The Ford Transit, the company's most popular commercial vehicle in Europe, is joining the CO2-reduction revolution and at the same time improving its fuel economy.
Slated to go on sale later this year in England, the Transit ECOnetic is a front-wheel drive Transit 280 panel van with a short wheelbase and 2.2-liter 115 PS Duratorq TDCi engine. CO2 emissions, according to Ford, are 189 g/km while its targeted fuel economy is 39.2 mpg.
"We appreciate that our commercial vehicle customers have a clear interest in saving fuel and lowering their cost of ownership. At the same time, environmental friendliness is also growing in importance for them, and with the new Transit ECOnetic they can achieve both," said Steve Kimber, commercial vehicle director, Ford of Britain. Ford also said its Fiesta Van, a compact work van, will also include the CO2 technology when it goes on sale later this year.
Ford of Europe's first ultra-low CO2 ECOnetic vehicle, introduced at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, was the Ford Focus. Since then, the company has introduced other vehicles. The Transit is the company's first foray into the commercial market with the technology.
The ECOnetic includes optimized rolling resistance tires and low friction oil, a green shift indicator light to let the driver know when the best time to shift is and low-drag wheel covers. The engine has a closed-loop, coated Diesel Particulate Filter that allows the vehicle to meet Euro Stage V emissions standards, a first for Ford. The 115 PS engine reaches peak power at 3,500 rpm with a maximum torque of 300Nm at 1,800 to 2,000 rpm, Ford said. ECOnetic vehicles use a combination of common-rail diesel powertrains with features engineered to reduce CO2 emissions.
"Although all models in our current European portfolio are highly competitive in terms of CO2, we do know that more and more car buyers seek the lowest possible emissions as a key reason for purchase, and that they have an increasing range of such vehicles to choose from in the market," John Fleming, Ford of Europe president & CEO, said at the time. "By launching specific models, with dedicated Ford ECOnetic badging across our three key market segments, and which achieve ultra-low CO2 results, we will give a clear alternative to those customers who prioritize low emissions performance in their purchasing decision."
The new vehicle boasts a 6-sp. manual Durashift transmission, offering a wider range of gear ratios from the previous 5-sp. version. This also boosts fuel economy while providing more power and torque performance, according to Ford. It also includes a shorter gearing in first gear to offer improved pull-away performance.
Standard options include Ford's Electronic Stability Program with Hill Launch Assist, the Ford Audio 6000 unit as well as load box safety equipment with a full steel bulkhead and solid tie down hooks. Options offered include a trip computer to monitor fuel performance, rear parking sensors and a rear view camera with overhead 7 in. color display.
Offering a 2,418 lbs. gross payload limit and 8.5 cubic yards of cargo area, the ECOnetic has independent MacPherson strut suspensions on the front and single leaf springs on the back. The antilock braking system includes roll-over mitigation and hydraulic brake assist.
In explaining the choice of ECOnetic for the name of the line, Fleming said it "links ecologically friendly technology to our kinetic design ‘energy in motion' philosophy for both driving quality and emotional styling. Above all, it assures our customers that these models will not sacrifice any of the driving dynamic qualities they have come to expect from Ford, even though ultra-low emissions have been prioritized."