Ford is using the annual NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis to add a new truck to its F-Series family and unveil improvements to the Transit van, which has become a staple of the automaker’s fleet business, for the 2020 model year.
When added to Ford’s commercial lineup next fall, the ’20 Transit will offer the most vehicle configurations in its class to help customers specify the right van for any job, the automaker says. In addition to cargo van, passenger van, chassis cab and cutaway configurations, a new 5-passenger crew van is being added to the Transit family, says Mark Buzzell, Ford’s director of fleet, lease and remarketing operations. Based on customer feedback, the crew van is aimed at owners who need to move larger crews plus their gear to a job site.
New features for the Transit family include available all-wheel drive and two all-new engines: a 2.0L EcoBlue bi-turbo I-4 diesel offering more power and torque than the 3.2L unit it replaces, and a 3.5L gasoline V-6 with both port and direct fuel injection for what Ford says is greater efficiency than the outgoing 3.7L powerplant, and a new 10-speed automatic transmission.
“We integrated Transit’s new all-wheel-drive system into the vehicle design early on to ensure it does not raise the load floor or seat height, making this van configuration as easy to enter and exit as the standard rear-wheel-drive model,” says Ray Eyles, Ford Transit chief program engineer. “This is a significant benefit for commercial drivers who are in and out of their vehicles dozens of times a day, as well as for shuttle-bus passengers and families.”
New driver-assist features include standard pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and the available suite of Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies, which include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and blindspot information system with rear cross-traffic alert.
Other new features include a standard FordPass Connect modem with 4G and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and connectivity for up to 10 devices.
The ’20 Transit’s new interior starts with a dashboard and features designed to improve comfort and practicality, such as durable new fabrics on seating surfaces, plus extra cupholders and storage compartments. Grab handles are improved and vents are updated to better direct heated and cooled air.
Optional swivel front seats are available for the first time in response to requests from customers wanting to use the Transit as a recreational vehicle.
On the truck side (left), Ford introduces the all-new medium-duty F-600 Super Duty chassis cab, which delivers the capability of a Class 6 truck – including a maximum GVW of 22,000 lbs. – but is built to go where bigger trucks can’t.
Although the overall vehicle is the same size as an F-550, the F-600 uses upgraded driveline and chassis components, as well as higher-weight-rated 19.5-in. tires and wheels to help it achieve a higher GVW. Ford’s choice of gasoline or diesel powertrains and 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrains for the F-600 lets fleet managers spec the truck they want rather than settle for what’s available, the automaker says.
“For 34 years, Ford has consistently sold more commercial vehicles every year than any other manufacturer because we listen to our customers then get to work developing the products and technologies they need,” Buzzell says. “The updates we’re announcing…were driven by our customers’ focus on improving safety, reducing cost and increasing uptime and productivity.”