Ford’s latest update of one of its most popular vans – the Ford Transit – was officially unveiled late last year. It caught a lot of public attention, and it’s no wonder. The Transit is already a firm favourite of UK businesses both large and small, and for years it’s been amongst the top choices for people looking for cheap new vans for sale. The upgraded model isn’t due to hit the market until at least mid 2019, so we don’t know all the details just yet. What we do know, though, is certainly enough to impress us here at Van Discount. The Ford Transit is enjoying a serious overhaul across both its interior and exterior. Amongst the major notable improvements are:
- A better fuel economy and reduced fuel consumption
- Hybrid mHEV technology
- Increased payload
- More power courtesy of its 185hp engine
- All new interior with built-in 4G
- A planned 10-speed automatic gearbox
So, let’s examine it in a little more detail!
Improved fuel economy
Ford estimate that all the various additions and upgrades to their new Transit will total around 7% real-world fuel savings over previous models, thanks to a number of new developments, from its upgraded engines to its brand new 48-volt hybrid mHEV technology.
What is mHEV?
This has been a key selling point in the marketing for the updated Ford Transit model, and one that’s likely to be a big draw for customers when it goes on sale later in the year. Well essentially, it stands for mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle, and it’s basically a new technology that uses a 48-volt electrical system to boost the Transit’s fuel economy. Available as an option on both the front and rear wheel drive of the Transit, the electrical system uses a small lithium ion battery. When the driver brakes, the electrical system captures the energy generated and then stores it in the lithium battery. This saved energy is then used to power on-board systems.
In real-world terms, this works out to around a 3% fuel saving compared to models without this technology. It might not seem like much at first glance, but trust us when we say that over long distances and timescales, the benefits really start to become apparent! According to Ford, this number jumps up to 8% with stop-start driving, like you’d experience in cities and congested town centres.
Upgraded engines and increased payload make the Transit lighter and more powerful
The Ford Transit’s 2.0 litre EcoBlue engine has seen significant work too, having been overhauled to improve the miles per gallon that the Ford Transit is capable of offering. These upgrades involve the addition of more powerful fuel injectors, and the engine’s pistons have been replaced with steel variants to reduce friction. The oil pump, too, has been reworked so that it’s now variable-flow. The upgraded Ford Transit also boasts an enhanced design of turbocharger. Its power ratings (105hp, 130hp and 170hp) still apply, but Ford are now introducing a new 185hp rating. Here at Van Discount, we feel confident in saying that the new Ford Transit will really “go”! Alongside these, the Transit’s Efficient Drive Mode system uses Global Positioning Technology to give the driver predictive advice concerning upcoming terrain, potentially streamlining fuel economy even further.
It’s not just the engines – the bodywork has seen some significant overhauls, too. Specifically, Ford’s engineers have embarked on a ‘significant programme of weight saving’, as they’ve improved the aerodynamics of the van, and added low-rolling resistance tyres. A lighter van is always good news, as it allows an improved payload capacity. There’s lots we still don’t know about this weight saving programme, but amongst the changes made are:
- An aluminium bonnet
- Variable-thickness steel wheels
- Redesigned exhaust (with a single silencer)
- Bulkheads made of composite material (as opposed to steel)
Further in the future, amongst the other planned changes is the automatic gearbox, which is scheduled to be upgraded to a 10-speed transmission, in order to further improve the van’s impressive overall fuel economy. (However, it’s worth noting that the availability of the 10-speed gearbox will be limited to rear-wheel drive Transits only.)
Updated interior with a raft of new tech
The cabin of the new Ford Transit is also going to be crammed chock-full of new technology, putting the finishing touches on a cabin that already looks like it’s going to be even more comfortable and user friendly. Amongst the new additions is a row of handy new storage bins along the top of the dashboard, and lower-specification models will also have cradles to store devices like mobiles and tablets.
We won’t go into exhaustive details about all the new technology in the new Transit – we’d be here quite a while – but some of the most interesting new additions include the FordPass Connect system, which adds a 4G Wi-Fi modem. This will connect to dedicated telematics services that Ford has plans to launch later in the year. On top of this, the FordPass mobile app allows remote locking and unlocking of the van through your smartphone, while the Ford MyKey technology lets managers programme limits on certain aspects of the vehicle, such as radio volume or speed limits. Reviews are already predicting that it’ll be of great interest to fleet managers!
How much will the new Ford Transit cost?
The short answer is that we don’t know yet. As we touched on above, Ford aren’t quite ready to release the van to the general public just yet; it’s looking like it’ll be more likely later in the spring or summer. However, it’s a fair expectation that all this new technology and efficiency improvements will come at a slightly higher market price than previous models of the Ford van. As for exactly how much that price difference will be… we’ll have to wait and see!
In the meantime, if you’re looking for some great new van deals, look no further. We’ve got a fantastic range of stock right here at Van Discount, with models from leading global manufacturers such as Peugeot, Citroen and Ford, including the legendary Peugeot Boxer Vans and New Citroen Relay. Why not take a look around and see which one catches your eye, or give us a call on 01282 872 530, and see what we can do for you!