Buyers outside of North America will be able to choose between a short wheelbase version with a total length of 16.3 feet or a long wheelbase configuration that spans 17.5 feet from stem to stern. Indoors, the van can deliver up to 212 cubic feet of cargo area, or three european pallets stacked three-feet high. In addition, the floor offers enough space between the wheel wells to accommodate a 4x8 sheet of material.
The Transit Custom isn't headed to the North American market, though, which begs the question: Why do we care? Ford is set to replace the aging E-Series with a different Transit van that's specific to our continent, though that vehicle will be based on the global Transit Custom we see here. According to Ford, our van will yield 25-percent better fuel economy than the current E-Series thanks to either the same Ecoboost 3.5-liter V6 currently found in the nose of the F-150 or a diesel powerplant. The North American Transit is also supposed to weigh in 300 pounds less than its predecessor.
• All-new Transit Custom makes global debut at Birmingham CV Show, prior to sales launch later in 2012 in Europe and other global markets; vehicle is major step in Ford's commitment to refresh entire commercial vehicle line-up by 2014
• Transit Custom represents a completely new generation of one-tonne commercial vehicles from Ford, offering businesses unmatched combination of style, driver appeal and class-leading functionality
• Designed to significantly expand the Transit customer base with stylish and modern exterior, car-like interior and outstanding driving dynamics
• Supreme functionality with class-leading load-carrying ability, legendary Transit durability, and low cost-of-ownership with best-in-class fuel economy
COLOGNE, Germany, April 18, 2012 – The all-new Ford Transit Custom makes its global debut at the Birmingham CV Show, bringing new levels of style, driver appeal and functionality to the one-tonne commercial vehicle market.
Representing a completely new generation of Ford one-tonne vehicles, the Transit Custom marks a major step in Ford's commitment to refresh its entire commercial vehicle line-up by 2014.
With its bold new design, car-like interior and outstanding driving dynamics, the Ford Transit Custom is targeting an expanded share of the segment, appealing to a broad range of professionals, skilled tradesmen and small businesses.
The new model has lost none of the legendary Transit toughness and value, however, combining class-leading load-carrying ability, impressive durability and attractive cost-of-ownership – with best-in-class fuel economy.
"The Transit Custom is a completely new kind of one-tonne vehicle from Ford," said Jesus Alonso, director CV Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. "This is a stylish, modern van which customers will be proud to have on their driveway, while losing none of the hard-working attitude that they expect from a Transit.
"The launch of this new range marks the start of a far-reaching transformation of Ford's global commercial vehicle range. With more new models set to be revealed in the coming months, 2012 is destined to be a very exciting year for our commercial vehicle business."
With a full range of van, kombi, and double-cab-in-van models, the dynamic new Transit Custom will go on sale later in 2012 in Europe as well as other global markets. The Transit Custom model will not be offered in North America.
Bold new appearance
The all-new Transit Custom immediately announces its arrival with a bold new exterior which embodies the same dynamic character as Ford's kinetic design passenger cars.
"Customers want their vehicle to project a modern and professional image, and the new Transit Custom does not disappoint," explained Paul Campbell, chief designer, Ford of Europe. "We have given the vehicle a stylish, modern appearance which will be appreciated by businesses of all sizes.
"It's still a Transit, so the superbly practical loadspace is a given, but with its sportier stance and bold rising shoulder line, the Transit Custom makes a powerful new impact."
Signature kinetic design features help to give the Transit Custom its unique character, including the bold trapezoidal grille, strong and muscular shoulder line and prominent wheel lips.
From launch, the Transit Custom will offer a choice of short wheelbase (SWB - overall length 4.97 metres) and long wheelbase (LWB - overall length 5.34 metres) versions, so that customers can select the amount of load space which best suits their business.
Class-leading load carrying ability
Beneath its stylish exterior, the new model remains completely true to its Transit heritage by offering class-leading load carrying ability, including a number of innovative new loadspace features.
In addition to offering maximum load volume which exceeds that of its closest competitors (6.0 cubic metres SAE with full bulkhead fitted), the load area of the Transit Custom has been carefully optimised to offer more space and more convenience than any of its rivals. Key features and innovations include:
• Optimised bulkhead and loadspace design enables SWB model to carry three Euro pallets loaded to at least one metre high
• Load-through hatch in bulkhead enables loads up to three metres in length, such as pipes or ladders, to be safely carried inside the vehicle
• Class-leading width between wheelarches allows wide loads, such as 8 feet x 4 feet (2440mm x 1220mm) boards to be easily accommodated flat on the floor (or stored vertically if required)
• Class-leading height and width of sliding side load doors for ease of loading
• Deployable integrated roof rack system seamlessly integrated into the roof, and can be deployed when required. When not in use, the cross bars can be quickly folded down, reducing drag and fuel consumption, as well as keeping the vehicle height under two metres (with the exception of the 330 series)
• Repositioned tie-down hooks and fixing points located on the body sides, leaving the floor clear for easier loading and cleaning
• Easy clean load floor liner offers enhanced durability and simple cleaning
To provide customers with a wide range of payload options from 600-1,400kg, Transit Custom is available with multiple GVM options.
"This may be a more stylish Transit, but it's a more functional Transit too," said Barry Gale, Commercial Vehicles chief engineer, Ford of Europe. "The additional features we have built into the load space make everyday functions more convenient – so it's easier for customers to do their job."
Unmatched driver appeal
The Transit Custom brings a new level of car-like driver appeal to its segment with an all-new interior, advanced technologies and outstanding driving dynamics.
The modern, driver-focused cockpit features a sculpted instrument panel which combines stylish looks with smart stowage solutions for bottles, phones and papers. Driver comfort is significantly enhanced through a highly adjustable driving position which features increased seat travel – including 30mm more rear travel for taller drivers – and the addition of a steering column adjustable for reach and rake.
Once behind the wheel, the driver can call upon a wide range of available driver assistance technologies also featured on Ford's latest passenger cars, including:
• SYNC voice-activated, in-car connectivity system – enables mobile phones and music players to be connected to the vehicle, and operated by voice control
• Emergency Assistance – enabled by SYNC, this award-winning new feature is designed to assist occupants to contact the Emergency Services in the event of an accident, providing vehicle location information
• Rear-view camera – display integrated into the rear view mirror
• Lane Keeping Alert and Driver Alert – latest driver assistance features alert the driver if the system detects the vehicle is inadvertently drifting out of the lane, or the driver is becoming tired behind the wheel
The strong driver appeal of the Transit Custom is reinforced by dynamics and performance which have been carefully tuned to reflect the same natural and easy-to-drive character which customers appreciate on Ford's car range.
To achieve this, engineers have developed the new Ford global one-tonne platform which underpins the Transit Custom to make it much stiffer and stronger – increasing torsional stiffness by as much as 37 percent – benefitting both handling and noise levels.
Meticulous tuning of the suspension components and steering system has resulted in significantly improved ride comfort, along with more precise and agile handling. Like the new Ford Focus, the Transit Custom also features the latest Electronic Stability Program technology with Torque Vectoring Control for enhanced traction and stability.
The stiffer structure, together with a comprehensive effort to eliminate unwanted noise and vibrations throughout the vehicle, has resulted in a quieter environment for the driver – speech intelligibility has improved by nine percent within the cab.
To maximise occupant protection, the Transit Custom features an optimised body structure which features ultra-high-strength Boron steel for the first time on a Transit. In total, over 40 percent of the body is made from high-strength or ultra-high-strength steels, resulting in a strong and light body which is designed to offer high levels of crash protection.
The new vehicle also features an enhanced restraint system which now gives customers the option of specifying curtain airbags for the front seat occupants, in addition to driver and passenger airbags and seat-mounted side thorax airbags. As on Ford's latest passenger cars, a horizontal stroking steering column is also now fitted, to help reduce loads on the occupant's head and chest in the event of a high speed frontal impact.
Traditional Transit cost-of-ownership and durability
Like all Ford commercial vehicles which share the Transit badge, the all-new Transit Custom has been developed to offer exceptional cost-of-ownership and durability.
Low running costs start with the class-leading fuel economy, delivered by an improved version of Ford's 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine. Available in 100PS, 125PS and 155PS power ratings, this torquey and responsive power unit now features Auto-Start-Stop as standard on Stage V vehicles, delivering combined fuel consumption of 6.6l100km (42.8mpg) and 174g/km CO2 emissions – a reduction of up to 8 per cent on the equivalent current Transit.
Minimising overall cost-of-ownership was a high priority throughout the vehicle design and development, with key features including minimised maintenance and repair times, a 12-year anti-perforation warranty, and the longest service intervals in the class at two-years /50,000 km/30,000 miles.
To ensure the legendary Transit toughness, the all-new Transit Custom has been subjected to Ford's ultra-stringent Commercial Vehicle testing and durability standards.
Even before the vehicle goes on sale, it will have been driven the equivalent of five million km (three million miles), including at least 400,000km (250,000 miles) with Transit customers. Key components and systems are tested to the limit: for example, doors go through an intensive regime of 250,000 slam cycles, which is three times more punishing than Ford's equivalent passenger car test.
New generation of Ford commercial vehicles
The launch of the Transit Custom marks the next step of a complete transformation of Ford's global Commercial Vehicle range which will see the entire line-up replaced by 2014.
Ford will be presenting larger and higher payload Transits later in 2012. These models will be extensively sold on a global basis, including North America, and will also feature rear-wheel-drive.
Production of the new Transit Custom will start from mid-2012 at Ford's plant in Kocaeli, Turkey, with market availability later in the year.