18:30
Ford has revealed the new Transit Custom one-tonne commercial vehicle, delivering bold new design, an all-new interior and enhanced productivity to European businesses. New Transit Custom will be available to order later this year, and is scheduled for customer delivery in early 2018.
Powered by the Dagenham-built Ford EcoBlue 2.0-litre diesel engine, Transit Custom has been re-engineered to offer significant new features and capabilities, including a new ECOnetic variant, delivering improved fuel efficiency and 148 g/km CO2 emissions.*
The UK’s best-selling commercial vehicle now sports a bold new front-end design with three-bar Transit grille, a completely new cabin that offers best-in-class stowage, improved comfort and ergonomics, and easy connectivity with SYNC 3 or MyFord Dock options. Further technologies introduced to commercial vehicles for the first time include Intelligent Speed Limiter.
“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, Commercial Vehicles, 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 generation Transit Custom sets the scene for Ford’s next major commercial vehicle innovation, with the introduction of the zero-emission capable Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) derivative scheduled for 2019. The PHEV Transit Customwill begin trials with fleet customers in London later this year.
Introduced in late 2012, Transit Custom quickly established itself as Ford’s top-selling commercial vehicle in the UK and across Europe. Total European sales for 2016 were at 118,000 units – a further 15 per cent increase over the previous year’s record – with more than 50,000 of those sales in the UK alone.
Transit Custom was the first of Ford’s expanded all-new Transit line-up to go on sale – later joined by the Transit Courier, Transit Connect and Transit models – and was a key driver in Ford becoming Europe’s number one commercial vehicle brand in 2015, a leading position it has held ever since.
Ford EcoBlue engine and new ECOnetic variant
The new Transit Custom is powered by the state-of-the-art Ford EcoBlue diesel engine, designed, engineered and built at the Dagenham Engine Plant. It was introduced to the range during 2016 with a choice of 105PS, 130PS and 170PS power outputs, and delivers significant cost of ownership and performance benefits compared to the previous 2.2-litre diesel, with fuel-efficiency improved by up to 13 per cent and low-end torque enhanced by 20 per cent.
The updated model now offers a new ECOnetic variant, available for the 300 Series short-wheelbase van, which comes with a 105PS engine with a unique calibration and Auto-Stop-Start, low rolling resistance tyres, Ford’s innovative Acceleration Control feature, and a fixed 62 mph speed limiter. The ECOnetic variant delivers 148 g/km CO2 emissions and 49.6 mpg, a further six per cent improvement over the most efficient current vehicle.
The new Transit Custom continues to offer commercial vehicle operators the same breadth of capabilities from a vehicle line-up that includes two roof heights, two wheelbase options, a gross vehicle mass range from 2.6 tonnes to 3.4 tonnes offering payloads up to 1,450kg, and bodystyles including van, kombi and double-cab-in-van.
The new model maintains the Transit reputation for delivering class-leading load-carrying ability, with innovative loadspace features such as the load-through hatch in the bulkhead for extra-long items, and the integrated roof rack that can be folded away when not in use.
Dynamic styling and cabin for the perfect mobile office
New Transit Custom has a dynamic and professional new front-end appearance that shares the same design DNA as Ford’s latest passenger cars, with a high-mounted trapezoidal grille and dynamic, slim headlamps. The latest lighting technologies are available, with high series models featuring distinctive new signature LED daytime running lights and powerful HID Xenon headlamps.
The cabin interior is completely new, with an instrument panel based on Ford’s new interior design philosophy – pioneered on the all-new Fiesta – which offers a user-centric layout that is influenced by consumer interactions with smart devices and tablets.
Based around strong horizontal design elements that emphasise the width of the cabin, the new instrument panel features hard-wearing materials, and is packed with practical touches designed for drivers who treat the cabin like a mobile office during long working hours in their vehicle.
The new design provides class-leading interior stowage, with up to 25 litres of space offered in the instrument panel, including three convenient open bins on its upper surface with space for clipboards or mobile devices, and generous glove box stowage capable of storing hanging A4 files in the lower closed compartment.
Further new practical features include a fold-out cup holder beneath the gear lever, adding to the cup holders and 2-litre bottle holders at each end of the instrument panel. The door panels have also been completely redesigned for improved stowage and usability, with three large stowage spaces and a practical new grab handle integrated with the decorative door trim.
For the driver, all-new displays and control panels have been designed for enhanced ergonomics and ease of use, and high-series models feature a floating, tablet-inspired eight-inch colour touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system that can be operated with pinch and swipe gestures.
SYNC 3 will enable Transit Custom drivers to control audio, navigation and connected smartphones using simple, conversational voice commands. Simply by pushing a button and saying “I need fuel”, “I need a coffee”, or “find an address”, drivers can locate nearby fuel stations, cafés, or the location of their next job. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™.
For vehicles not equipped with the larger displays, the MyFord Dock in the centre of the instrument panel provides the ideal location for drivers to mount, store and charge their smartphone, MP3 player or satellite navigation system. USB and 12-volt power sockets are located in the upper stowage bin in front of the driver, and alongside the gear lever, for easy device charging.
Comfort is enhanced by new seat designs featuring revised foam padding and geometry for optimised support, while trim materials have been completely renewed throughout the cabin, with a focus on quality, durability and appearance. This includes seat fabrics that have been subjected to Ford’s toughest-ever abrasion tests.
Advanced technology and driver assistance features
The new Transit Custom introduces a sophisticated range of driver assistance features, and is the first commercial vehicle to offer Intelligent Speed Limiter, which enables automatic adjustment of maximum vehicle speed to remain within legal limits, using the Traffic Sign Recognition system to detect speed limit signs.
The new model also offers Ford’s Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, which warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them, ideal for vans that often have restricted rearward visibility.
These new features add to the comprehensive suite of technologies already available for Transit Custom, including the Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection emergency braking system, Lane Keeping Alert, Side Wind Stabilisation and Adaptive Cruise Control.
The latest specification also includes the smooth and responsive six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, and a unique-to-segment rear air suspension system on Kombi M1 models that delivers a supple, controlled and level ride across a wide range of load conditions.
Customers can also specify a new Upfitter Interface Module, which allows aftermarket conversions and accessories to access data from the vehicle’s electrical systems, so that they can be operated and controlled more efficiently using real-time vehicle data.
Range-topping Sport series gets fresh new look
The new Transit Custom range is headed by the dynamic 170PS Sport series, available in a wide choice of eight different body and seating options including van, kombi and double-cab-in-van models in both short and long wheelbase versions.
The Sport’s signature twin bonnet stripes and exterior body kit have been redesigned for the new model, including distinctive new two-tone stripes in black with orange or silver accents. The sporting style continues inside the cabin with partial leather Ebony interior trim that combines striking new embossed fabric inserts and leather bolsters.