Big Ford with an il­lus­tri­ous his­tory


TO CEL­E­BRATE THE TRAN­SIT VAN’S 50 YEARS IN PRO­DUC­TION, Ford re­named the big ver­sion of the cur­rent model the Cargo in 2015.

Buy­ers will find five Tran­sit ver­sions on Ford’s sales list — the Tran­sit Cargo 350L Van, 350E and 470E Jumbo vans, and the 350L and 470E Cab Chas­sis.

All Tran­sits out­side the United States – where it’s sold with a 3.5-litre unit – are pow­ered by Ford’s 2.2-litre Du­ratec diesel engine.

Also able to run on B10 bio­fuel, the 2.2 de­vel­ops 114kw and 385Nm, and is mated to a six-speed man­ual gear­box.

The trans­mis­sion has dif­fer­ent ra­tios for the 350 and 470 ver­sions to re­flect their dif­fer­ent work­loads.

The Tran­sit Cargo fit­ted with start/stop to shut the engine off au­to­mat­i­cally when the van stops in heavy traf­fic or at lights, then au­to­mat­i­cally restart as it pre­pares to pull away.

Fuel econ­omy de­pends on the vari­ant cho­sen, and will in­crease with load, but Ford says the 350L van drinks diesel at 7.8 litres/100km and the high-roof jumbo long-wheel­base 470E uses 9.0 litres/100km.

Tran­sit Cargo mod­els range in size and load ca­pac­ity, from 5981mm to 6704mm long. Load space ranges from 3494 to 4217mm long, and is 1784mm wide – or 1392mm be­tween the whee­larches; out­side, all the vans are 2474mm wide.

Load vol­ume ranges from 11 to 15.1 cu­bic me­tres — enough to carry five euro pal­lets, held down with wall-mounted cargo fix­ing points.

Pay­load ranges from 1166kg to 2547kg and tow­ing ca­pa­bil­ity varies, from 2800kg braked, to 3500kg braked.

Stan­dard equip­ment in­cludes cruise-con­trol with an ad­justable speed-lim­it­ing de­vice plus curve con­trol, trac­tion con­trol, and hill­launch as­sist.

Load adap­tive con­trol ad­justs the sta­bil­ity con­trol re­sponse ac­cord­ing to the weight be­ing car­ried.

A re­vers­ing cam­era with the im­age dis­played in the in­side rear-view mir­ror is also stan­dard, along with front and rear park­ing sen­sors on all but cab/chas­sis Tran­sits.

The Cargo also has heated side mir­rors, a perime­ter alarm and re­mote door-lock­ing with two-stage un­lock.

Re­flec­tors are fit­ted to the doors so they show up when open to 90 de­grees at night, and the load floor rises 100mm up the walls for ease of clean­ing.

All vans get a left-hand side slid­ing door, and rear doors — Ford says pro­to­types were slammed a quar­ter of a mil­lion times to test dura­bil­ity.

Some vari­ants add a right slid­ing door op­tion, and vans have a win­dowed steel bulk­head be­tween the cab and the load space.

The smart cab in­cludes Ford’s Sync Blue­tooth and voice recog­ni­tion sys­tem so driv­ers can use the phone, and lis­ten to text mes­sages and mu­sic, all hands-free by us­ing voice com­mands.

An up­dated Tran­sit Cargo, though it’s likely to be known sim­ply as the Tran­sit, goes on sale here in the sec­ond half of 2017.

Changes to the body­work are min­ima but there’s a new engine and a six-speed au­to­matic gear­box.

The avail­abil­ity of an auto is ex­pected to lift Tran­sit sales sig­nif­i­cantly.

Though the new Ecoblue engine is a 2.0 litre, Ford says it de­vel­ops more power and torque and is more fuel-ef­fi­cient, and emits fewer CO2 emis­sions. Ser­vice in­ter­vals dou­ble to 12 months/30,000km.

The new Tran­sit is ex­pected to have side-wind sta­bil­ity con­trol, and the new Sync 3 in-ve­hi­cle com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem.

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