The 2016 Ford Transit range has expanded in Australia this week with the addition of a 12-seater bus variant targeted at businesses, schools, sport clubs and government departments.
Behind the three standard seats in the front, the new Ford Transit 410L LWD adds nine more seats in a 2-3-4 configuration over its regular mid-roofed van counterpart.
Ford says that this seat layout allows for interior flexibility and significant cargo space. The new Transit bus can also be driven by anyone who holds a full Australian driver’s licence.
Under the bonnet is Ford’s familiar 2.2-litre ‘Duratorq’ turbo-diesel engine, which produces 114kW of power at 3,500rpm and 385Nm of torque between 1,600 and 2,300rpm, mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
The Transit bus also features fuel-saving stop/start technology, regenerative charging, and a battery management system.
Adding to the spec sheet, the Transit bus sports an uprated gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 4100 GVM – up from 3550 GVM – and an impressive 2500kg braked towing capacity.
Ford says that its engineers have tuned the bus to deliver car-like driving dynamics in both urban and highway environments, aided by rear-wheel drive and torque vectoring.
The company also claims that the new bus is significantly more refined than its predecessor, with improved ride comfort the main focus.
Inside, the Transit bus features numerous storage cubbies scattered throughout the cabin, including a large compartment under the front passenger seat and door pockets that can swallow an A4 clipboard and two-litre drink bottle.
A version of Ford’s voice-activated Sync system is fitted, which includes the Sync emergency assistance feature, that uses the driver’s Bluetooth-paired mobile phone to call emergency services for assistance in the event of an accident.
The system calls for emergency response and begins a ten second countdown during the call so the driver can cancel if necessary.
Only a handful of options are available for the new 12-seat Transit 410L LWD, including the City Pack ($1,500); which adds front and rear parking sensors, electro-chromatic rear-view mirror, reversing camera and front fog lights, while the ‘Moonlight Silver’ prestige paint ($500) and a single passenger seat ($150) instead of the standard dual-passenger seat, are also available.
The newly-introduced Ford Transit bus starts at a manufacturer’s list price (MLP) of $57,680 before on-road costs.
2016 Ford Transit range pricing (before on-road costs):