Ford is about to make the white van stylish, if the Tourneo concept is any indication. The eight-seat people-mover debuted at the Geneva Motor Show and, while it won't be seen in Australia, the platform and styling will form the basis for the Ford Transit van that is popular with city-based cargo carriers.
The new Transit is due late this year and Ford has worked hard to give the van a more carlike look inside and out. The Tourneo concept follows Ford's Kinetic design approach and the sculpted front end has elements of the Focus and Escape passenger cars.
That extend to the interior, with the instrument panel and dash following the Focus small car look.
A rear-view camer should keep Transit buyers - and the owners of nearby vehicles - happy, while the concept also featured a lane departure warning and driver fatigue alert systems, along with Ford's Sync infotainment system that connects with smart phones.
The Tourneo concept is powered by a 114kW 2.2-litre diesel engine with stop-start technology. Lower spec variants of the engine will also be available in 74kW and 92kW configurations. The Tourneo Custom Concept has seats and is being presented as a people mover, but Ford says a true commercial range will follow.
The new Transit will be based on what Ford is calling a 'global' platform, under the same One Ford strategy that could spell the end for an unique Australian Falcon, but oddly it won't be sold in the US.
Europe can expect the new Transit range, which will be offered in short and long wheelbase forms, to arrive next year and Working Wheels understands the range will be made available in Australia at some stage during 2013.
This model Transit is front-drive and Working Wheels expects larger rear-drive models, which better carry big loads, will also be made available. The Tourneo Custom Concept runs the same 2.2-litre DuraTorq TDCi turbo diesel that has just been introduced in the current Transit.
In Europe this engine runs a stop-start feature, which kills the engine when it comes to a halt to save fuel. Future production Transits will run the same system in a bid to save as much fuel as possible.
Ford says the engines, which will run a range of other improvements, will be available with outputs of 75kW, 93kW and 116kW. They will be hooked up to a six-speed manual gearbox.
The Tourneo Custom Concept has an all-new interior, which Ford describes as 'driver-focussed' using materials of the same quality as a modern sedan.
The show vehicle is fitted with a voice control system for the phone and audio controls as well as an advanced control system kicks in to keep it from straying out of its lane.