Back in 1965 when Ford introduced the Transit Van, not many realised how far it would come. Some 40 years later and with 6 million Transits sold, the commercial van has become the most successful vehicle in its class. To continue the model's evolution and to keep up with industry trends, Ford will introduce a Transit ECOnetic variant to the range in July.
For those unfamiliar with the ECOnetic branding, it's Ford's version of BMW's EfficientDyanmics or Mercedes-Benz's BlueEFFICIENCY. Essentially, it's suppose to signify the brand's ultra fuel efficient range. The Ford Fiesta ECOnetic was the model that kicked it off, delivering leading fuel-economy figures of just 3.7L/100km (beating the Prius). Focus and Mondeo are also offered in Econetic variants in Europe but Ford Australia is set to expand its local ECOnetic range with Transit first.
The Ford Transit ECOnetic Van will make use of the existing 2.2-litre Duratorq diesel engine coupled to a six-speed manual transmission. This results in fuel economy figures of 7.2 L //100km (189 g/km of CO2 emissions). The engine delivers 85 kW and 300 Nm of torque (1800-2000 rpm).
Although offered only in Short-Wheel-Base size, the engine's power and torque figures are exactly the same as the non-ECOnetic variants, so how exactly does Ford manage to reduce fuel usage by 1.0L/100km? By applying the same idea as the Fiesta ECOnetic, Ford makes use of:
- Low rolling resistance tyres (215/75 R16C) with "aerodynamic wheel covers"
- Low friction oil
- A retune of the 2.2L Duratorq TDCi engine to better suit the new setup.
- A green shift indicator that tells the driver when to shift up or down.
- It will also interestingly be speed limited to 110 km/h.
"We have been looking for opportunities to extend our ECOnetic range of vehicles since we introduced the Fiesta ECOnetic in late 2009. Offering low fuel economy and emissions to commercial van customers, through a range of ECOnetic technologies, was the logical next step to build upon the extremely successful launch of the Fiesta ECOnetic." said Ford Australia Marketing, Sales & Service Vice President Beth Donovan.
No need to make stereotypes here but does the average van driver care all that much about fuel economy and cuddly polar bears in the north pole? Ford thinks so.
"We expect that the Transit ECOnetic will appeal to customers who prioritise low fuel costs while reducing their impact on the environment, it is a true no compromise alternative for business owners as it has better fuel economy and lower emissions than the leading vans on offer today." said Donovan.
The Transit ECOnetic Van will have an asking price of $36,490 come July.
|Transit ECOneticVan SWB||TransitVan SWB||Toyota Hiace LWB 3.0L diesel||Hyundai iLoadSWB 2.5L diesel|
|Combined fuel economy (L/100km)1||7.2||8.2||8.6||8.5|
|Combined CO2 emissions (g/km)1||189||216||225||225|
|Maximum cargo capacity (m3)||6.55||6.55||6.0||5.2|