2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Not only car manufacturers rely on eco models à la Bluemotion. Even with small trucks, every liter of fuel saved counts. Ford has refreshed its Transit range and presents the fuel-saving model Econetic - with a built-in speed limit.
In many countries, it is not just the car market that has fallen into the ground during the economic crisis. The commercial vehicle industry is suffering even more from slack orders and company deaths. Nevertheless, there is an ever increasing variety of variants in vans. “For Ford, the commercial vehicle division is not a sideline, but is on an equal footing with our car model series. After all, there are relatively few fleet operators who either only drive cars or only commercial vehicles,”says Ford's sales manager Jürgen Stackmann. Last year Ford sold 315,000 commercial vehicles in Europe as well as in Russia and Turkey, almost a fifth of the brand's total sales. The competition is of course fierce, besides VW, these include above all the PSA group (Peugeot / Citroën) and Fiat. The two car giants have been cooperating in the commercial vehicle industry for a long time and have put a huge range on the wheels.
The backbone of the commercial vehicle fleet
At Ford, the Transit has been the backbone of the commercial vehicle fleet for four decades and 5.5 million units have been built. Now there are new versions of the packhorse with plum on the grill. The Transit Connect and the Tourneo car variant are getting freshly put together equipment packages, and with the Transit ECOnetic, the Cologne-based company is all about economy.
The Transporter has also been available with a newly developed all-wheel drive since March, combined with the 2.4-liter diesel engine (103 kW / 140 PS). The system is available for all body styles and wheelbases. The all-wheel-drive transit is also available as a basic vehicle for mobile homes.
Limited to 110 km / h
The Transit Econetic model will annoy all those courier drivers who tend to confuse the motorway with the Nordschleife and a commercial vehicle with a sports car with cargo on board in such a hurry. In any case, the Spar-Transit will not hang anyone with 160 things on their necks: The speed of the van is limited to 110 km / h. The vehicle is powered by a 2.2 liter diesel engine with 85 kW / 115 PS. The six-speed gearbox has a shift point indicator to encourage the pilot to drive in a fuel-efficient manner.
The Econetic runs on smooth-running tires, has fully clad wheels for better aerodynamics and, according to Ford, has an average consumption of 7.2 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers. The Spar-Transit is the first Ford commercial vehicle to meet the Euro 5 emissions standard - provided you order the optional diesel particulate filter. The Econetic has been available to order since August, weighs 1.66 tons when empty and has a payload of 1.17 tons. It costs 23,700 euros (net price) and has ESP with Hill Start Assist on board as standard.
Electric version is coming
Ford is also working on the future of electric commercial vehicles. In England and some other markets - but not in Germany - there is already the Transit BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), which is built in cooperation with the Smith Electric Vehicles company. In 2010 the electric transit should also come onto the market in the USA.
At the Geneva Motor Show, Ford presented the Tourneo as a purely electric vehicle. The concept study has a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that feeds a 50 kW induction motor. The range per battery charge should be around 160 kilometers. However, it has not yet been decided on series production, according to Ford.