Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
February 22, 2012
Ford is using next month's Geneva Motor Show to show off a passenger van concept. Called the Tourneo Custom concept, this previews the next generation Transit van.
Before we go any further, we would like to point out this isn't the Transit we're getting in North America. The Tourneo Custom concept is previewing the next generation of front-wheel-drive, passenger-friendly Transit for Europe and other world markets. The version for North America will based off of the heavy-duty, rear-wheel-drive Transit that's set to debut later this year.
Now with that cleared up, lets get back to the Tourneo. The Tourneo exhibits many cues of Ford's kinect design language. The front end has trapezoidal grill and large, tear-drop headlamp housings.
Step inside the Tourneo and you'll notice a eight-seat configuration trimmed in leather and cloth, SYNC, and a dash layout similar to the Focus and Fiesta.
Engines will range from 100, to 125, to 155 horsepower and mated exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission.
Press Release is on Page 2
Dynamic Ford Tourneo Custom Concept Makes Global Debut at 2012 Geneva Motor Show
- Ford Tourneo Custom Concept makes global debut at Geneva Motor Show to showcase a dramatic new look and preview introduction of an all-new family of one-ton Ford Transit people movers and commercial vehicles for Europe and Asia
- The dynamic and contemporary Tourneo Custom Concept adopts the same Kinetic Design language as Ford's latest passenger cars to take a fresh approach to space, style and functionality and target a new generation of Tourneo customers
- Stylish eight-seat concept brings new energy to personal use, lifestyle and executive shuttle sectors; car-like dynamics and comfort brought together through a driver-focused cockpit and all-new luxurious interior design
- Multi-adjustable and removable rear seating can be adapted for business or leisure pursuits while innovative technologies include SYNC voice-activated, in-car connectivity system with Emergency Assistance
- Concept features state-of-the-art driver assist systems, and latest Ford low-CO2 ECOnetic Technologies help target best-in-class fuel economy
Previewing the introduction of a completely new range of people movers, with commercial vehicles to follow, the Tourneo Custom Concept showcases a dramatic new look that will appeal to customers seeking style, functionality and space.
"One look at the Tourneo Custom Concept is enough to tell you that it will inject an exciting new spirit into the personal use segment," said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. "Our forthcoming new range gives us the opportunity to appeal to new customers with a fresh new direction, and we have seized that opportunity with both hands.
"We are excited to present this significant new concept in Geneva. The Tourneo Custom's car-like qualities will be appreciated by a broad range of business and leisure customers, and this is a fitting venue to present the vehicle for the first time."
The Tourneo Custom Concept will preview of a host of exciting new features, which give the vehicle strong car-like appeal.
These include an all-new interior design with driver-focused cockpit, and a luxurious, fully trimmed cabin which has the ambience and high-quality materials of a modern multi-seat saloon car.
The Concept also showcases a number of smart innovations including multi-adjustable and removable rear seating, advanced SYNC voice-activated, in-car connectivity system with Emergency Assistance feature, and the latest Ford low-CO2 ECOnetic Technologies.
Dramatic new design language
The Tourneo Custom Concept communicates very clearly a dramatic new design direction for Ford's commercial vehicle range, which will be introduced later in 2012.
With its advanced, streamlined appearance, the concept vehicle embodies the same dynamic character as Ford's Kinetic Design passenger cars – generating the strong sense of movement, even when the vehicle is standing still.
"We set out to create a design with clean, futuristic lines and with a real sense of occasion," explained Paul Campbell, chief designer, Ford of Europe.
"With its sportier stance, bold rising shoulder line and flush glazing, the Tourneo Custom Concept brings something fresh and exciting to this class of people mover.
"By applying the latest Kinetic Design principles, the design has a completely new style and drama," he added.
Signature Kinetic Design features helps give the Tourneo Custom Concept its unique character, including the bold trapezoidal grille, strong and muscular shoulder line, prominent wheel lips and window lines with the distinctive kick at the rear.
The concept is further enhanced by a number of stylish details from the chrome grille surround and striking LED lighting on the front-end, to the dynamic looks of the 18-inch alloy wheels.
Luxurious car-like interior
Bringing a whole new level of car-like style and sophistication to the personal use segment, the Tourneo Custom Concept features an all-new interior design.
"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 saloon car, but with ample space for people and luggage" explained Campbell.
"From its modern, driver-focused cockpit, to the luxurious rear cabin finished in leather, the Tourneo Custom Concept shows that interiors in this class can be both functional and attractive."
The stylish, sculpted instrument panel is orientated around the driver, and features technologies which are closely-related to those in Ford's car range. Like the exterior, the interior follows the same Kinetic Design approach as the latest passenger cars, such as in the taut wing-like section of the upper instrument panel.
Occupants in the rear are surrounded by space and luxury, with a fully-trimmed cabin which incorporates bold Kinetic Design detailing on the side panels which are linked to the graphical themes from the front.
The rear seats themselves are a completely new design, which can be easily folded into multiple configurations, or removed completely. This enables the interior to be easily tailored to suit business or leisure pursuits.
In the concept vehicle, the luxurious and spacious feel of the interior is further enhanced by an exclusive two-tone colour scheme, featuring hand-stitched leather seats with attractive cloth inserts.
Smart New Features
The Tourneo Custom Concept highlights that customers in the personal use market can expect the same high levels of technology which are enjoyed by Ford car drivers.
Among the smart, innovative features included on the concept are:
- ECOnetic Technologies – Ford's advanced low-CO2 features including Auto-Start-Stop and Smart Regenerative Charging
- SYNC voice-activated, in-car connectivity system – enables mobile phones and music players to be connected to the vehicle, and controlled using voice control
- Emergency Assistance – enabled by SYNC, this new feature is designed to assist occupants to contact the Emergency Services in the event of an accident, providing vehicle location information
- Advanced restraint system – including driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags
- Rear-view camera – integrated into the rear view mirror
- Lane Departure Warning and Driver Alert – latest driver assistance features to alert the driver if the system detects the vehicle is inadvertently drifting out of the lane, or the driver is becoming tired behind the wheel
The Tourneo Custom Concept is based on a new Ford global platform which has been engineered to deliver car-like dynamics, including agile, responsive handling, enhanced ride comfort and reduced noise-levels.
"Customers in the personal use market are demanding much higher levels of technology, performance and handling," said Barry Gale, chief engineer, Ford of Europe. "This concept shows that we are taking those demands very seriously, and that customers can expect a rewarding and car-like driving experience."
New Generation of Ford Commercial Vehicles
The debut of the Tourneo Custom Concept has added significance in heralding the arrival of a completely new generation of Ford commercial vehicles. The full range of models will be revealed during 2012.
Kicking off this major series of introductions, the Tourneo Custom Concept itself highlights a new family of Ford people movers and one-tonne vans which will be launched in Europe and other global markets, but will not be sold in North America.
"The imminent arrival of an all-new people mover and van is an exciting moment for us," said Gale. "The new model gives us plenty to talk about, and we look forward to sharing more details very soon."
This new range will be powered by enhanced versions of the new 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine, which was initially introduced in 2011; with Auto-Stop-Start technology fitted as standard, Ford is targeting best-in-class fuel economy.
Three power ratings will be available: 100 PS, 125 PS and 155 PS. All versions are paired with a six-speed manual transmission and feature front-wheel drive.
The model range will include a wide choice of body styles and two wheelbases (SWB and LWB) allowing for extra luggage or goods capability where required.
Ford will be presenting larger and higher payload Transits later in 2012. These models will be sold globally, including North America, and will also feature rear-wheel-drive.
"2012 is a tremendously significant year for Ford as we begin the roll-out of a completely new range of commercial vehicles," said Odell. "Our market-leading commercials have established a tremendous reputation for value and durability, and our new range is destined to raise this to a new level."
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