today reveals details of the Ford Tourneo Custom Concept, which provides a glimpse of the auto maker’s plans for the global commercial-van market.
The concept, to be officially unveiled at next month’s Geneva auto show, represents a departure from’s current commercial-van strategy.
In European markets, Ford traditionally has offered the Transit fullsize van in two configurations: 1- and 2-ton. But there was no difference in body style.
In the future, the auto maker will differentiate between the two classes with distinctive sheet metal, Ford spokesman Mike Levine tells WardsAuto.
The Tourneo Custom concept is representative of what the next-generation Transit 1-ton van will look like, he says. The 2-ton version, which will go on sale in North America in 2013, will be shown later this year.
Ford plans to replace the current E-Series van with the fullsize Transit in North America beginning in 2013.
The Tourneo Custom concept, underpinned by Ford’s new fullsize global van architecture, is a radical styling departure from the current-generation Transit.
The auto maker says the new design is to demonstrate the personal-use appeal of the 1-ton Transit, although the production version also will be available in commercial form. The 2-ton largely is used for commercial purposes.
The concept boasts a more streamlined appearance than the current Transit that was inspired by Ford’s global Kinetic design language, the auto maker says.
A trapezoidal grille, muscular shoulder line and prominent wheel wells and window lines are accented by chrome trim around the grill, light-emitting diode headlamps and 18-in. wheels.
The interior is more car-like, says Paul Campbell, chief designer of Ford of Europe.
“We wanted to give the driver, and the rear-seat passengers, an interior which has the same standards of design and quality they would experience in a modern, multi-seat sedan, but with ample space for people and luggage,” he says in a statement.
The rear seats are completely new. They can be folded in multiple configurations or removed completely, transforming the van for commercial use.
The 8-seat concept’s interior has a 2-tone color scheme and hand-stitched leather seats with cloth inserts, as well as Ford’s Sync infotainment system, a rear-view camera and lane-departure warning.
The concept is powered by a 155-hp 2.2L Duratorq diesel engine with stop/start technology. The production model also will come in 100-hp and 125-hp versions, as well as two different wheelbases, Ford says without revealing details.