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Ford has uncovered its Tourneo Connect light van in Europe, but the new-generation Volkswagen Caddy clone is unlikely to be offered in Australia.
The Transit Tourneo is the passenger version of the Transit Connect light delivery van that sits under the Transit Custom as the entry to Ford’s van line-up in Europe.
A Ford Australia spokesperson said the Transit/Tourneo Connect were not on the company’s radar, adding that it was generally well served by the Transit line-up as it stands.
That line-up currently includes the Transit and Transit Sport medium vans, Transit large van and forthcoming E-Transit – Ford Australia’s first electric vehicle.
Ford Australia baulked at offering the previous Transit Connect, launched in Europe in 2014, because it lacked certain safety features and would have achieved a low ANCAP rating.
The new-generation Transit/Tourneo Connect marks the first product resulting from Ford and Volkswagen’s strategic partnership, announced last year.
Ford is charged with building and engineering the next Ranger and Amarok utes, and the next Transit and Transporter mid-size vans for both brands, while VW led development and production of the new Caddy and Transit/Tourneo Connect.
As a result, the Ford is a re-badged version of the fifth-generation Caddy that arrived in Australian showrooms in August and is built on VW’s MQB platform that underpins models from the Golf to the Audi A4.
Ford has so far only revealed the passenger-hauling Tourneo Connect, with the Transit Connect workhorse expected to make its debut soon. The main difference will likely be blocked-out side panels where the windows are on the Tourneo Connect.
The Ford maintains the same boxy shape as the Caddy, but is differentiated from the VW by a unique front-end design with a wider grille, different headlights and a tweaked lower apron.
Inside the Ford uses the same dash setup as the Caddy, with the option of a fully digital 10.25-inch instrument cluster next to an 8.25-inch multimedia display. This increases to 10-inches the higher up the range you go.
Offered as short- and long-wheelbase, the Tourneo Connect has sliding doors on both sides and seating for up to seven, but the second and third rows can be removed for additional load capacity. The front passenger seat can be folded flat, allowing items up to three metres long to slide in.
The short wheelbase version can swallow a 2.6 cubic metre load with rows two and three removed, while the long wheelbase can take 3.1 square metres.
An SUV-inspired Active variant is also available in Europe.
Power comes from an 84kW 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine, or a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel delivering 75kW or 90kW, the latter of which is available with all-wheel drive. A six-speed manual is standard and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional. Electrified versions are expected down the track.