Like so many concepts these days, Fords looks production-ready. Tourneo tag has long been used for passenger versions in Transit van line

Like so many 'concepts' these days, Ford's looks production-ready. Tourneo tag has long been used for passenger versions in Transit van line

View 1 related image

The apparently production-ready Ford Tourneo Custom 'Concept' due to be revealed at the Geneva show next month previews the next generation Transit light duty van and passenger variants to be built and sold in Europe and Asia but not the US.

"Previewing the introduction of a completely new range of people movers, with commercial vehicles to follow, the Tourneo Custom Concept showcases a dramatic new look that will appeal to customers seeking style, functionality and space," Ford said.

Stephen Odell, the automakers European unit chairman and CEO, said:  "Our forthcoming new range gives us the opportunity to appeal to new customers with a fresh new direction and we have seized that opportunity with both hands."

Ford thinks the new range will appeal thanks to an interior with driver-focused cockpit and the concept also shows off innovations including multi-adjustable and removable rear seating, Sync voice-activated, in-car connectivity system and low-CO2 'ECOnetic' technology.

"The Tourneo Custom Concept communicates very clearly a dramatic new design direction for Ford's commercial vehicle range, which will be introduced later in 2012," the automaker said.

The vehicle is on a new global platform claimed to have been engineered to deliver car-like dynamics, including agile, responsive handling, enhanced ride comfort and reduced noise levels.

“Customers in the personal use market are demanding much higher levels of technology, performance and handling,” said chief engineer Barry Gale.

Ford said the Tourneo Custom highlights a new family of people movers and one-tonne vans which will be launched in Europe and other global markets but will not be sold in North America.

Ford is also expected to roll out a larger, heavy-duty Transit line and just-auto expects that will be built and sold in the US starting with the 2013 model year - the US market prefers larger 'standard' vans to those sold in Europe and elsewhere. The US already takes the smaller, Turkish-built Transit Connect. 

The new non-US light-duty standard Transit range will be powered by improved versions of the 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine which was initially introduced in 2011; with stop-start technology fitted as standard, Ford is targeting best-in-class fuel economy.

Three power ratings will be available: 100PS, 125PS and 155PS.  All versions are paired with a six-speed manual transmission (petrol alternatives and automatic would be essential for the US) and feature front-wheel drive.

The model range will include a wide choice of body styles and short or long wheelbase.

“2012 is a tremendously significant year for Ford as we begin the roll-out of a completely new range of commercial vehicles,” said Odell.