Ford has unveiled the first fruits of the partnership with Volkswagen that was announced the previous year. Before the arrival of the electric vehicle on the MEB platform, the new generation of Ranger and Amarok trucks, the development of which is the blue oval design, revealed a new generation of Tourneo Connect passenger trucks. And it’s nothing more than a decently modified fifth-generation Volkswagen Caddy.
The collaboration between Ford and Volkswagen is not unusual in history. Between 1987 and 1995, for example, there was a joint venture between two South American brands that produced many of the same models sold as Ford and VW. From Europe, it is good to recall, for example, the project of large MPV cars Ford Galaxy, Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan. The previous year, the two manufacturers announced their cooperation in the field of light commercial vehicles and electric cars, which they confirmed last year by signing an agreement.
And the new generation Ford Tourneo Connect, the personal version of the Transit Connect truck, is the first fruits of the re-engagement. Looking at the photos, the sharpest eye will surely easily reveal that it is in fact just a slightly restyled Volkswagen Caddy. Both cars have the same MQB platform and will use the same engines, so over time the TDIs will return to Ford’s hood, although they are sold under the name EcoBlue, which is a blue oval.
The capacity of the 2-liter turbodiesel is 75 or 90 kW, and in the first case it is combined exclusively with the manual, but the most powerful version has a more rough option. The front wheel could therefore have a manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission, and it would be offered for the first time as an ATV with a manual transmission. The offer is complemented by a fifteen-liter supercharged petrol engine of 84 kW with manual transmission or dual-clutch automatic transmission. Ford says it expects best-in-class consumption, with diesel engines starting at 4.9 l/100 km for the manual transmission versions.
There will be two body lengths called L1 and L2, and one with a wheelbase of 2970 mm corresponding to VW Caddy in the Maxi version. Shorter widths between axes 2755 mm. Both versions can have up to seven seats, since the seats in the second and third rows can be completely removed from the car. The maximum load space is 2.6 cubic meters for the L1 version and 3.1 cubic meters for the L2 version, but even in the case of a five-seater combination, a lot of space is required – about 760 liters for the shorter version and more than a thousand liters for the longer version. Sliding doors on both sides of the body will also be an advantage.
The interior, and specifically the dashboard, reveals the relationship with Volkswagen perfectly. There is also volume or air conditioning control in Wolfsburg using the touch surfaces. And the 8.25 or 10 inch multimedia system’s visual connection and alarms reveal the original very quickly. Ford will then be able to have 10.25-inch virtual alarms, for example, with the option to display the navigation. Within the modified details, a slightly modified steering wheel or other gear lever head can be mentioned.
The exterior design of the Tournea Connect does not deny a foreign origin, although the newly designed front part with a different radiator grille and LED headlights tries to do this very well. However, the rear sections with headlights quickly recall the VW Caddy. As with other trucks, Ford is betting on many different variants. In addition to the classic Trend and Titanium equipment, it will also offer the Active model with elements of the SUV and Sport classes, respectively, with stripes on the hood.
Also worth noting is the range of safety aids, from adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring through trailer reversing assist to partial parking. In total, the new Ford Tourneo Connect will provide nineteen electronic assistants. Some functions, such as unlocking and locking or setting the average consumption, can then be controlled via a special mobile application.
The automaker will open orders early next year, and customers will get the first cars in the spring. Where the Tourneo Connect will be manufactured (the press release remains silent about Transit Connect, but it will definitely be the VW Caddy utility twin again), the blue oval has yet to be determined. Polish Poznan is offered, where the virtual Volkswagen is already rolling off the lines.
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