The all-new Transit Custom commercial vehicle from Ford Pro is now launching across Europe, enabling small and medium businesses to achieve new levels of productivity.
The next generation of Europe’s best-selling one-tonne van is fully integrated with Ford Pro’s digital ecosystem of software and services to help businesses reduce cost of ownership, work more effectively, and simplify management of their commercial vehicles.
Ford engineers developed an all-new platform designed to optimise load carrying and access, improve driver comfort and convenience, and deliver outstanding performance and handling. The advanced design supports multiple high-efficiency powertrains including plug-in hybrid and new-to-Transit Custom all-wheel drive options, while delivering uncompromised cargo space.
Inspired by customer insights, all-new Transit Custom offers a range of segment-first features and digital experiences to help maximise productivity during the working day, including an innovative tilting steering wheel, time-saving Delivery Assist, digitised conversions with Upfit Integration System, new Exit Warning safety technology, and the versatile MultiCab bodystyle.
The most comprehensive ever Transit Custom range will be completed by the electric E-Transit Custom, which will dramatically simplify the transition to electric vehicles for small businesses.
“Our all-new Transit Custom has a hard act to follow – Europe’s top-selling van and last year’s best-selling vehicle overall in the UK – so we’ve pulled out all the stops to deliver another huge leap forward for our customers,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Ford Pro, Europe. “The new generation Transit Custom’s ground-up new design, unmatched connected ecosystem and innovative customer experiences will redefine productivity for our customers in the new connected era.”
With its combination of customer-led vehicle design and cloud-connected support from the Ford Pro ecosystem, the all-new Transit Custom will set a new benchmark for what small and medium businesses – comprising 99 per cent of companies in Europe and worth €786 billion to Europe’s economy – can expect from a commercial vehicle.
Transit Custom models with EcoBlue diesel engines are already in production, with deliveries commencing in Q4 2023. Customers can also now order a full range of variants including plug-in hybrid models for delivery from spring 2024, with the electric E-Transit Custom scheduled to follow later in summer 2024.
Segment-first features deliver an unprecedented customer experience
Before Ford designers began sketching the all-new Transit Custom, the company’s D-Ford in-house human-centred design lab spent years engaging with business customers to research their needs and pain points, and identify innovative solutions to help improve productivity.
Small business operators use the cabs in their vans as offices and canteens every day, and the new tilting steering wheel in the Mobile Office option pack makes Transit Custom better than ever at serving both needs. The wheel’s rim rotates to become a stand for tablets and laptops as well as a flat-topped table to make paperwork and lunch breaks more comfortable.
Delivery drivers can make up to 200 stops and deliver 500 items per day, with every parcel against the clock. Delivery Assist (available October 2024) can help streamline every delivery by automating some of the process to save time and improve security. When enabled, Delivery Assist activates when the driver shifts into park. Transit Custom will automatically switch on its hazard lights, close any open windows, and lock the door once the driver leaves the van. When returning, the driver can keylessly enter and start the vehicle. The hazard lights will switch off and the windows will return to their previous position.
Operators who work in busy city streets will also benefit from Ford Pro’s Exit Warning technology, which is introduced to the company’s van range on the all-new Transit Custom. This smart feature can warn the driver of approaching road users to help prevent “dooring” accidents, where occupants open a vehicle door into the path of approaching cyclists or cars.
Half of all Transits sold in Europe feature some kind of conversion, and many of these modifications require additional controls and displays. Ford Pro’s first-to-market Upfit Integration System enables converters to seamlessly connect the Transit Custom’s electrical system, standard in-cab touchscreen, and aftermarket equipment. This removes the need to modify the cab area or splice into wiring to fit controls, allowing vehicle conversions to be delivered more quickly and efficiently as well as potentially improving reliability and safety.
During development research for the all-new Transit Custom, Ford discovered that many owners want their vans to seat four or five people, while still being able to carry long items or bulky, dirty equipment in a separate cargo area. The segment-unique new MultiCab bodystyle enables this with an L-shaped composite bulkhead which splits the rear compartment, with a two-seat, fully-trimmed second row alongside a full-length cargo space.
New platform, new level of productivity
Underpinning the Transit Custom’s enhanced productivity is an all-new platform designed around optimum load carrying, access, performance and powertrain flexibility. The clean-sheet design is stiffer and 100 kg lighter than that of the previous-generation vehicle, and features a wheelbase lengthened by up to 200 mm depending on model for optimum cargo capacity.
To maximise fuel efficiency, the all-new model’s body design was developed using extensive aerodynamic simulation, and together with a reduced frontal area, resulted in a CdA up to 13 per cent lower than that of the previous-generation model. The vehicle architecture was optimised to help achieve an overall height of under two metres, to improve access in height-restricted areas such as multi-storey car parks, garages and underground loading bays.
A class-leading side load door aperture enhances loading, and the side door features a new integrated access step to make entering the load compartment even easier, as well as an optional power sliding side door with hands-free operation to help drivers carrying parcels or equipment. Optimised packaging of the chassis and body structure enable the vehicle’s load floor to be lower than that of the outgoing model to facilitate loading cargo and cab access.
As a panel van, Transit Custom offers load volumes from 5.8 to 9.0 m3, with payload up to 1,350 kg and a maximum load length of 3,450 mm using the smart load-through feature under the passenger seats. Double-cab-in-van and kombi body styles are also available, all with a choice of short or long wheelbase. Maximum braked trailer weight is 2,800 kg, and customers can specify an optional retractable towbar.
For the first time, all Transit Custom vans are fitted with a new semi-trailing arm independent rear suspension design to contribute towards the lower floor height and to improve steering precision, handling and traction. The front wheels and strut towers have also been repositioned further forward, resulting in much better cross-cab access, improved foot space and footrests for occupants in the front, as well as a shorter front overhang for more confident parking and manoeuvring.
Transit Custom’s suite of driver assistance systems 6 has been enhanced to include advanced features like Cross Traffic Assist, Reverse Brake Assist, 360-degree camera, and Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go technology on automatic models to enable feet-off driving even in traffic jams.
Improving uptime and service cost of ownership
Every all-new Transit Custom is fully integrated with the Ford Pro platform of software and connected services including management tools from Ford Pro Telematics, 11 the FordPass Pro app, and the FORDLiive connected uptime system.
Using the tailored features of Ford Pro Telematics – complimentary for one year – Transit Custom owners can monitor their vehicles’ location, efficiency and health for maximum productivity. The system can also reduce fuel and maintenance costs by sending in-cab voice prompts for excessive idle time, harsh braking or acceleration, and driving without a seatbelt. Telematics can also send vehicle owners real-time security alerts if the system detects theft, unauthorised use or activity beyond set working hours.
The FordPass Pro app is available to assist small business owners without full-time fleet management support. The complimentary smartphone app enables customers to remotely lock and unlock their vehicle, check its location, track fuel spending, and receive health alerts for fluid levels, tyre pressures, oil life and brake condition to help prevent costly breakdowns.
After activating the 5G modem and enrolling in a Ford Pro Software package, customers can benefit from the uptime-boosting power of FORDLiive. Projections show FORDLiive can reduce downtime by up to 60 per cent: In 2022, the system enabled over 300,000 days of additional vehicle availability across Europe, worth around €138 million to customers.
The 5G modem also enables Transit Custom to receive Ford Power-Up updates for more than 30 separate vehicle modules. These can help improve vehicle performance, deliver quality upgrades, update existing features and add all-new functions and capabilities. Most updates are completed in under two minutes and can be scheduled to avoid downtime.
High-tech interior delivers connected, digital experiences
Ford Pro makes it easy for every business to enter the new, connected era; every Transit Custom is fitted with a large 13-inch landscape touchscreen angled towards the driver for ease of use, supporting Ford’s latest SYNC 4 communication and information system with superfast connectivity to the Ford Pro tech stack via the built-in modem. The advanced cockpit is completed by a 12-inch digital instrument cluster.
Transit Custom also features Alexa Built-in from the factory, integrated with the 13-inch touchscreen. This puts a personal AI in the cab to help drivers stay connected and organised, making driving time easier and more productive. Alexa Built-in means drivers can use simple voice commands to set the address of the next job in the navigation system, call the office, or even make purchases directly through Amazon.com.
Ford designers matched this digital innovation with ergonomic features designed to make Transit Custom more comfortable for drivers spending long shifts in the cab. The new platform enables a more car-like driving position, while the flat cabin floor along with the electronic handbrake and “squircle”-shaped steering wheel help cross-cab access – supported by a column-mounted gear shifter on models with automatic transmission.
The cabin design was also optimised around a segment-first roof-mounted passenger airbag. Changing from the traditional dashboard location creates storage space large enough for a laptop or A4 file, and increases flexibility for upfit panels and devices that can now be fitted closer to the driver using industry-standard AMPS mountings.
Expanded choice of high-efficiency powertrains
Customers can specify Transit Custom with the latest generation of Ford EcoBlue diesel engines in 110 PS, 136 PS, 150 PS or 170 PS power outputs, which can improve fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions by almost six per cent compared to the outgoing model. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with the option of an advanced new high-efficiency eight-speed automatic gearbox that enables a maximum towing capacity of 2,800 kg and is available in combination with the 136 PS and 170 PS engines.
A new intelligent all-wheel drive system can be specified on Transit Custom for the first time. The system intelligently distributes torque between the axles via an electronically-controlled coupling, with adjustments taking less than 20 milliseconds, and is available for vehicles fitted with the automatic gearbox. Owners who require more traction but prefer a manual gearbox can specify the 136 PS or 150 PS power outputs with a mechanical limited-slip differential for enhanced rough-road performance.
The all-new Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid combines a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with an 11.8 kWh (usable) battery to deliver a combined power output of 232 PS, pure-electric driving range of up to 56 km and 2.3 kW of power for tools and equipment via Pro Power Onboard. The new powertrain is similar to that used by the Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid – Europe’s top-selling PHEV in 2021 and 2022 – and supported by Ford Pro Charging’s end-to-end home, depot and public charging solutions.
All powertrains can be optimised for a range of use cases using Selectable Drive Modes , with productivity enhancing options including Eco and Tow/Haul, enabling drivers to easily tune Transit Custom’s performance to suit different operating requirements and driving conditions.
Most comprehensive ever product range
Depending on their cargo requirements, customers can choose from L1 or L2 body lengths and GVM options of 280, 300 or 320 across the body style range:
- • Van
- • Double-cab-in-van
- • Kombi – now available in desirable high-series trim levels
- • MultiCab
The Transit Custom’s wide range of series includes:
- • Base, with a high standard specification including 13-inch touchscreen and 5G modem
- • Trend, available with every powertrain and featuring enhanced driver assistance
- • Limited, offering sophisticated exterior design and a premium cabin
- • Trail, with all-wheel drive or a mechanical limited-slip differential to enhance traction
- • Sport, with unique body kit, 17-inch alloy wheels and racing stripe
Together, Ford Pro’s comprehensive range of bodystyles, GVM, length and series options result in the broadest-ever Transit Custom line-up for customers in Europe.