Ford Transit Connect

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Ford Transit Connect
Ford Tourneo Connect - Mondial de l'Automobile de Paris 2012 - 001.jpg
2014 Ford Tourneo Connect at 2012 Paris Auto Show
Overview
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Also calledFord Tourneo Connect
Production2002-present
Model years
  • 2002-present
  • 2010-present (North America)
Body and chassis
ClassCompact MPV/minivan
Body style
Chronology
Predecessor
 
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Ford Transit Connect
Ford Tourneo Connect - Mondial de l'Automobile de Paris 2012 - 001.jpg
2014 Ford Tourneo Connect at 2012 Paris Auto Show
Overview
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Also calledFord Tourneo Connect
Production2002-present
Model years
  • 2002-present
  • 2010-present (North America)
Body and chassis
ClassCompact MPV/minivan
Body style
Chronology
Predecessor

The Ford Transit Connect is a compact panel van/Compact Minivan developed by Ford Europe and designed by Peter Horbury, introduced in 2002 to replace the older Ford Escort and Fiesta-based Courier van ranges, which had ceased production in the same year. It has been imported to the North American market since the 2010 model year. In North America, the Transit Connect does not have a direct predecessor; the closest vehicle to its size was the standard-length Ford Aerostar cargo van, which ceased production in 1997.

The Ford Tourneo Connect, a leisure activity vehicle, is a Transit Connect with side windows and rear seats. To circumvent the 25% "Chicken Tax" on imported light trucks, all Transit Connects bound for the United States are imported in this configuration.[1]

First generation (2002–2012)[edit]

Ford Transit Connect
Ford Transit Connect -- 08-25-2009.jpg
Post-facelift model
Overview
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Also calledFord Tourneo Connect
Azure Transit Connect Electric
Production2002–2012
AssemblyKocaeli, Turkey (Ford Otosan)
Craiova, Romania (Ford Romania)
Body and chassis
Classcompact panel van
Body style3-door minivan
4-door minivan
LayoutFF layout
PlatformFord C170 platform
RelatedFord Focus
Powertrain
Engine1.8L Duratorq TDCi Diesel I4
2.0L Duratec Gasoline I4
Transmission4-speed 4F27E
5-speed manual
Dimensions
WheelbaseSWB: 2,664 mm (104.9 in)
LWB: 2,912 mm (114.6 in)
Length2004–06 SWB: 4,278 mm (168.4 in) LWB: 4,555 mm (179.3 in)
2007–09 SWB: 4,308 mm (169.6 in)
2010– LWB: 4,590 mm (180.7 in)
2010– SWB: 4,275 mm (168.3 in)
Width1,795 mm (70.7 in)
HeightPre–2009 SWB: 1,814 mm (71.4 in)
LWB: 1,981 mm (78.0 in)
2010– LWB: 2,014 mm (79.3 in)
2010– SWB: 1,815 mm (71.5 in)
Ford Transit Connect (pre-facelift)
Ford Transit Connect rear (pre-facelift)

The Transit Connect was introduced in Europe for the 2002 model year as the replacement for vans based on the Escort and the Fiesta. Sharing few components with the much larger Transit, the Transit Connect was based on the front-wheel drive C170 platform shared with the international Ford Focus, then common with the North American Ford Focus.[2] Rather than adapting an existing bodystyle into a van, the Transit Connect was designed with sliding side doors.

This generation was produced by Otosan in an all-new production facility at Gölcük, near Kocaeli, Turkey. After September 2009, additional production began in Craiova, Romania.[3]

The Ford Transit Connect was awarded "Van of the Year 2004" by Professional Van and Light Truck Magazine. In its first year on the North American market, the Transit Connect was awarded "North American Truck of the Year 2010" at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).[4]

2010 update[edit]

Post-facelift model rear

Since mid-2009, the Transit Connect has been imported to the United States and Canada. It was first shown in the United States at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show and the 2010 production model was introduced at the following year's show on February 11, 2009.[5] The introduction of the North American variant coincided with a mid-cycle facelift which includes a restyled front grille, a deeper front bumper and a new dashboard featuring the switchgear and instrument pod from the C307 Focus.

Initially, only the long-wheelbase version of the van,[6] outfitted with a 2.0L four-cylinder petrol engine and 4 speed 4F27E, was offered in North America; elsewhere, the 1.8L diesel engine and 5 speed manual transmission was the only available powertrain. An electric version followed in 2011, converted by Azure Dynamics Corporation at a U.S. facility.[7]

To build up interest and awareness in North America, Transit Connects specifically equipped as "mobile showrooms" were taken to industrial parks and other appropriate venues in 13 U.S. urban areas in May 2009, with the goal of offering 3,000 test drives to small business owners.[8]

Starting in 2011, Ford offered the Transit Connect XLT Premium Wagon in the USA and Canada, a more stylish and personal version of the utilitarian van. It included seating for five, rear windows that opened for ventilation, blind spot awareness, rear view camera, larger alloy wheels, body-colour grille, and front fog lamps. The Transit Connect Wagon was the first Ford minivan since the 2007 discontinuation of the Freestar; however, it is closer in size to the standard length Ford Aerostar sold from 1986 to 1997.

Second generation (2013– )[edit]

Ford Transit Connect
2014 Ford Transit Connect NAIAS.jpg
2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon shown at 2013 North American International Auto Show
Overview
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
ProductionFall 2012–
Model years2013–present (Global)
2014-present (North America)
AssemblyAlmussafes, Valencia, Spain (Valencia Body & Assembly)
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission6-speed PowerShift semi-automatic (twin-clutch)
Dimensions
Wheelbase
  • SWB:104.8 in (2,660 mm)
  • LWB:120.6 in (3,060 mm)
[9]
Length
  • SWB:173.9 in (4,420 mm)
  • LWB:189.7 in (4,820 mm)
[9]
Width72.2 in (1,830 mm)[9]
Height
  • SWB:72.6 in (1,840 mm)
  • LWB:72.0 in (1,830 mm)
[9]
Curb weight
  • SWB Wagon:3,630 lb (1,650 kg)
  • LWB Wagon:3,979 lb (1,805 kg)
[9]
2013 Ford Transit Connect rear

The second-generation Transit Connect was introduced on 6 September 2012 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In its first redesign since its 2002 introduction, the 2014 Transit Connect adopts many features of the Kinetic Design language. A major design change is an optional rear liftgate in addition to the double rear doors preferred by people in wheel chairs and delivery companies.[10] The Transit Connect will include the optional new feature called MyKey, a personalized key system. MyKey owner controls let the vehicle owner program different keys to restrict different vehicle features, such as top speed, maximum radio volume, and other features.[11]

Production will be established at the Valencia plant in Spain; this will exclusively produce the Transit Connect. All North American versions will be sourced from here and shipped to the United States. As before, to avoid the 25% tariff on imported trucks, all cargo vans will be passenger van conversions.

Cargo[edit]

Tow[edit]

The 2014 Transit Connect is rated to tow 2,000 lb (910 kg). [12][9]

North America[edit]

The 2014 Transit Connect will be powered by a 2.5 L inline-4, a 1.6 L EcoBoost turbocharged inline-4 and a 1.5 L EcoBoost Turbocharged inline-4; the transmission will be a 6-speed automatic.[15][16] The 2.5 L inline-4 can be converted to run on compressed natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas with an optional Gaseous Engine Prep Package.[17] Although it will be sold in the United States, the Transit Connect will bear the "Transit Connect Wagon" moniker; it will be the first 7-passenger minivan sold by Ford since the 2007 discontinuation of the Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey.[18][19]


Cargo van conversion[edit]

To circumvent the 25% tariff on imported light trucks, Ford imports all Transit Connects as passenger vehicles with rear windows, rear seats and rear seatbelts.[20] The vehicles are exported from Turkey on cargo ships owned by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, arrive in Baltimore, and are converted into commercial vehicles at WWL Vehicle Services Americas Inc. facility: rear windows are replaced with metal panels and rear seats removed (except on wagons).[20] The removed parts are then recycled.[20] The process exploits a loophole in the customs definition of a commercial vehicle. As cargo does not need seats with seat belts or rear windows, presence of those items exempts the vehicle from commercial vehicle status. The conversion process costs Ford hundreds of dollars per van, but saves thousands over having to pay the tax.[20] Partly because of this, only the long-wheelbase, high roof configuration is exported to North America. In most places, the high-roof Transit Connect, like most Ford Econoline vans, is unable to access multi-story parking because of its height of 1.98 m (6′ 6″).[15]

Fleet usage[edit]

Grumman LLV replacement[edit]

Canada Post is replacing their fleet of Grumman LLV vans with the Transit Connect after the former are retired.

Taxicab[edit]

The Transit Connect was one of three finalists (alongside the Karsan V-1 and the winner Nissan NV200) for New York City's Taxi of Tomorrow. The winning model was announced in early May 2011 and was awarded a 10-year contract to serve the city exclusively.[21] In spite of losing out to the NV200 in New York City, Ford markets the Transit Connect Wagon as a taxicab replacement for the now-discontinued Crown Victoria LWB in both New York City and other North American municipalities. Modifications for taxi use include a rearward-mounted 2nd-row seat, rear-seat controls for the air conditioning, and the option of school bus yellow paint.[22]

Variants[edit]

Transit Connect Electric[edit]

Ford Transit Connect Electric

At the 2009 Chicago Auto Show, Ford confirmed development of a battery-powered version of the Transit Connect.[23] Later at the Geneva Auto Show the same year, Ford showed a prototype electric version of the Ford Tourneo Connect passenger van, which is closely related to the Ford Transit Connect. Ford originally announced Smith Electric Vehicles would install the electric drivetrains and lithium-ion battery packs in the vehicles,[24] but they later partnered with Azure Dynamics Corporation instead,[25] with Johnson Controls-Saft as the battery supplier.[26]

Production of the Transit Connect Electric began in December 2010,[27][28] and Azure Dynamics is the official manufacturer of record.[29] The official US Environmental Protection Agency range is 56 mi (90 km) and has a combined city/highway fuel economy rating of 62 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (3.8 L/100 km equivalent) based on the five-cycle tests using varying driving conditions and climate controls.[30] The electric van costs US$57,400, which more than doubles the price of the gas-powered version even after federal and any state or local incentives for electric vehicles is discounted.[27][28]

Transit Connect X-Press[edit]

The Ford Transit Connect X-press is a much faster[31] version of the Ford Transit Connect. It was created by a team of Ford engineers using the 212BHP[32] engine from the Ford Focus RS as shown on Fifth Gear.

Tourneo Connect[edit]

First-generation Tourneo Connect

The Ford Tourneo Connect is a leisure activity vehicle produced by Ford, which was first put into production in 2002 to the British market. Much like the Tourneo is a passenger version of the Transit, the Tourneo Connect was designed with rear windows and seats. Principally termed a commercial vehicle, Ford predicted relatively low sales of between 800-1000 mainly to taxi operators, due to its given status as a commercial vehicle. However, Ford described the Connect as a 'dual use' vehicle, equally able to meet business and leisure needs. It was put into production to rival the similar models of the Citroën Berlingo, Peugeot Partner, Volkswagen Touran, Fiat Doblò and the Opel/Vauxhall Combo Tour

The Connect, when first sold, was the only vehicle of its kind to offer folding and separately removable 60/40 split rear seats that allowed multiple seating formations and increased load capacity. It also boasted the option of twin sliding side load doors as well as rear doors or a tailgate, whereas neither of its main competitors have this option. The Connect's design emphasizes Ford's ideal that the vehicle be multipurpose.

Electric[edit]

Ford presented the Ford Tourneo Connect battery electric concept vehicle at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. It features a 21 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack, a 50 kW permanent magnet motor, and a single-speed transmission, for a range of up to 160 kilometres (99 mi) and top speed of about 113 kilometres per hour (70 mph).[33] Its BEV technology was developed in collaboration with Smith Electric Vehicles.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "To Outfox the Chicken Tax, Ford Strips Its Own Vans", Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2009
  2. ^ "Ford Imports Transit Connect from Europe". Nextautos.com, Evan McCausland, 02/06/2008. 
  3. ^ Ford to start production on September 8 in Craiova, South Romania
  4. ^ "Detroit 2010: Ford sweeps North American Car and Truck of the Year awards for 2010". autoblog.com, Chris Paukert, 01/11.2010. 
  5. ^ Michael Gauthier (2009-02-09). "Ford Launches all-new 2010 Transit Connect for U.S.". World Car Fans. 
  6. ^ Ford 2010 Transit Connect brochure, ref. # 10TCONCAT
  7. ^ http://www.freep.com/article/20090209/BUSINESS01/902090358/1014/Plug-in+Ford+Transit+Connect+to+make+its+debut+in+2010
  8. ^ http://www.media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=30371
  9. ^ a b c d e f "TRANSIT CONNECT Specifications". Ford Motor Company. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  10. ^ http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/12/2014-ford-transit-connect-a-people-focused-salvo-into-the-commercial-van-market.html
  11. ^ http://www.ford.com/crossovers/transitconnect-wagon MyKey® | 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon | Multi-Purpose For The Multi-You | Ford.com
  12. ^ a b c http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/auto-blog/ford-transit-connect-wagon-the-true-minivan-returns-14725992
  13. ^ a b http://media.ford.com/images/10031/2014_TCWagon_Specs.pdf
  14. ^ a b http://www.forconstructionpros.com/product/10892912/ford-motor-company-2014-transit-connect-cargo-van
  15. ^ a b "2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon brings minivans back to the Blue Oval". November 13, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  16. ^ http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=32445
  17. ^ "2014 Transit Connect: CNG/LPG Gaseous Engine Prep Package". Ford Motor Company. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  18. ^ http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/13/ford-shows-off-2014-transit-connect-wagon-confirms-cargo-model/
  19. ^ http://www.ford.com/commercial-trucks/transit/2014/
  20. ^ a b c d Matthew Dolan (2009-09-23). "To Outfox the Chicken Tax, Ford Strips Its Own Vans". The Wall Street Journal. 
  21. ^ Berk, Honey (2010-12-05). "Meet the Taxis of Tomorrow". AOL. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  22. ^ http://www.ford.com/commercial-trucks/transitconnect-commercial/trim/xltwagonpremium/#
  23. ^ Sam Abuelsamid (2009-02-09). "Ford confirms Transit Connect EV with Smith Electric for 2010". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  24. ^ "Ford Transit Connect to be assembled in Kansas City". Ford. 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  25. ^ Josie Garthwaite (2009-10-30). "Why Ford & Smith Electric Have Called It Quits on Electric Van Partnership". Earth2Tech. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  26. ^ "FORD AND AZURE DYNAMICS TEAM UP TO DELIVER BATTERY ELECTRIC COMMERCIAL VAN IN 2010" (Press release). Ford Motor Company. 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  27. ^ a b Nick Bunkley (2010-12-07). "Ford Starts to Ship an Electric Delivery Van". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  28. ^ a b "Ford and Azure Dynamics Mark Production and Delivery of First Transit Connect Electrics". Ford Motor Company Press Release. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  29. ^ Matthew Dolan (2010-09-24). "Ford Works with Manufacturer for New Electric Van". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  30. ^ EPA. "2011–12 Electric Vehicles: Trucks". US Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  31. ^ http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews/firstdrives/45035/ford_transit_connect_xpress.html
  32. ^ http://jalopnik.com/225660/speedy-delivery-the-ford-transit-connect-x+press
  33. ^ Sebastian Blanco (2009-03-02). "Geneva 2009: Ford's all-electric Tourneo Connect". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  34. ^ "FORD REVEALS NEW TOURNEO CONNECT WITH BATTERY ELECTRIC POWERTRAIN". Ford. 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 

External links[edit]