- New look inside and out
- More driver assistance systems to boost safety
- ECOnetic version offering 148g/km CO2 emissions and 49.6 mpg
- Starts production in late 2017 for customer delivery from early 2018
- Zero-emission capable Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) derivative to launch in 2019
A NEW-look Ford Transit Custom has been revealed, with more safety kit and a frugal new ECOnetic version as the highlights of the face-lifted version of the UK’s top-selling van arriving early next year.
Outside, the Transit Custom’s new look is designed to follow Ford’s latest passenger cars and consists of a high-mounted trapezoidal grille and dynamic, slim headlamps.
The lights in particular, are available with the latest technology such as the signature LED daytime running lights and powerful HID Xenon headlamps.
It’s not just the outside of the Transit Custom that gets a new look, the inside is completely new too, with an instrument panel based on Ford’s new interior design that can be seen in the all-new Fiesta with 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.
What SYNC 3 will mean to Transit Custom drivers is that they will be able to control the 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”, the driver will be able to find nearby fuel stations, cafés, or the location of their next job. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too.
Based around a horizontal design that emphasises the width of the cabin, the new instrument panel is made of hard-wearing materials, and features practical touches for drivers who treat the cabin like a mobile office during long working hours in their vehicle.
The Transit Custom’s interior design also 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.
More practical new interior 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.
Completely redesigned door panels with improved stowage and usability, with three large stowage spaces and a practical new grab handle integrated with the decorative door trim.
Finally new seat designs, offering more support should add to the comfort and new durable trims should improve the appearance inside.
The most distinctive new Transit Custom model has to be the Sport, with its signature twin bonnet stripes with orange or silver accents and the redesigned body kit. The sporty style continues inside the cabin, with part leather interior trim and striking new embossed fabric inserts.
Sophisticated driver aids
The new Transit Custom is safe too, introducing a sophisticated range of driver assistance features, being the first commercial vehicle to offer an 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.
There’s also 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 the Pedestrian Detection emergency braking system, Lane Keeping Alert, Side Wind Stabilisation and Adaptive Cruise Control.
The Transit Custom continues to be powered by the state-of-the-art Ford EcoBlue diesel engine, that’s designed, engineered and built at the Dagenham Engine Plant. Introduced in 2016 with a choice of 105PS, 130PS and 170PS power outputs, the updated model now offers a new ECOnetic version.
Available for the 300 Series short-wheelbase van, the new ECOnetic version comes with a 105PS engine, Auto-Stop-Start, low rolling resistance tyres, Ford’s innovative Acceleration Control feature, and a fixed 62mph speed limiter. The ECOnetic variant offers 148g/km CO2 emissions and 49.6mpg consumption, a further six per cent improvement over the most efficient current vehicle.
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 Custom will begin trials with fleet customers in London later this year.
What hasn’t changed, is that 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.
We can’t wait to get a go!