Ford's second-generation Transit connect promises class-leading fuel efficiency as order books open for late-2013 deliveries.
The new Transit Connect is priced from £13,921 to £19,130 (excluding VAT) – saving up to 7% versus equivalent outgoing models.
It will be sold alongside the new Transit Custom and the forthcoming Transit Courier and two-tonne Transit to be launched in 2014.
"Ford has taken the toughness and dependability of the current Transit Connect, made considerable improvements to the fuel efficiency, added smart new loadspace features, and delivered a dynamic new style," said Barb Samardzich, vice president product development, Ford of Europe.
"The all-new Transit Connect sets new standards for compact vans and provides the perfect partner for a wide range of businesses."
Developed under the One Ford global product strategy at Ford’s commercial vehicle centre of excellence in Dunton, Essex, the Transit Connect will be produced at Ford’s manufacturing plant in Valencia, Spain for sale across Europe, North America and other worldwide markets.
Available in van, double-cab-in-van and Kombi bodystyles with short-wheelbase (L1) and long-wheelbase (L2) versions, the Ford Transit Connect offers load area with total volumes of 2.9cu m and 3.6cu m with a full bulkhead, or 3.7cu m and 4.4cu m including the front loadspace area (L1/L2, measured to SAE). The new vehicle can carry payloads of up to 1,000kg matching best in class figures.
A load-through hatch in the bulkhead and fold-flat passenger seat enable long loads up to 3.0m (L1) and 3.4m (L2) to be carried in the vehicle. In addition, a multi-fold dual passenger seat now enables van models to carry up to three people in the cab. With a width between the wheelarches of 1,226mm, both models can accommodate two Europallets in the load area.
The Kombi and double-cab-in-van models offer seating for five, or seven in the L2 Kombi model, and deliver flexible rear seat configurations. DCiV versions feature a movable mesh bulkhead. The L2 model also offers a unique fold-flat seat capability that optimises loadspace from the front passenger seats rearwards and accommodates loads of up to 2m.
Ford claims best-in-class fuel efficiency, with the Econetic model capable of 70.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 105g/km when fitted with a fixed 62mph speed limiter (with other fixed and switchable speed limiters available as options) – a 34% improvement versus the current model.
The new model is also the first Ford van to offer customers the highly fuel-efficient 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, twice winner of the International Engine of the Year award, delivering class-leading petrol economy of 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 129g/km. Further improvements in routine servicing and maintenance costs also ensure that the new Transit Connect delivers significant savings in overall cost of ownership.
Ford Econetic Technologies, including Auto-Start-Stop and Active Grille Shutter, help to minimise fuel consumption on selected models. The full powertrain line-up includes the highly-efficient, Dagenham-built 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine with a choice of 75, 95 and 115hp power outputs, and the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with 100hp power output.
The Transit Connect has been subjected to ultra-stringent commercial vehicle testing and durability standards, covering the equivalent of three million miles in arduous testing, including at least 250,000 miles in tough real-world fleet conditions.
The all-new model also builds on the Transit Connect’s reputation for outstanding security: the improved remote locking system now offers two frequency channels for enhanced security and can be fully configured to the customer’s needs, while anti-tamper shielding of the door lock latches prevents destruction of the locks by drilling or chiselling.
Ford says the model has a stylish and spacious cockpit with car-like design and craftsmanship, smart stowage solutions, and the latest Ford driver assistance features and interior technologies.
The Transit Connect is the first in its class to offer Active City Stop, designed to help motorists avoid low speed collisions with stationary or slower moving traffic in front. The new van also offers Ford Sync connectivity with Emergency Assistance, a feature for which Ford already received a EuroNCAP Advanced Reward with the Transit Custom.