The first model in the all-new Ford Transit range has been revealed ahead of its unveiling at next week’s 2012 Birmingham commercial vehicle show.

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The Ford Transit Custom previews the manufacturer’s new generation of one-tonne commercial vehicles that aims to pair the traditional qualities of functionality and durability with a new focus on style and driver appeal.

Ford Australia’s Neil McDonald confirmed the new Transit would arrive in local showrooms in 2013, and said a similar range of body styles and variants would continue to be offered. Globally, the initial range will include short- and long-wheelbase options (4.97m and 5.34m total vehicle length, respectively), along with van, dual cab-chassis and bus variants, with more versions to be added later in the model’s lifecycle.

Ford Australia’s outgoing Transit range includes three wheelbases, three vehicle heights and van, cab-chassis and 12-seater bus configurations.

Embracing the kinetic design language applied to Ford’s passenger cars, the new Transit gets a much-needed injection of style and personality inside and out, as previewed by the Ford Tourneo Custom concept from Geneva.

Powering the new range is an upgraded version of the 2.2-litre Duratorq diesel engine. Depending on the market, it will be available in three states of tune – 74kW, 92kW and 114kW – and specific variants will also benefit from stop-start technology helping reduce fuel consumption to as low as 6.6 litres per 100km.

In-cabin technology has also taken a leap forward, with Ford’s SYNC voice-activated connectivity system, emergency assistance feature, rear-view camera, and lane keeping and driver alert systems all available in selected models and markets.

Like the Ford Focus, the Transit Custom features electronic stability control with torque vectoring control, and curtain airbags are now optional for front-seat passengers.

Ford says the new Transit has class-leading width between its wheel arches and taller and wider side sliding doors than any of its competitors. A load-through hatch in the bulkhead enables loads up to three metres in length and the short-wheelbase model can carry three Euro pallets loaded to at least one metre high.

Local specifications and prices will be revealed closer to the launch of the new Ford Transit later this year.