Just ahead of the Chicago Auto Show, Ford has revealed its 2010 Ford Transit Connect for the U.S. market. The previous versions of the compact panel van has been on the market in Europe since 2002. The commercial vehicle will be powered by a 2.0-liter, 138-horsepower four-cylinder motor with the standard four-speed automatic, capable of 24 mpg on the highway. Though not the most exciting reveal of the upcoming Chicago show, the Transit Connect could be important to Ford’s bottom line if it successfully creates a new niche in North America.
Large, fuel-thirsty V8 vans like the E-Series have reigned supreme in the commercial van market for decades, but Ford hopes to capitalize on the success Chrysler has had with the Mercedes-engineered Sprinter. The Transit Connect will be available in four flavors: Van (for cargo hauling) and Wagon (with side windows and bench seats for passenger hauling) in either base XL or more upmarket XLT trim.
According to the leaked specs, the XLTs will add a CD player, optional reverse sensing, power windows and locks and body-colored bumpers. The Wagon will come with standard stability control (optional on both models of the Van) in addition to the bench seats and side windows. Optional on all will be various elements of Ford’s Work Solutions system, which helps commercial users keep track of tools and vehicles via an in-dash computer.
Compared to the European model, changes have been made to the grille – as well as to the front bumper, and possibly a slight alteration to the headlamps. In addition – we have exclusive interior photos – showing an updated look to the aging interior. Changes include rearranging the gauges on the dash, various controls on the steering wheel and new, rounded air vents.
2010 Ford Transit Connect features a Duratec gasoline, despite the fact that the European-spec vehicles displayed in Chicago last year featured diesel motors. The four cylinder/automatic combination is believed to return 19 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway, a 40 percent increase over typical full size vans. All models are front-wheel-drive.
Two sliding side doors, vertical 180-degree-opening “barn door” cargo doors, a low floor and a high ceiling differentiate the Transit Connect from its rivals. The XLT model will be available with a 270 degree hinge. Ford claims the vehicles offer 155 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats. The load space can accommodate items up to 6.5 feet long and 5 feet wide.
© Source: leftlanenews
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