Ford is aiming to consolidate its presence in the commercial vehicle market by unveiling its latest generation of connected and hybrid Transit vans at the IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hannover on September 20.
The new two-tonne Transit heads the change, getting a segment-first 48-volt mild hybrid (mHEV) technology. There is also a Transit Custom plug-in hybrid (PHEV) which will go on sale sometime next year. The new two-tonne Transit will pack a range of more fuel-efficient engines, increased payload capability, built-in connectivity options, ad advanced driver assistance systems when it goes on sale mid-2019. Aesthetically, it gets a new front fascia and an all-new interior with improved storage space.
The upgraded 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engines are more efficient than before, but customers will still be able to spec their Transit with the 48-volt mHEV technology on manual transmission versions, thereby improving fuel efficiency. The mHEV system works especially well in start-stop urban traffic with its ability to capture energy during moments of deceleration, later releasing it to aid electrical ancillaries or even drive the engine.
The Transit PHEV will be showcased in Hannover in its final production form, complete with a hybrid system that targets a pure-electric range of up to 50km. It will also use a 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine as a range extender. The Transit PHEV’s total range is said to be more than 480km, helped in part by the compact liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack situated underneath the load floor.
“Hannover will mark the arrival of an exciting new family of Transit commercial vehicles that are ‘born connected’,” said Hans Schep, CV Executive for Ford of Europe. “Advanced connectivity, and our game-changing electrified vehicles, will create extensive new opportunities to create value for our customers.”
At the show, Ford will also be announcing two new connected-vehicle fleet solutions developed by Ford Smart Mobility. Ford Telematics is the first of these, meant to provide fleet operators with a web-based application that will help them improve vehicle utilisation, maximise vehicle availability, and optimise running costs. Ford Data Services will provide the same fleet operators with a platform to work with their own third-party service providers to access OEM-level vehicle data.