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2006 News archive - 2006

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New Ford Transit Has It All

September 2006

Ford's most successful global commercial vehicle range, Transit, enters a new era in its long and accomplished life with a series of extensive improvements to keep it ahead of the competition.

"The new Transit range will feature fresh styling to create a bold contemporary look inside and out, along with improvements to safety, security, driver comfort and powertrain" said Ford Australia Vice President of Marketing & Sales, Mark Winslow.

"The range will also extend to an additional three derivatives, which will offer customers an even greater choice for the transportation needs.

A wider range
The 2006 Transit range introduces three new derivatives to the Australian market to add to the already extensive model range to better suit the needs of van customers. These include:

* A front-wheel-drive (FWD) range in both short and medium wheelbases with a low roof

The FWD range is ideally suited for customers who are looking for large cubic space but want low roof heights to enhance flexibility during inner city deliveries. These customers also have lower payload and performance requirements with greater focus on fuel economy than rear-wheel-drive (RWD)Transit customer.

* A double cab extended frame cab chassis

The double cab extended frame cab chassis (EF) model offers customers the ability to carry greater loads with its upgraded 4.25T GVM. An added benefit is that the DCAB EF comes with four passenger seats in the rear, thus allowing transportation capability for up to seven people, including the driver. The DCAB EF is ideally suited to meet the needs of business fleets and organizations that send out teams of maintenance or inspection crews with heavy equipment.

A fresh new look inside and out
The new Transit has been redesigned to reflect the needs of today's commercial vehicle owner/driver.

"Interior enhancements include an elevated dash-mounted gear shifter for a more ergonomic car-like driving position, while exterior design changes give the vehicle a stronger, more modern profile when viewed head on," said Mr Winslow.

The most noticeable exterior changes between the old and the new model are at the front where the bold new two-bar grille sits between new, more vertical headlamps. Positioned in the middle of the grille is one of the largest blue oval badges in Ford's global line-up.

Major changes have also been made to the Transit interior, reflecting the desire of some users for van interiors to contain the same level of user-friendly features as passenger cars.

Improvements include a completely new dashboard, a two-tone instrument panel, new car-like steering wheel and new trims.

A more convenient work place
New and innovative storage solutions ensure that Transit is now an even more convenient workplace.

These innovative storage solutions include room for two 2-litre bottles and adequate space for a hanging A4 size folder in the glovebox.

A significant change in the cabin sees the gear lever moved up to the dashboard – providing improved ergonomics. It also gives a completely clear floor area from the driver's side to the passenger's side for "walk through" access, and also through to the back of the vehicle (when the optional single passenger seat is chosen in place of the standard twin passenger bench seat).

All vans feature new cargo storage rails, which are fixed at waist height along the inside of the load carrying area and offer handy load tying points.

A full range of bulkheads is also available as accessories for vans, as are other options such as carry bars, a rear ladder and an interior partition to divide the space between the cabin and load bay.

All models feature an auxiliary power output, located in a hidden storage section between the steering wheel and the windscreen. This hidden section makes it suitable for mobile phones and similar small devices, and a similar storage area is located on the passenger side as well. Vans also offer an additional power outlet, found on the B pillar.

Transit will feature a range of 10 paint colours, including four solid and six metallic alternatives. The new colours are Frozen White, Tonic (blue/silver), Magnum Grey, Sublime (green) and Blue Ambition.

Safety and security
"Protecting the occupants in an accident is an important function of the vehicle’s structure and Ford's engineers were keen to improve on the already high standards set by the Transit," said Mr Winslow.

A driver’s airbag is standard across the range, and the latest generation Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) is now also standard on all RWD Van, Cab Chassis and Bus models.

The new Transit now features ventilated front discs (300mm on all rear-wheel-drive and two-tonne models, 280mm on one-tonne/front-wheel-drive models) with post vents for increased thermal capacity to reduce fading and 'graunch' under heavy braking. Solid discs are fitted at the rear.

New 'safety pack' options, which feature a combination of some or all of the following (depending on model) include a 120-litre passenger airbag (to suit bench seat passengers), Traction Control, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) and Load Adaptive Control (LAC). Side airbags are now also available (on models with single passenger seat), as are new reverse parking sensors on all van models.

Ford's proven Anti-Theft Safeguard (PATS) immobilizer is also standard on all models.

New durable and economical engines
"Transit will be powered by a choice of efficient, powerful diesel engines that meet Euro Stage IV emission compliance, and from the first quarter 2007, a petrol engine will also be available," said Mr Winslow.

High pressure common rail diesel technology provides the benefit of increased torque at each cylinder firing to achieve better fuel economy and lower fuel emissions.

"With their highly competitive torque output, these diesel engines will ensure the new Transit has impressive load carrying ability, high towing capability, impressive acceleration and competitive fuel economy," said Mr Winslow.

The 2.2L TDCi engine in the short-wheel base Transit (available in front wheel drive models only), will deliver 81kW and 285Nm and is matched with a five-speed Durashift manual transmission.

The long-wheel base vehicle will feature a six-speed manual transmission and a 2.4L TDCi engine with maximum power of 103kW and 375Nm.

For further peace of mind, a 'Water in fuel' sensor is also included on diesel derivatives.

The LPG compatible 2.3L petrol engine (rear wheel drive only) will offer power of 104kW and torque of 206Nm. It is coupled to an upgraded five-speed manual transmission.

The drivers' favourite
"The design team at Ford of Europe listened to Transit customers and made the new model a more enjoyable place to be, with a host of new convenience features," said Mr Winslow.

New standard features include air conditioning on all models (including dual air conditioning in the bus), power front windows, power mirrors, power remote keyless entry and a CD player. A six stack CD player is available as an option.

The rear windows now have a demist feature, and to enhance ease of operation, cruise control is also now available as an option on diesel models.

One particularly innovative feature is a step which has been incorporated into the front bumper of the vehicle. The cut-in step makes it easier for users to reach and clean the windscreen, and also to access the engine bay for topping up fluids like windscreen washer.

A new sound deadening pack also reduces road noise reaching the cabin and has resulted in reduction of NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness).

Cab chassis users also benefit from additional functionality offered by a 1850kg heavy duty front axle, which is standard on cab chassis derivatives.

40 years and still going strong
In 2005, Transit celebrated its 40th year on sale, during which it has become the definitive vehicle in the light commercial sector – seeing off a host of impressive rivals around the world. More than five million Ford Transits have been made and sold across the globe since 1968.

"We are confident the new Transit will prove just as popular as the vehicle it succeeds, which won the International Van of the Year title in 2001," said Mr Winslow.

"Loyal customers tell us that they respect Transit as a tough professional that is hard working, trustworthy, dependable and capable of meeting just about any business or personal transportation need.

"The new 2006 Ford Transit takes these market-leading strengths and builds upon them with the next generation. The range of new features, styling and dynamic changes will ensure that many new customers, who take pride in themselves and their business, will also take pride in placing their name on the side of a new Transit."

TRANSIT GETS EVEN BETTER: THE NEW MODEL IN DETAIL

DESIGN
“Transit has always had the image of being the original, tough van. That’s part of its heritage, and we wanted to find a way of getting it to stand out in the crowd without reverting to more generic styling cues, like some manufacturers do by putting car-like curvy lines on the front of their vans. We wanted to go the other way and have a lot of presence and enhance what the Transit buyer is looking for. We tested everything using foam models to make sure it all functioned properly before we even started on the clay.”
Chris Bird, Director Design – Ford of Europe

Exterior design
Seen from the side, the new Ford Transit has a much stronger, distinctive profile. The doors also retain a low belt line for good visibility, whilst maintaining Transit’s signature window shape but with a redesigned graphic panel.

It is from the front that you can clearly see the Transit’s new design direction with its strong two bar grille.

Raising the hood around the cowl gives the Transit a more imposing stance and an impression of strength and power, as well as providing a convenient hand-hold for when cleaning the windscreen. With the vertically oriented headlights there is a clear link to design elements that echo themes found in other Ford products.

The high-tech appearance of the headlights is enhanced by square shaped surrounds and the cast metal appearance of the inner bezel. Rear lamp graphics have also been modernised and now feature a simple clear glass lens with coloured indicator bulbs.

A three-piece bumper design has been retained, and now features cut-in steps at either side so it is easier for users to reach the windscreen.

Fresh colours and new wheels Transit now features 10 bright and vibrant colours, including the new Frozen White, Tonic, Magnum, Sublime and Blue Ambition, which recognise the trend towards more contemporary metallic finishes.

Two new tyre sizes are introduced with the new Transit:
195/75 R16C 107/105 R for 1850 kg front axle on dual rear wheel entities; and
215/75 R16C 116/114 R tyre for 350 extended length single rear wheel entities.

Interior design
Interior design elements that embrace ergonomics, quality materials and good build quality are now deciding factors when it comes to choosing between one vehicle and another. Drivers generally demand that the cabin – which is their workplace – should be as sophisticated and as comfortable as the car they drive in their free time.

However, an effective design for a Transit cabin is far more complex to achieve than the interior of a passenger car. This is because this space must at the same time be a working environment, an office, a place for the driver and passenger(s) to eat and relax as well as its primary function of being the driver’s workstation.

The interior of the new Transit has been transformed, and features an all-new two-tone instrument panel, car-like steering wheel and high mounted gear shifter.

The changes largely resulted from research carried out by Ford's ergonomics team into how Ford Transit owners of all ages and both sexes used them on a daily basis. This included seeing how they interacted with the instruments and controls, examining what they carried in the cabin and what type of storage facilities were needed.

It was this research that inspired the relocation of the gear shifter from the floor up into the centre console. This has a number of advantages: it frees up floor space and allows ‘walk through’ cabin access, it provides a more car-like driving experience and it reduces noise, vibration and harshness transmission into the cabin.

The instrument panel and centre stack of the new Transit have been designed for the working driver. In a conventional design sense, the interior design aesthetics did not start until the design team had laid out where all the elements should ideally be positioned, thereafter it became a case of harmonising it all.

The new two-tone finish of the instrument panel includes a practical, dark colour for the upper surfaces complemented by a lighter shade in the lower areas to enhance the feeling of spaciousness and car-like quality, as well as achieving the sense of functional harmony.

NEW POWERTRAINS
“The primary driver for powertrain developments was Euro Stage IV emissions which become mandatory for commercial vehicles in Europe from January 2007 onwards. We took the opportunity to launch the emission programme ahead of legal requirements, to the benefit of all new Transit owners. We also wanted to take advantage of the latest technologies to achieve better fuel consumption, lower emissions and improved noise, vibration and harshness.”
Barry Gale, Chief Engineer Commercial Vehicles – Ford of Europe

The latest generation Transit is offered with a choice of two all-new Duratorq TDCi diesel engines – one 2.2-litre and one 2.4-litre variants, plus a four-cylinder 2.3-litre Duratec petrol engine that is CNG/LPG compatible (available early 2007).

New Duratorq diesel engines
The two Duratorq TDCi common-rail diesel engines share the following common elements:

* Cylinder head with two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder
* Maintenance-free simplex timing chain drive
* Charge-air cooling (intercooling)
* Water-cooled and electronically controlled exhaust gas recirculation (e-EGR)
* Turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (2.4-litre TDCi)
* Weight-reduced cast-iron cylinder block (6 kg less than the previous model) with optimized geometry and wall thickness for high stiffness and lower deflection of airborne noise
* Ladder frame design for extremely stiff layout of the engine's connection between oil pan and clutch housing
* Six cylinder head bolts per cylinder for highly uniform clamping of the cylinder head gasket as well as reduced deflection of bores
* Minimised water jacket volume contributing to optimised engine warm-up
* Direct assembly of ancillaries to cylinder block/ladder frame to reduce weight and radiated noise levels

Both engines feature common rail injection systems. Thanks to this proven system and to the engine's very modern layout with four valves per cylinder and centralized injector, the new Duratorq TDCi engines solidly meet Euro Stage IV emission limits that demand a 50 per cent reduction in oxides of nitrogen and a 40 per cent reduction in particulates from the outgoing Stage III levels.

Increased power and torque
Front-wheel-drive Transits are available with an 81kW Duratorq TDCi 2.2-litre diesel engine mounted in an east-west configuration. This engine has a bore diameter of 86 mm and a 94.6mm long stroke crankshaft and provides 285Nm of torque.

Rear-wheel-drive Transits feature a Duratorq TDCi 2.4-litre diesel engine displacement in a north-south configuration, offering 103kW/375Nm. This engine has a bore diameter of 89.9 mm and a 94.6mm long stroke crankshaft.

Cylinder block
The cylinder block-ladder frame assembly of both engines provides a major contribution to enhanced stiffness of the powertrain. This assembly weighs about 8 kgs less than a comparable conventional block.

A redesigned cylinder head features new port geometries for the primary and secondary intake port. Both are designed to improve flow and swirl ratio for best possible cylinder filling which supports a quick and effective combustion and at the same time helps protect against the particle emissions. Also new is the valve train which uses a modular rocker system instead of a traditional rocker shaft. The rockers run in a pre-assembled modular aluminium carrier that simplifies servicing.

A new generation common-rail high-pressure fuel injection system running at 1600 bar is used on all Duratorq TDCi diesel engines. The 2.2 litre TDCi has fixed geometry turbochargers, while the 2.4 litre TDCi features electrically actuated variable nozzle turbochargers for optimised torque irrespective of engine speed.

Euro Stage IV Emissions Meeting EU Stage IV emission standards with the new diesel engines required an optimised Duratorq TDCi format with four-valve technology, centrally positioned injection nozzle and fully electronic fuel injection, combined with cooled exhaust gas recirculation and an oxidation catalyst.

In the lower speed and load ranges, the new Ford Duratorq TDCi engines realise exhaust gas recirculation rates of more than 50 percent (around idling speed). At engine speeds above 1500 rpm, the exhaust gas recirculation is controlled by a program map, up to effective median pressures of 10 bar, thus effectively contributing to lower NOx-emissions over a wide range of the program map.

Ford's intercooling system for the exhaust recirculation is water-cooled for optimal system performance and lifetime durability.

With so many Ford Transits being used for stop-start urban deliveries there was a challenge to achieve rapid light off for the catalysts after start up. This has been achieved by close coupling of the catalyst to the exhaust manifold next to the turbocharger.

Engine packaging
Engine ancillary layout has also been altered to improve packaging, especially in the front-wheel-drive applications. The fuel injection pump on the east-west mounted front-wheel-drive engines is moved to the back of the engine running off the inlet cam rather than off the timing chain at the front as with the previous design, releasing the major part of load on the timing chain and letting the engine run quieter.

Thanks to a detailed revision of the water pump and the respective belt drive system there is also a new, lighter front-end accessory drive, with the new engine powering the relocated water pump, alternator, power-steering pump, vacuum pump and air-conditioning compressor.

The diesel variants also include an Oil Level and Temperature (OLT) sensor. Mounted on the ladder frame next to the turbo oil feed drain, the oil sensor system uses electrical resistance to measure oil level and temperature. This engine also has a centrifugal filter integrated in the oil circuit – located inside the newly designed cam cover – which removes damaging soot particles from the oil.

New Duratec petrol engine
A new Duratec 2.3-litre 104kW/206Nm in-line four cylinder petrol engine will also form part of the new Transit powertrain line-up from the first quarter of 2007.

Complete with balancer shafts for smoother running, the engine features Electronic Throttle Control for smoother response under acceleration. It uses a mechanical 'returnless' fuel system and a 'smart' fuel pump to regulate pressure, removing the need for separate pressure regulators and temperature/pressure sensors improving robustness and simplifying servicing.

The engine meets Stage IV emission legislation and has 20,000km or one-year oil service intervals. Hardened valve seat material means it can be converted to run on LPG or CNG.

Transmission and drive-line
Front-wheel-drive Transits all come with a five-speed manual gearbox whilst the rear-wheel-drive 2.3-litre Duratec petrol features an upgraded five-speed transmission. A six-speed manual is standard on the 2.4-litre Duratorq TDCi rear-wheel-drive variants.

Flywheel and clutch
Dual mass flywheels are adopted on all new rear-wheel-drive diesel powered Transits. By dampening engine torsional vibrations they help to reduce gear rattle and body boom. All other variants have single mass flywheels that also provide isolation from engine torsional vibrations, helping to reduce NVH.

To extend clutch life, the six-speed rear-wheel-drive has a 256mm diameter clutch – 16mm bigger than the five-speed transmissions.

Axles, driveshafts and final drive ratios All front-wheel-drive Ford Transits are fitted with a new design of half shaft with 36 teeth inboard joint splines. All models have anti-shudder inboard joints. Final drive ratio is 4.23.

Rear-wheel-drive models have a new live rear axle with the ring gear increased from 8.8 to 9.25 inches to cope with the increased torque. A solid rubber coupling between the transmission and prop shaft reduces driveline harshness and smoothes torque transfer.

Final drive ratios for rear-wheel-drive models vary depending on engine and weight class and with the engine's higher torque are optimised for reducing engine speed and noise when cruising as well as improving take-off performance, refinement, clutch durability and fuel economy.

OWNERSHIP
“Recognising the heavier duty cycles a commercial vehicle goes through means we have tougher test specifications than for cars and we've increased these standards even more in certain areas. For instance, because we now have more contact with and data coming from the Turkish market, our test procedures now reflect their rougher roads and higher dust content.
Phil Collareno, Commercial Vehicle Director, Product Development - Ford of Europe

Owner expectations of their vehicles have increased in recent years and they are now no longer just the preserve of the workplace, but cross boundaries and are central to many owner’s lives both personally and professionally.

“Everyone has a view on Transit,” says Mr Collareno. “People see it as strong, tireless, reliable, a hard worker, honest, a workhorse; traditional, functional, less of a car and more of a van. But with the shift in emphasis towards artisan owners, we wanted to build on that reputation with more style and finesse, while also appealing to the fleets."

Light and medium commercial vehicle customers are increasingly demanding the same features and equipment levels they find in their cars. Even in budget vans, owners expect power steering, airbags, and a decent radio-CD player. Transit features all of these items. These combine to make the new Transit the best specified model ever, with a feature list that rivals any contemporary passenger car.

But essentially, for all customers the key benefit of Transit ownership is reliability. With this in mind, engineers have worked on the latest model in minute detail, extending component life in some cases to 400,000 kilometres.

Other factors which enhance Transit ownership, making it a worry-free owning and driving experience are:

* Car-like interior
* Superb ergonomics and cabin storage
* Smaller steering wheel
* Raised gear lever with slicker action
* Side airbags available
* New instrument panel sub structure for improved structural integrity
* Reduction in squeaks and rattles
* Noise, vibration and harshness reduced significantly
* Revised engine layout for easier servicing and repair
* Coated panels in areas particularly prone to corrosion
* New door seals for reduced wind noise
* Improved door wedging and full bulkhead enhance body rigidity
* Front axle plating of 1850kg on the Cab Chassis
* Improved vehicle dynamics determined by Ford passenger car standards
* Better steering response
* Disc brakes all round with ABS, Electronic Brake force Distribution and roll-over mitigation available
* Redesigned front structure reduces accident repair costs
* New headlamps that are easier to repair and service
* Improved roof rack loading
* Sophisticated hydro mounts for all engines
* New range of diesel and petrol engines are quieter and more fuel efficient
* Improved starter motor durability
* Electronic Closed Area Network (CAN-BUS network)
* Three tapping points for additional electrical requirements
* Wiring harnesses re-routed to avoid accidental damage when modifying the vehicle
* Additional wiring protection to help guard against chafing
* Tamper proof odometer helps prevent clocking

The focus during development has been on making owning and using this latest generation of Transit as satisfying an experience as with any other Ford product.

LOADBOX AND PAYLOAD

Ford's continual Transit customer research has allowed the development team to establish very close ties to its customer base.

The research also includes the design team. They undertake a lot of immersive research with operators to understand how the vehicle is used, especially in relationship to ingress, egress and loading.

Over time, clear differences have been identified between one- and two-tonne operators: one-tonne Transits tend to be used for inner city delivery, small businesses and daily deliveries. Two-tonners tend to be used more for fast highway delivery of heavy goods. These long distance load carriers are cargo functional, carrying heavier payloads and needing a larger cube.

Even with the wide range of Transit models available, customer research highlighted the need to extend the line up to include a short wheelbase and medium wheelbase low roof variant. These models are ideal for accessing limited height areas such as underground and multi-storey car parks.

The Transit range is comprehensive, and offers:

* A heavy-duty front axle on Cab Chassis ideal for campervans and ‘blue light’ operators such as emergency services
* 20 basic structures and body styles, front- and rear-wheel-drive
* Unique van and chassis cab platforms
* Three wheelbases and four load lengths from 2.58 to 4 metres
* The leading load capacity in the 3.5-tonne GVM class
* Improved structural strength
* A 150kg roof rack load limit
* Two sizes of side load door

DRIVING DYNAMICS AND CHASSIS
“Central to Ford’s brand DNA is its vehicle dynamics and we set out to apply a similar criteria used for our passenger cars to the new Transit. We want all Ford vehicles to be recognised for their fun to drive capability.”
John Reed, Vehicle Engineering Manager – Ford of Europe

The words 'ride and handling' and 'commercial vehicle' are not ones you usually see in the same sentence, but Ford engineers are confident that the new Transit will herald a step change in how commercial vehicles will perform on the road and be perceived by their operators.

From the beginning of the programme it was realised that drivers wanted Transit to display vehicle responses closer to those of passenger cars, whilst still retaining its tough reputation and load carrying capability.

The fact that the Ford Transit comes in front and rear-wheel-drive, four wheelbase configurations and a variety of body styles added considerably to the complexity of the programme.

Furthermore, developing the system for a commercial vehicle is far more challenging than identical technologies used on a passenger car as there is a far wider range of load conditions, from an empty vehicle with just the driver on board in an urban environment to a fully laden one at speed on the highway. These extremes and everything in between had to be taken into account.

To achieve consistent dynamic behaviour across the model range, the Transit team used a variety of models that reflected the most extreme loading conditions in both front and rear-wheel-drive configurations and all four wheelbase lengths.

In addition, the team also saw the development of the new Transit as an opportunity to introduce in combination: disc brakes front and rear, ABS, and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).

While a number of small changes were made to the suspension, the basic layout (MacPherson strut front and a Hotchkiss rear axle) remained unchanged, including;

* A high degree of commonality between front-wheel and rear-wheel-drive suspension in terms of configuration with common cross member, steering gear, suspension arms, knuckle, hub, shock absorbers, spring and suspension top mount. Only differences are springs, shock absorbers and bushings tuned for different payloads and configurations, e.g. buses.
* Pick-up points from the previous model were retained but reinforced. MacPherson strut top mounts moved up 30mm for improved reinforcement in that area, resulting in reduced NVH, better control and reduced friction.
* Front anti-roll bar relocated to the MacPherson struts, as on passenger cars, improves initial steering response.
* Minimising friction in the front suspension and steering gear has resulted in sportier, more responsive steering at high speed without increasing effort when manoeuvring.
* New, quicker steering ratio (16.6:1) for most models improves feel and response.
* Rear springs mounted on wider shackles and brackets and increased bush size significantly improves lateral compliance.

New brakes
By using a CANbus system for the first time with ABS, the Transit team were able to develop a suite of electronically-controlled braking and dynamic systems that significantly improve the Transit's safety envelope.

The new Transit now features ventilated front discs (300mm on all rear-wheel-drive, 280mm on front-wheel-drive models) with post vents for increased thermal capacity to reduce fading and 'graunch' under heavy braking. Solid discs are fitted at the rear.

New twin piston callipers are fitted at the front, single piston callipers at the rear. All pads have wear sensors. A 9 and 10-inch tandem booster system now increases assist by 20 per cent. Tuned and optimised for pedal feel, customers will feel the benefit of this most when the vehicle is fully laden. The Transit handles superbly even without the extra safety systems now fitted to it; the extra enhancements serve to make it even better.

Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS)
The increased braking efficiency is further improved with ABS, which is now standard across the rear wheel drive range. Speed sensors on each wheel detect if it is locking under braking and modulate brake pressure to help prevent the tyres from skidding and the driver losing control of the vehicle. ABS also enhances braking on split surfaces, redistributing brake torque to whichever wheel(s) has the optimum traction.

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution ensures the optimal braking force balance between the front and rear wheels depending on driving conditions and load.

If the rear wheels slow quicker than the front under braking, this can cause a break in traction and, in extreme instances, put the vehicle into a spin. More braking force can be applied to a laden vehicle as the additional weight at the rear improves grip, but the same braking force applied to an empty vehicle could cause the vehicle to skid or spin. Ford’s new EBD system now automatically senses the braking force and modulates it to compensate for vehicle loading.

Brake Traction Control System (BTCS)
BTCS is available on Transit as an option and is particularly useful on those vehicles that encounter a wide range of slippery surfaces where traction might be problematic – which is generally the case around construction sites. Ford’s BTCS-system comes into effect as soon as wheel slip is detected, using the brake to slow the wheel until it regains grip. It doesn’t throttle back torque from the engine, but transfers the torque to the wheel with the most grip.

The system works at speeds of up to 40km/h, and is particularly efficient when one wheel is on a slippery surface, such as wet grass, and the other is on dry tarmac.

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
By combining traction control with DSC, the Transit team has developed a sophisticated system that is available on a number of models and can detect when the vehicle is deviating from the driver’s chosen course and automatically apply the correct amount of power and braking adjustments to help bring it back into line.

Sophisticated yaw sensors and lightning fast electronic control systems sense the deviation and react over a high-pressure brake pump system far quicker than any human to help prevent understeer or oversteer.

DSC constantly monitors input from vehicle speed, steering input and wheel speed. As soon as a variation from the norm is detected, DSC initiates the relevant response:

* If the tyres begin to lose sideways grip when cornering with a potential for under or oversteer this is instantly detected by the Active Yaw Control (AYC) sensor that immediately alerts the DSC system to activate brake intervention and torque reduction to help bring the vehicle back into line. For instance: if the vehicle starts to understeer when turning left, DSC will apply the left rear brake thus helping to turn the vehicle into the bend. If the vehicle is oversteering then DSC will brake the outer wheels to help turn the vehicle back into line.
* Roll over mitigation is triggered if the Active Yaw Control sensor detects excessive body roll or lean during tight steady state cornering; the DSC system intervenes to counteract this by applying the brakes and torque intervention.
* During high speed lane changes, the DSC system triggers the Roll Movement Intervention (RMI) programme that uses rapid brake and torque intervention to help prevent the vehicle from toppling on its side.
* Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) comes into operation when a fast rate of brake pedal application is detected, e.g. during an emergency stop, increasing the brake pressure when insufficient effort is being applied by the driver. ABS is activated simultaneously.
* DSC can also automatically increase brake pressure at any wheel beyond that initiated by the driver whilst simultaneously limiting engine torque

One of the big challenges facing the Transit team was to make all these electronic systems work effectively irrespective of the vehicle’s loading condition and centre of gravity. To achieve this, a Load Adaptive Control (LAC) was developed. The total load is estimated by calculating the amount of engine torque required to accelerate the vehicle and is adapted over a period of time.

Full throttle intervention Traction Control is standard with DSC and gives the driver all the benefits of full Traction Control as is the case with Ford's passenger cars.

By offering these technologies and honing the existing suspension settings and components, the new Transit has matured into a commercial vehicle in which anyone – from a full-time delivery or long-distance driver to a school teacher taking pupils out for a day – will feel immediately at home.

DRIVER COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
“The simple truth is that customer expectations are rising; they want more in their van now than five years ago. They expect the same comfort and equipment levels as their car.

“Comfort is a key attribute for all drivers whether they’re long haul drivers who spend hours behind the wheel, delivery drivers or artisan-owners where the van plays a dual role in their professional and private lives.

“In the six years since the last Transit was launched, we've spent a lot of time observing how vans are used and listening to what customers want. We've distilled all that into this latest model to make Transit a leader in terms of driver comfort and convenience.”
Peter Fleet, Director Commercial Vehicles - Ford of Europe

The reality is that nowadays a van is more than a tool. There’s more of an emotional link between the choice of van and the role it plays in people’s lives.

One of the key aspects is the idea of the van as a second home, where it plays a key role both in the customer's business and private life. As the business develops these owners often make trade-offs with their car. As a result the van has developed a usage pattern that includes journeys traditionally done by car – for example, taking the children to school, running around at weekends etc. The vehicle effectively becomes part of the family fleet.

This family aspect of van usage is another reason why customers expect similar equipment and safety levels to their cars. But, as well as that, during the working day it is both a work place and a place for the operator to relax in when not working.

In addition, commercial fleets are looking more to their drivers for recommendations and validation of choice.

To ensure that the new Transit meets customer needs, the design team spent time with operators observing how they interacted with the vehicle and what type of storage facilities and other equipment they wanted.

Storage solutions
The cabin is much improved and now offers a number of class-leading storage solutions:

* Two large stowage bins in the top surface of the instrument panel, the driver’s with a 12 volt power point
* A flip over working surface/picnic table and A4 ring binder stowage
* A large glove box with hanging rails for A4 files
* Car park/toll ticket holder
* Two two-litre bottle holders
* Two cup holders, a third is available if the ashtray is deleted

Climate control
To provide maximum levels of comfort, the new Transit offers a heater with recirculation and manual air-conditioning system as standard.

The air-conditioning system cooling performance has been uprated with a new, larger capacity compressor. Repositioned air vents on the new instrument panel ensure more rapid demisting of the front screen and side glass.

Instrument panel
The instrument panel is now two-tone: the upper surface is a practical dark colour that also helps to minimise windscreen reflections and the lower area is lighter to increase the feeling of spaciousness.

Seating
Seating arrangements remain flexible with a driver and two passenger configuration as standard, and driver and one passenger as an option.

The front seats themselves are mounted on new pedestals to reduce the likelihood of collapse during a crash, thus helping to limit injuries and the seat foams have been redesigned to improve comfort, especially over long distances.

Steering wheel
Two new steering wheels are available on the new Transit. In addition to the standard steering wheel, a leather-wrapped wheel featuring brushed aluminium spokes and cruise control switches is available. The leather-wrapped wheel is standard equipment when cruise control is specified on the diesel models.

Driver aids
Installed on Transit for the first time is the latest CANbus electrical architecture that allows fast communication between the main electronic control modules and information sharing between different electronic systems. The use of this technology has allowed the Transit team to develop a range of new driver-focused technologies, including:

* Cruise control available on the Transit for the first time, controlled by steering wheel mounted switches
* Rear parking aid available, using ultrasonics to sound an alarm to the driver when reversing in confined spaces
* New instrument cluster with an LCD display between the speedometer and tachometer
* Built-in alarm clock
* CD player standard, with option of six-CD autochanger

Driver comfort
Ford's Transit team has gone to great lengths to ensure that the new vehicle is comfortable to drive even in the most demanding conditions.

The major advance has been a significant reduction in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Numerous solutions have been adopted to ensure that Transit driver comfort is even more car-like:

* The new diesel engine range uses latest common rail injection to reduce noise
* New petrol engine includes a balancer shaft to improve smoothness
* New engine hydro mounts across the range
* Foam filled cavities in body structure reduce attenuation
* Stiffer structure for the instrument panel
* Heavier sound proofing on the floor
* Remote, high-mounted gear shifter isolates inputs from the transmission
* Improved body gaps reduce wind noise

Easy to operate
One of the key requests that came through to the Transit development team was to improve how the vehicle felt to drive and operate, moving away from the traditional and heavy "truck" feel to an easier, more car-like character.

The engineering team achieved this by applying the same development processes used in the development of the acclaimed driving environment and dynamics for Ford's passenger cars.

Careful attention, for example, was paid to developing steering feel, so that it is evenly weighted and linear during cornering or at speed on motorways, but doesn’t require excessive effort for low-speed urban driving. The same criteria have been applied to pedal efforts with special attention paid to throttle tip-in so the driver gets an immediate, linear engine response when accelerating away.

Recognising that Transit is also driven by people who aren't used to driving commercial vehicles on a regular basis, for example when the vehicle is hired by someone moving house, or as a mini-bus for an outing, the engineering team made the clutch effort as predictable and progressive to use as possible. A dual mass flywheel, as well as careful tuning of the spring loadings and hydraulics, has helped in this process.

Driving effort is also reduced thanks to the wide torque bands of the new engine range which ensure the driver isn't constantly changing gear to maintain speed and momentum. For instance, the new rear-wheel-drive 2.4-litre Duratorq TDCi has 70 per cent maximum torque at 1250rpm.

However, it wasn't just the driver's interface with the steering, pedals and gear shifter that caught the attention of the Transit development team. Many of the minor controls within the cabin and the indicator stalks are derived from cars in the Ford range and retain the same ergonomic layout. This was done specifically to provide a car-like feel to the overall Transit driving experience.

SAFETY
“All Transit buyers, quite rightly, take safety as a given. With the high mileage covered by many drivers and the fact that increasing numbers of Transits now have dual business and family usage, we have endeavoured to build on the reputation established by the outgoing model and make the new Transit even safer for our customers.”
Phil Collareno, Commercial Vehicle Director, Product Development - Ford of Europe

The new Transit features a wide range of advanced electronic safety systems. These include an Antilock Brake System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Traction Control, and Dynamic Stability Control and are fitted to the new Transit either as standard or optional equipment on a number of models.

'Primary' safety is the term now used to describe the vehicle dynamics and electronic chassis controls. A vehicle that responds well to driver inputs – steering, braking, and accelerating – will be safer than one that doesn't. Add to that the gallery of electronic aids Ford has included in its latest Transit and the result is a vehicle that safer than even before.

Unfortunately, accidents may still happen and if they do, the driver and other vehicle occupants need to be protected and shielded from any untoward impact by the vehicle’s 'secondary' safety systems.

Protecting the occupants is a main function of the vehicle's structure and whilst the outgoing Transit was considered very safe, the development team took the opportunity to build on that reputation and further enhance the Transit's safety systems.

Particular attention was paid to re-engineering the front structure. Using the very latest Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) capabilities, the Transit team redesigned the front and side rails to collapse more progressively under impact. For lower severity impacts, this also reduces the area at the front that is likely to be damaged.

In these lower speed impacts, an added bonus in the majority of cases is that the engine and transmission no longer need to be removed to effect repairs, reducing maintenance time and cost.

The driver and occupants also benefit from this redesign and a stronger cross-vehicle structure under the instrument panel helps to minimise intrusion into the cabin. As part of this programme the driver's seat also has a stronger mounting pedestal.

A driver’s airbag is now fitted as standard on all derivatives while the optional passenger’s airbag – at 120 litres – is double the size of the previous model and large enough to help protect two front seat passengers. Seat-mounted side, head and thorax airbags are available as an option for the first time on Transit.

Transit's 'command bridge' driving position is also a confidence booster for many drivers.

Seat belts are fitted to all seating positions with the upper mounting point raised, increasing the adjustable range from 52mm to 100mm.

SECURITY
“Security is one of the biggest concerns of Transit operators, not just theft of property and goods from the vehicle, but of the vehicle itself. We’ve listened very hard over the years to what our customers want and we’ve tried to deliver that and more when it comes to security systems for the new Transit.”
Barry Gale, Chief Engineer Commercial Vehicles – Ford of Europe

The latest Ford Transit is launched with a full suite of security measures, designed and engineered to frustrate and deter would-be thieves. The new Transit comes with an alarm which monitors the perimeter of the vehicle with traditional switches and sounds an internal horn. The system is set by the standard remote locking key

Additional Transit security systems are listed below.

Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS)
Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) is standard on the new Transit and each vehicle has its own unique coded chip in the key fob and cannot be started without the chip in close proximity to the steering column lock. Even if the steering column lock is broken and the vehicle is 'hot-wired' it will not start if the inductive loops in the steering column and key fob are not communicating.

The steering column also has a slip torque lock which shears if the steering wheel is forced, leaving it to spin uselessly.

Waterproof rechargeable key The new Transit debuts a waterproof key that automatically recharges each time it is put into the ignition lock. This feature is particularly important to those operators working in wet environments or for delivery drivers who might be in and out of the cab 50 or more times a day. The third button on the key can be used for remotely operating features such as lighting on chassis cabs.

Hood lock
To help prevent tampering with the engine and control systems, access to the engine bay can only be gained using the ignition key operated bonnet lock. The lock is situated behind the radiator grille.

Cable-free doors
All the locks are self-contained within the doors and are free of cables, so drilling the door out won't aid the thief.

Locking strategy
In addition to the configurable locking strategy, Transit operators can select from manual, mechanical locking or electronically-operated central locking which offer as standard:

* Power door dead locks:When locked, it is impossible to open the doors using the internal door release, helping prevent a thief from smashing a window to lean in and open the door. This is standard across the range except for the bus.
* Two-stage unlockingepending on body style, locking is configured to open one or more doors on the first button press and the remaining doors on the second. For example, it allows customers to lock the cargo area and leave the cabin unlocked or vice versa.
* Auto relocking:If – after 45 seconds following a signal to unlock the door – the door has not been opened, it will automatically relock. This guards against accidentally activating the key fob and leaving an unattended vehicle
* Audible mis-lock feedback:The horn sounds automatically if a door is left ajar when the vehicle is locked or a lock is prevented from fully engaging

Above and beyond the standard locking features are a number of options that can be specified:

* Additional remote key fob: Two remote key fobs allow more than one user control of the locking/unlocking and alarm features. This is not available with chassis cabs
* Auto locking on drive away: All doors automatically lock once the vehicle speed exceeds 8km/h. The doors remain locked even if the vehicle slows or stops, although the driver or passenger locks can be released using the interior door handle

'Follow you home' lights
‘Follow you home’ head and sidelights remain on for 45 seconds from the time the doors are secured. This is a first for the Transit, and a notable safety and convenience feature usually found on much more expensive vehicles.

VIN identification
A number of electronic components have the Vehicle Identification Number securely embedded within them. This improves the insurance rating of the vehicle and acts as a deterrent to vehicle and component thieves.

Tamper proof odometer
To help prevent 'clocking,' the odometer distance recordings are stored in more than one electronic module. If any of these modules need replacing during the life of the vehicle the distance recordings are automatically cascaded to the new module, making it difficult to 'clock' the vehicle without replacing costly and complex electronic componentry.

Furthermore, each time the ignition key is inserted, the PATS system checks round all the sub systems to ensure they are all present and all the modules are 'related'.

VM TRANSIT RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICING

VM Transit Model Description (RRP) (Inc. GST)*
VANS -
FWD SWB Van – T/Diesel $32,990
FWD MWB Van – T/Diesel $34,490
RWD SWB Van - Petrol $33,990
RWD SWB Van - T/Diesel $36,990
RWD MWB Van - Petrol $35,990
RWD MWB Van – T/Diesel $38,990
RWD LWB Van - Petrol $37,490
RWD LWB Van – T/Diesel $40,490
CAB CHASSIS -
LWB Single Cab Chassis – T/Diesel $36,790
LWB Crew Cab Chassis – T/Diesel $40,490
BUS -
Transit Bus – T/Diesel $49,990

* Excluding dealer delivery and statutory charges
REGULAR PRODUCTION OPTION PRICING

The following Regular Production Option (RPO) Recommended Retail Prices (RRP) apply.

Option RRP (Inc. GST)
Safety Pack – FWD, RWD T/Diesel Van and Bus models $900
Safety Pack – RWD Petrol Van and Cab Chassis models $600
Side Airbags $500
Mid Roof ilo High Roof $500
High Roof ilo Mid Roof $1,000
Jumbo Pack $3,500
4.25 GVM Extended Frame – Single and Crew $2,800
RHS Load Door $500
Tailgate $300
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with EBD $900
Prestige Paint Option $500
Cruise Control $660
Reverse Parking Sensor $500
6 CD Player $685
Load Area Protection Kit $350


 

 

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