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The current Crown Victoria wears many hats here in the States, as it is the transportation of choice for taxis, police, mob hitmen and senior citizens. With the eventual phasing out of North America's last body-on-frame car platform comes the Transit Connect, which is already on sale overseas and ready for multitasking on our shores. We've already seen a Transit ready for taxi duty, catering, and cable installation, and now the Blue Oval is pushing the busy little work van into the performance market.

Ford of Europe has announced the Transit Connect SportVan, which comes fully equipped with Performance Blue paint, Ford GT-style racing stripe, and seven-spoke 18-inch rims. Power comes from a 1.8L Duratorq TDCi diesel, which likely won't set the streets ablaze, but Ford provides some sporty features to make the working man's Mini Cooper feel fast. Some features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, high quality leather seats with eight-way seat adjustment, ABS, traction control, and some bright-work for the dash. In the past, such news would mean little to us here in the States, but since the Transit Connect is headed our way, there is a chance we could one day see a SportVan on Woodward or Hollywood Blvd. Hit the jump to read the press release.

[Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE:

FORD TRANSIT CONNECT SPORTVAN DEBUTS AT CV SHOW

* Stylish new Transit Connect SportVan is now a production reality
* Available in Performance Blue with white bonnet stripes
* Powered by the acclaimed 1.8-litre Duratorq TDCi 110 PS engine
* On sale from September 2008
* Prices announced nearer the on sale date

Birmingham, 15 April, 2008 – The new Ford Transit Connect SportVan production model makes its global debut today at the Commercial Vehicle Show, at the NEC, Birmingham.

Steve Kimber, commercial vehicles director, Ford of Britain, said: "The reaction to the Connect Sport concept shown at last year's Show, left us in no doubt that there is a demand for a production version. Just 300 models will be available when they go on sale this summer and we anticipate the same interest as we got for its big brother Transit SportVan.

"Transit Connect SportVan is all about style. Our customers want to stand out from the crowd in a vehicle that keeps their business moving," he added.

The Transit Connect Sport has an array of additional exterior and interior styling features over and above the established Transit Connect, including: full body coloured bumpers, a bright chrome grille and side skirts, front and rear sports skid plates, body coloured roof spoiler, silver door mirror housings and exhaust finisher complete the look. Wheel arch liners and bodyside mouldings offer protection from minor knocks and dirt accumulation.

Exterior colour is Performance Blue with bold Ford GT-style white stripes and 18-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels complete the sporty exterior styling features.

Inside is just as sporty with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, a silver surround to the centre stack and Transit Tourneo-style air vents. High quality leather seats with eight-way seat adjustment, ABS with anti-spin, traction control and park distance control, air conditioning, power windows and mirrors and a side loading door. High levels of audio equipment are included; a six-CD changer, Bluetooth® and remote stalk operation. A full bulkhead prevents any cargo movement and is partly glazed.

Like all Transit Connect models the cabin is ergonomically and practically designed, with overhead full width storage and an overhead centre console. Recognising the high security needed for goods often carried in the Transit Connect, the vehicle is equipped with a full bulkhead, remote double locking and a perimeter alarm as standard features.

The provision of a rear floor mat helps retain the high level of finish to the floor and is designed to prevent any cargo from slipping. In terms of safety, front and side airbags are standard Front fog lamps are also standard as is the heated windscreen with Ford's Quickclear technology.

Equipped to provide performance and efficiency
The Transit Connect Sport is based on the SWB 220 van and is fitted with the acclaimed 1.8-litre Duratorq TDCi engine. Delivering 110 PS, this engine is the most powerful of the three available to Transit Connect customers, delivering
250 Nm of torque.

The Transit Connect range is now available with c-DPF (coated Diesel Particulate Filter.) It is available as an option on two of the three power outputs of the 1.8-litre Duratorq TDCi – the 110 PS and 90 PS. Compliant with Euro Stage IV regulations, the c-DPF is of a design that re-generates itself. If normal driving conditions are attained, there is no need for special servicing or individual attention to be given to the c-DPF.


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