- New UK designed and built 2-litre engine
- More powerful and efficient than outgoing 2.2-litre
- New models are safer, quieter and more durable
Ford has replaced its ageing 2.2-litre diesel in the Ford Transit and Transit Custom with the new 2-litre Panther engine, which has been designed and developed at the firm's Technical Centre in Dunton, UK.
The new motor, which Ford is branding EcoBlue, meets the Euro-6 emission standard, which is the legal requirement for any new LCV registered after September 2016.
In addition to being cleaner, the new engines are more powerful and more efficient. Ford has taken the opportunity to make a number of changes to the chassis and introduce new technology, which makes both models more refined and safer.
“The challenge was to take our best-selling Transit and make it cheaper to operate, with improved performance, cleaner in terms of emissions, quieter in the cabin, safer and even more durable”, explains Peter Reyes, Ford of Europe’s head of commercial vehicles.
“That’s exactly what we did with the Transit and Transit Custom with the all-new Ford EcoBlue engine.”
More powerful outputs
Both vehicles still have three power outputs, although they have been upgraded to 103bhp/360Nm, 129bhp/385Nm and 168bhp/405Nm, which represents improvements of 5bhp/50Nm, 5bhp/35Nm and 15bhp/20Nm respectively.
The torque and power deliveries are also a lot broader, meaning acceleration is more readily accessible. At 1,250rpm, for example, there is 20 percent more pulling power available than the outgoing engine, which Ford claims makes the new Transit and Transit Custom feel far more responsive.
The engineers at Dunton have implemented plenty of ideas to reduce friction within the engine and so increase fuel economy, like the belt-in-oil drive belt and the new fuel injections.
This has resulted in a 13 percent fuel saving across the range. The new Ford Transit Custom now offers claimed fuel economy figures of up to 46.3mpg on the combined cycle, and 40.9mpg for the Ford Transit, while emissions have been reduced to 157g/km and 174g/km respectively.
There’s a 21-litre AdBlue tank on both vehicles, which should give you a range of around 6,000 miles on the Transit Custom and 5,000 on the normal Transit.
Considering a 10-litre bottle will cost no more than £20, Ford argues the savings in fuel consumption will dwarf the additional AdBlue cost. Service intervals have been extended by 6,000 miles to every two years or 36,000 miles.
The extra weight of the technology required to meet the Euro-6 emission standard means that each of the vehicles is around 41kg heavier than the previous generation.
Most models retain the same payload, however, as Ford has increased the gross vehicle weight accordingly. The only exception is the 3.5-tonne Transit, as that is at the upper weight limit that the EU defines as a light commercial vehicle (LCV), and this cannot be altered.
New driver assist and safety systems
As well as adding new acoustic moulds around the engine bay to reduce noise, the engineers have also introduced a number of new driver assistance and safety systems. Side Wind Stabilisation (SWS) has been developed in-house and helps the driver maintain direction and stay in lane during sudden gusts of crosswinds.
Another new feature is pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, which uses a camera to predict and then alert the driver of an impending collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian. It first provides visual and audio warnings and prepares the brakes for an emergency stop and, if no action is taken, automatically applies the brakes.
This camera can also be used to read road signs, alert the driver if they are speeding and automatically preselect that limit in the adaptive cruise control.
Pricing and availability
The Euro-6 Transit Custom and Euro-6 Transit are available to order now, and the first deliveries are expected to start in August 2016, ready for the September deadline. Prices will increase by £950 for the base Transit Custom (from £20,080 plus VAT) and Transit (from £22,245 plus VAT), and by around £1,250 for the 129bhp output and £1,450 for the 168bhp output models.