Aerospace Tech And Optimised Design Boost Payload On New Ford Transit By 80Kg

April 30, 2019 by Ford

•Top-to-bottom programme of weight savings for new Ford Transit van using aerospace industry computer-aided design helps deliver up to 80kg more load-carrying capability

•New Transit is Ford's first commercial vehicle in Europe to feature a weight-saving aluminium bonnet. Lightweight, high-strength composite bulkhead also introduced

•New 2-tonne Transit also delivers enhanced fuel efficiency with further optimised 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine plus segment-first 48-volt mild-hybrid technology

•Smartest and most productive Ford Transit ever goes on sale in mid-2019

Aerospace Tech And Optimised Design Boost Payload On New Ford Transit By 80Kg
NEC, Birmingham, April 30, 2019 – The new Ford Transit will help operators to be even more productive when the 2-tonne van goes on sale in mid-2019, with up to 80kg more load-carrying capability following a top-to-bottom programme of weight savings.

Sophisticated engineering including Ford's first aluminium bonnet for a commercial vehicle in Europe, a composite bulkhead and spin-formed wheels were optimised during the development process using advanced computer-aided design (CAD) systems typically employed in the aerospace industry.

These are among the innovations that have helped Ford engineers reduce the kerb weight of the new Transit to enable customers to carry larger loads for greater operating efficiency. The new Transit rear-wheel-drive 350GVM, long-wheelbase, medium-roof model, for example, is 80kg lighter than the comparable out-going model. The equivalent front-wheel-drive van is 48kg lighter.

Aerospace Tech And Optimised Design Boost Payload On New Ford Transit By 80Kg

'Payload is critical for businesses. Lighter weight also improves fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, so every part of the Ford Transit team worked to a weight-saving target, while maintaining strength and durability as a priority,' said Michael McDonagh, Transit global chief programme engineer. 'The increased payload further enhances the Transit's reputation for outstanding productivity.'

The new Transit is also up to seven per cent more fuel efficient, thanks to an upgraded 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel line-up delivering CO2 emissions from 156g/km, a more powerful 185PS variant and a new 10-speed automatic transmission for rear-wheel-drive models. A segment-first EcoBlue Hybrid 48-volt mild-hybrid option further improves upon 2.0-litre EcoBlue fuel efficiency by up to an additional eight per cent in stop-start urban applications, delivering CO2 emissions from 144g/km.

New driver assistance tech and advanced new connectivity features make working days less stressful for operators, and FordPass Connect on-board modem technology will help fleet professionals to improve vehicle utilisation and optimise running costs.

Ford is the number one commercial brand in Europe and Ford Transit range sales rose by 11.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same period last year, with total sales of 81,700. Ford sold 380,900 commercial vehicles in its European 20 markets in 2018, with more than 133,000 of those in the UK alone.

Optimised weight delivers enhanced payload

Improved payload has been delivered through a comprehensive programme to optimise vehicle weight, while still enabling operators to benefit from the latest safety systems and driver assistance technologies.

Using a 'marginal gains' approach, hundreds of components were optimised for weight, strength and durability using aerospace industry CAD software. Savings in every area of the vehicle, sometimes of less than 0.5kg for each part, delivered a total saving of up to 80 kg like-for-like.

The new Transit's lightweight aluminium bonnet saves 5.4kg compared with a steel equivalent, without sacrificing strength. The new bonnet was comprehensively tested for dent resistance, and performs as well as a steel bonnet in temperatures between minus 30 degrees Celsius and 80 degrees Celsius.

Major savings of 14.7kg were achieved by redesigning the rear axle for the rear-wheel drive model, and a new high-strength, lightweight composite bulkhead* saves 4.4kg compared with a steel equivalent.

The new Transit's steel wheels were produced using a spinning production technique that achieves greater strength using less metal. This approach delivers a total saving of 5.5kg for Transit across five wheels, including the spare.

Enhanced fuel efficiency. More choice

In addition to the upgraded 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel line-up, features contributing to increased fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 include the introduction of electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) to the Transit for the first time; the use of low-rolling-resistance tyres; and aerodynamic enhancements.

Fuel-saving Auto Start-Stop technology remains standard across the range. Drivers can also use EcoGuide, which uses GPS positioning to give predictive advice on how to achieve the best fuel efficiency on the road ahead.

Ford recently announced that a new all-electric Transit will join the company's line-up of electrified commercial vehicles in 2021. Designed to deliver pure-electric propulsion, the new van will contribute to cleaner, quieter towns and cities, and reduced running costs for business and operators.***

Smarter design, smarter technologies

The Ford Transit's smart new exterior features a taller, more assertive three-bar grille and a redesigned lower fascia. Inside the cabin, an all-new interior design delivers enhanced style, practicality and driver comfort, with advanced technologies including Ford's SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system that can be operated using simple, voice commands, or via pinch and swipe gestures on an eight-inch touchscreen.

The Transit's refined and car-like driving character is enhanced with the introduction of EPAS technology that also helps reduce driver fatigue by adding more assistance while parking and manoeuvring, and enables driver assistance technologies including Active Park Assist and Lane-Keeping Aid.

For the first time, Transit drivers will be able to choose from Selectable Drive Modes to match driving performance to conditions: Eco Mode, Slippery Mode, Mud/Rut Mode for all-wheel-drive models and Tow/Haul Mode for smooth power delivery when towing large trailers or boats that weigh more than the vehicle kerb weight.

A comprehensive range of advanced driving assistance technologies have also been introduced to help reduce stress and tiredness, and to help avoid or mitigate the impact of collisions. These include:

•Blind Spot Information System with Trailer Tow system

•Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control

•Enhanced Lane-Keeping System

•Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection

New features are also provided to make life easier and less stressful when manoeuvring and parking within busy commercial and urban environments, and potentially avoid costly bumps and scrapes. These include Front and Rear Wide-View Cameras and a high mounted rear-view camera; Parking Aid, enhanced with additional side sensors; Active Park Assist (APA), Park-Out Assist and Cross Traffic Alert.

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Photo credit: Ford
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