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Ford unveils new Transit skeletal chassis cab


kscarbel2
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Transport Engineer  /  July 31, 2018

Ford has unveiled a new Transit skeletal chassis cab with a 100mm (3.94 inches) lower chassis height than its standard model.

Available to order now, the new chassis is 200kg (441lb) lighter and can be fitted with a range of body conversions – ideal, says Ford, for applications ranging from general delivery and distribution to removals.

Based on a front-wheel drive Transit platform, it features an open-backed cab design and the lower step height removes the need for a separate tail-lift.

There are three wheelbase lengths to suit a variety of body conversions, with an optional wide-track rear axle for the two shorter variants. All versions offer a gross vehicle mass of 3.5 metric tonnes (7,716lb).

The Transit skeletal chassis derivative is offered with the 2.0‑litre EcoBlue diesel engine in 130bhp or 170bhp outputs, paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission. Customers can also choose a six-speed automatic transmission, ideally suited to urban delivery applications.

“The new Transit skeletal chassis opens up exciting new opportunities for grocery delivery vehicles and other low-floor body conversions where ease of access is paramount,” says Hans Schep, general manager for commercial vehicles at Ford of Europe.

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New Ford Transit Skeletal Chassis Cab Delivers Low Load Floor for Easier Deliveries and 200 kg Additional Payload

Ford of Europe Press Release  /  July 27, 2018

  • New Transit chassis cab derivative with a special low-height chassis is ideal for conversions requiring a low load floor for easy access

  • Skeletal chassis also delivers 200 kg weight saving over standard chassis cab for enhanced payload and reduced cost of ownership

  • Transit skeletal chassis cab is available to order now from Ford’s network of 950 Transit Centres across Europe

COLOGNE, Germany – Ford is introducing a new Transit skeletal chassis cab derivative that provides commercial vehicle customers with a versatile low-height platform for a wide variety of body conversions – ideal for applications ranging from general delivery and distribution to removals.

Available to order now from Ford’s European network of Transit Centres, the new skeletal Transit offers a chassis height that is 100 mm lower than the standard front-wheel drive chassis cab model, delivering easier access to the load floor with a lower step height, and removing the need for a separate tail lift.

With a 200 kg weight reduction compared to the equivalent chassis cab, the optimised design of the skeletal chassis also provides operators with a significant payload advantage – particularly in combination with lightweight body conversions – in addition to the potential for enhanced fuel efficiency.

The skeletal chassis derivative will build on the success of the Transit two-tonne model, which continues to generate increased demand in Europe. The Transit has achieved sales of 52,100 during year-to-date June 2018, a 13 per cent increase over the previous year.

“Ford’s Transit is already legendary for its huge range of body styles, drivelines and size variants, and this new model takes our offering a significant step further,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. “The new Transit skeletal chassis opens up exciting new opportunities for grocery delivery vehicles and other low-floor body conversions where ease of access is paramount.”

The skeletal chassis model is based on a front-wheel drive Transit platform, and features an open-backed cab design that supports easy walk-through from the cab to the load space of the converted body.

Customers can specify a choice of three different wheelbase lengths to suit a variety of body conversions, with a wide-track rear axle for the longest variant and an optional wide-track rear axle for the 2 shorter variants. All versions offer a gross vehicle mass of 3.5 tonnes.

The Transit skeletal chassis derivative is offered with Ford’s powerful and fuel efficient 2.0litre EcoBlue diesel engine in 130 PS or 170 PS outputs, paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission.* Customers can also choose a six-speed automatic transmission, ideally suited to urban delivery applications.

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* Officially homologated fuel-efficiency and CO2 emission figures will vary according to customer-derived specification

The declared Fuel/Energy Consumptions, CO2 emissions and electric range are measured according to the technical requirements and specifications of the European Regulations (EC) 715/2007 and (EC) 692/2008 as last amended. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are specified for a vehicle variant and not for a single car. The applied standard test procedure enables comparison between different vehicle types and different manufacturers. In addition to the fuel-efficiency of a car, driving behaviour as well as other non-technical factors play a role in determining a car's fuel/energy consumption, CO2 emissions and electric range. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming.

From 1 September 2017, certain new vehicles will be type-approved using the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) according (EU) 2017/1151 as last amended, which is a new, more realistic test procedure for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. From 1 September 2018 the WLTP will fully replace the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC), which is the current test procedure. During NEDC Phase-out, WLTP fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are being correlated back to NEDC. There will be some variance to the previous fuel economy and emissions as some elements of the tests have altered i.e., the same car might have different fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 202,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 54,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 69,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (16 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and eight unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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13 hours ago, kscarbel2 said:

You see Bob, they get the latest 2.0 litre diesel, which is all one needs, while we are forced to buy the thirstier 3.2-litre diesel.

Kevin-I think "One Ford" went out the window when Mulally left..  My only thought is this fwd platform has a lighter GVW than the RWD's we get here.  In any case when you look at the continued downsizing in engine sizes, have to believe its only a matter of time before this gets here.  Where is the 3.2 built?

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Yup, Hackett made a statement along the lines of "wish we had some premium brands". I suspect the major reason for the FWD version of the Transit platform is to get a low floor height to allow maximum cube in the van body. As for the 2 liter diesel, IIRC that's the biggest VW is offering in their new Crafter van so that's becoming the norm. On the other hand, I've heard that Ford wants to keep the aging Econoline cutaway and chassis around a few more years because they think the big block motors are needed for towing. IIRC, the 3.2 diesel comes outa Great Britain, but with Brexit and a tariff war underway, who knows what'll power future Transits?

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7 hours ago, Red Horse said:

Kevin-I think "One Ford" went out the window when Mulally left..  My only thought is this fwd platform has a lighter GVW than the RWD's we get here.  In any case when you look at the continued downsizing in engine sizes, have to believe its only a matter of time before this gets here.  Where is the 3.2 built?

The town of Dagenham, Essex County (East London), UK

Bob, are the global market front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive Transit variants even available in the US market?

 

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Chinese (Jiangling) and Russian (Sollers) production is also only rear-wheel-drive.

In Europe, the ability to order front-, rear- or all-wheel drive is a real selling point.

Here's another example of how important Ford-Otosan is to the Blue Oval's worldwide game plan. Aside from the Americas, China and Russia, Ford-Otosan is responsible for all Transit production.

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1 hour ago, kscarbel2 said:

Bob, are the global market front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive Transit variants even available in the US market?

 

All wheel drive and a 3 pass front seat is rumored for 2020 NA refresh. Not sure why those options  took so long especially the 3 pass front seat because both Ram and Sprinter offered it. Also the first NA Transit brochure in 2015 showed a pic so naturally alot of customers asked about it too.

Ford should seriously consider the mid size Transit Custom for NA. Just like Mercedes were ahead to bring the Sprinter before Ford's own Transit ( even though they have had it for years overseas), they now are ahead of them with the Metris. There is a big demand for that size which can fit foot 8ft sheetrock but can also fit in   regular parking garages or not too small. There is a reason GM made the Astor for so long. Speaking of GM...they are way behind in van market now.

The Econoline will stick around for a while because its frame allows much higher GVW than the Transit which max at a little over 10k GVW. Ford may want to consider putting some ecoboost V6 or smaller diesel in it since it will be around for a while.

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8 minutes ago, kscarbel2 said:

Chinese (Jiangling) and Russian (Sollers) production is also only rear-wheel-drive.

Here's another example of how important Ford-Otosan is to the Blue Oval's worldwide game plan. Aside from the Americas, China and Russia, Ford-Otosan is responsible for all Transit production.

The first generation Transit Connect in NA also came out of Turkey, now they come from Spain. 

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In 2001, I had a long discussion with Ford engineers in Nanchang about why the superior Transit had yet to supercede the Econoline in North America. In short, it was because Americans "tow", and Europeans don't (not like Americans do). The Transit had not been designed for the ridiculous towing people do wlth light trucks in the states. I'm talking about unqualified drivers operating vans and pickups towing cheap, mammoth, overloaded tandem axle trailers.

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21 minutes ago, Maxidyne said:

No, we get lots of different body heights and lengths but only a naturally aspirated v6, EcoBeast turboed V6, or inline 5 turbo diesel all with automatic and rear drive.

We mostly sell the 3.7 naturally aspired V6 even for the larger and heavier versions up here in the NE. Most of our customers are ok with that engine. Eve though the diesel runs great, we don not sell many of them even for the high mileage customers that does airport shuttles etc.

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5 minutes ago, Jamaican Bulldog said:

The first generation Transit Connect in NA also came out of Turkey, now they come from Spain. 

I'm speaking of the full-size Transit.

Aside from Valencia, Ford-Otosan remains a major Transit Connect producer.

Aside from Nanchang (just started), Ford-Otosan is the exclusive production base for the mid-sized Transit Custom/Transit Tourneo.

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1 minute ago, kscarbel2 said:

I'm speaking of the full-size Transit.

Aside from Valencia, Ford-Otosan remains a major Transit Connect producer.

Aside from Nanchang (just started), Ford-Otosan is the exclusive production base for the mid-sized Transit Custom/Transit Tourneo.

Yep, I only mentioned that to support your point that Turkey has been an important part of Ford global production of commercial vehicles which sometimes make it to the U.S.

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1 hour ago, Jamaican Bulldog said:

All wheel drive and a 3 pass front seat is rumored for 2020 NA refresh. Not sure why those options  took so long especially the 3 pass front seat because both Ram and Sprinter offered it. Also the first NA Transit brochure in 2015 showed a pic so naturally alot of customers asked about it too.

Ford should seriously consider the mid size Transit Custom for NA. Just like Mercedes were ahead to bring the Sprinter before Ford's own Transit ( even though they have had it for years overseas), they now are ahead of them with the Metris. There is a big demand for that size which can fit foot 8ft sheetrock but can also fit in   regular parking garages or not too small. There is a reason GM made the Astor for so long. Speaking of GM...they are way behind in van market now.

The Econoline will stick around for a while because its frame allows much higher GVW than the Transit which max at a little over 10k GVW. Ford may want to consider putting some ecoboost V6 or smaller diesel in it since it will be around for a while.

How about it JB-you guys in the dealer world get any inkling that there could be a new cab for Avon Lake given fact their production currently revolves around THREE cabs- --steel Super Duty for 650/750, aluminum Super duty for 450/550  chassis, and the ancient Econoline for the cut aways.

Talk about inefficiency from a manufacturing viewpoint-or so it seems to me.  

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2 hours ago, Jamaican Bulldog said:

All wheel drive and a 3 pass front seat is rumored for 2020 NA refresh. Not sure why those options  took so long especially the 3 pass

The 3 Passenger front seat has been available here forever (& a day). The Dual cab is popular here as It's one the Few 7 seat Light trucks avaialble.

Without checking I think It's standard & the 2 seat front row is a "delete" Option. But happy to be corrected.

"Be who you are and say what you feel...
Because those that matter...
don't mind...
And those that mind....
don't matter." -

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Kscarbel you are so right, in the US a 2018 F-350, F-450, E-350 and E-450 are hauling what a 1978 F-600 would have been used for. I think that Transit T-450 on a E-450 frame would need a 6.2 at least. That Transit dual cab looks like it would sell good.

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It isn't so much that the Econoline chassis and cutaways need a big gas engine, it's customer's belief that they need a big V8 driving that marketing choice. Around the world even 2liter turbodiesels are hauling some pretty impressive loads in and behind small vans, but the major markets for the Econoline like motorhome builders just want a cheap big gas engine, so the ancient Econoline with it's "modular" V10 engine that was derived from economy car designs is still around. 

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The dropside bed is functional/versatile. Our archaic fixed shape pickup beds offer no such flexibility.

The crew cab Transit dropside pickup is so much more efficient in form and function than a typical US conventional cab pickup. Weight distribution is far better. No fuel guzzling engine. More maneuverable. A spacious cab designed for work. Unparalleled visibility. The list goes on and on.

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Agreed, a manufacturer can fit a lot more into a given length if they don't have to waste several feet on a hood. I've looked at both the Transit and the F series pickups and prefer the Transit- better engine access, carries as much as the pickup but inside protected from the weather, etc.. And while the V8 Powerstroke is overkill for a pickup, the inline 5 diesel in the Transit provides ample power without the bulk of a V8.

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I've got a 2015 extended medium height with 3.7 natural aspirated, awesome van no problems for the 3 years I've had it. I could really use the 3 across seat though, can't understand why they couldn't offer that here.

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On 8/2/2018 at 11:02 PM, Red Horse said:

How about it JB-you guys in the dealer world get any inkling that there could be a new cab for Avon Lake given fact their production currently revolves around THREE cabs- --steel Super Duty for 650/750, aluminum Super duty for 450/550  chassis, and the ancient Econoline for the cut aways.

Talk about inefficiency from a manufacturing viewpoint-or so it seems to me.  

No I haven't heard anything about new cabs. There was a time when we would hear more about this stuff but nowadays its like most factory reps only know what they need to know at the time. However a few real car veteran  people left actually know a thing or too or seek it because they are the really the only  car people left. Very often you ask a question of a  new green rep, and they come back  and tell you something you already know. It is not their fault its just how the company is now. Ford doesn't realize that alot of their customers make long term plans and if there is uncertainty they will actually consider competitors.

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