Details of the new additions to Ford Australia’s showroom in 2014.
Ford Transit (January, Q2)
Ford Australia will overhaul its Transit commercial vehicle line-up in two waves in 2014. The short-wheelbase Transit Custom will arrive first in January, promising more car-like dynamics, styling and technologies, including the Sync connectivity system from Ford’s passenger car range. The front-wheel-drive Transit Custom is powered by a 92kW/350Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. The regular Transit will complete the line-up in the second quarter of the year. The larger, long-wheelbase, rear-wheel-drive variant will be available in a range of body styles, including vans with multiple roof heights, single- and double-cab chassis utes, and a 12-seat bus.
Ford EcoSport (February)
Currently, Ford’s pint-sized, front-wheel-drive EcoSport SUV is only available in top-spec Titanium trim, complete with premium touches like Sync voice-control system, high-end audio and multi-function display screen. Engine choice is between a turbocharged 92kW/170Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine matched with a five-speed manual ($25,790), or an 82kW/140Nm 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol four mated to a six-speed auto transmission ($27,790). In February, the range will grow with the addition of an entry-level Ambiente model, powered by the 1.5-litre, with a choice of five-speed manual ($20,790) or six-speed auto ($22,790). A mid-range Trend variant, in 1.0-litre manual ($22,290) or 1.5-litre auto form ($24,290) will arrive at the same time.
Ford will expand its Australian-designed Ranger workhorse line-up in 2014 with a new body style of the XLS and the brand-new XL-Plus. The more generously specified XLS will be available as a double-cab ute with a 110kW/375Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel ($45,590) to join the already available 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel ($48,090). The XL-Plus is essentially a heavier-duty Ranger, featuring the 3.2-litre diesel engine, auto transmission, locking rear differential, a towbar rated to 3500kg, daytime running lights, running boards, 17-inch steel rims, a second battery, and an expanded, heavy-duty wiring harness. Aimed squarely at industry buyers in mining, forestry and government, the macho Ranger will be available as a single-cab chassis ($46,280), double-cab chassis ($51,760), and double-cab ute ($52,760). Ford is also adding sat-nav to the existing XLT range, and the XL single-cab chassis (2.2-litre) will pick up side airbags as standard.
Ford Falcon (Q4)
In a bitter sweet unveiling for Ford Australia, the final iteration of its long-serving Falcon will break cover in 2014 before production finishes and the nameplate is retired two years later. Likely to be coded FH, Ford says the design is signed off, to which an insider added that it was the easiest program because it was unanimously loved internally, with a “great design” promised. Ford has only released a teaser image of the final Falcon so far, though, which shows a sharper front-end that appears a cross between the European family face of the Fiesta and Focus – in the large, low mounted trapezoidal grille – and the American Mustang – note the angular, aggressive headlights. The FH will also mark the return of the V8-powered XR8, briefly re-joining the mainstream Ford line-up; its release coinciding with the closure of Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV), as announced earlier this year. The XR8 will almost certainly use the FPV-developed Miami V8, a 5.0-litre supercharged engine currently producing 315kW/545Nm in the FPV GS and 335kW/575Nm in the FPV GT. The engine line-up will otherwise carry over unchanged, Ford execs confirm, also adding that little new tech will be introduced.