Make mine a dou­ble

Ford’s in Tran­sit — the one-tonne Cus­tom gets a two-tonne sta­ble­mate

Herald Sun - Motoring - - WORKING WHEELS -

MEET Ford’s new Tran­sit. This is the two-tonne big Tran­sit, join­ing the one-ton­ner that went on sale ear­lier this year.

Some­what con­fus­ingly, the small Tran­sit is called the Tran­sit Cus­tom and the big Tran­sit is just called Tran­sit.

The Cus­tom is a com­peti­tor for Hyundai’s iLoad and Toy­ota’s HiAce and the big­gie com­petes against the likes of the Mercedes Sprinter and Re­nault Master.

The big Tran­sit comes out of the same fac­tory in Turkey as the Cus­tom model but that’s where the com­mon­al­ity ends. It uses a dif­fer­ent chas­sis and is rear-wheel drive.

The Cus­tom is a front-driver, which is fine in smaller vans as it costs less and is more fuel ef­fi­cient. Rear-drive bet­ter suits ve­hi­cles car­ry­ing heav­ier loads be­cause more weight is on the rear of the ve­hi­cle and it is able to get bet­ter trac­tion.

Tran­sit vari­ants in­clude three vans and two cab-chas­sis, one a sin­gle cab and the other a crew cab. The base 350L has mid- and high-roof op­tions.

Ford Aus­tralia says it will in­tro­duce a pas­sen­ger van ver­sion, which has the largest cur­tain airbag in pro­duc­tion, at some stage next year.

Prices start at $47,680 for the 350L with sin­gle rear wheels — all other mod­els have twin rear wheels for bet­ter trac­tion and load dis­tri­bu­tion — and rises to $52,680 for the 470E Dou­ble Cab Chas­sis

The Tran­sits all share a 2.2‒litre four-cylin­der turbo diesel, an up­dated ver­sion of that in the Ranger work­horse. It comes in one tune only, with 114kW at 3500rpm and 385Nm from 1600rpm-2300rpm, and is fit­ted with fuel-sav­ing stop‒start tech (Ford has not re­leased fuel fig­ures).

Ini­tially, the trans­mis­sion will be six-speed man­ual only. A torque con­verter au­to­matic un­der de­vel­op­ment for both Tran­sits may be up to two years away.

The pay­load for the Tran­sit ranges from 1122kg to 2500kg and the max­i­mum com­bined mass is 4490kg.

Cargo vol­ume ranges from 11 cu­bic me­tres to 15.1, or up to five Euro-style pal­lets.

As with the Tran­sit Cus­tom, Ford Aus­tralia spec­i­fied the lo­cal Tran­sit mod­els with an im­pres­sive amount of stan­dard safety fea­tures in­clud­ing front, side and cur­tain airbags, trailer sway con­trol and elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol — which is con­fig­ured to ac­count for how the ve­hi­cle is loaded.

Paired to a mo­bile phone, the Tran­sit can call emer­gency ser­vices au­to­mat­i­cally in the event of a crash.

Cruise con­trol is stan­dard as is a dig­i­tal ra­dio, Blue­tooth audio stream­ing and phone con­nec­tiv­ity, air­con­di­tion­ing, 3.5-inch dash­board screen and steer­ing wheel-mounted audio and phone con­trols.

Stacks on the mill: The Tran­sit holds five Euro-style pal­lets

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