Ford unveiled the first fruit of a partnership with Volkswagen announced the year before. Before the electric car on the MEB platform arrives, the new generation of Ranger and Amarok pick-ups, for the development of which the blue oval is responsible, has unveiled a new generation of Tourneo Connect passenger vans. And it’s nothing more than a decently modified Volkswagen Caddy of the fifth generation.
The cooperation between Ford and Volkswagen is not so unusual in history. Between 1987 and 1995, for example, there was a joint venture between the two brands in South America, which produced several of the same models sold as both Ford and VW. From Europe, it is good to remember, for example, the project of large MPVs Ford Galaxy, Seat Alhambra and Volkswagen Sharan. The year before, both manufacturers announced cooperation in the field of light commercial vehicles and electric cars, which they confirmed last year by signing an agreement.
And the new generation of the Ford Tourneo Connect, the personal version of the Transit Connect van, is the first fruit of a re-engagement. Looking at the photos, the sharper eye will surely easily reveal that it is actually just a slightly designed Volkswagen Caddy. Both cars have the same MQB platform and will use the same engines, so over time the TDI engines will return to the Ford hood, although sold under the EcoBlue name, which is specific to the blue oval.
The two-liter turbodiesel has 75 or 90 kW, in the first case it is combined exclusively with the manual, but the stronger version has a more rough choice. The front wheel can thus have a manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission, and will be offered for the first time as an ATV with manual transmission. The offer is complemented by a supercharged fifteen-liter petrol engine with an output of 84 kW in combination with a manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission. Ford states that it expects the best consumption in its class, with diesel engines from 4.9 l / 100 km for versions with manual transmission.
There will be two body lengths called L1 and L2, the other with a wheelbase of 2970 mm corresponds to the VW Caddy in the Maxi version. The shorter offers between axles 2755 mm. Both versions can have up to seven seats, where the seats in the second and third rows can be completely removed from the car. The cargo space has a maximum of 2.6 m3 for the L1 version and 3.1 m3 for the L2 version, but even in a five-seater combination, a solid amount of space should be available – around 760 liters for the shorter and over a thousand liters for the longer version. Sliding doors on both sides of the body will also be an advantage.
The interior, specifically the dashboard, then reveals the relationship with Volkswagen perfectly. There is also a Wolfsburg volume control or air conditioning using touch surfaces. Also, the visual connection of the 8.25 or 10-inch multimedia system and the alarm clocks reveal the origin quite quickly. Ford will then be able to have virtual 10.25-inch alarm clocks, for example, with the option of displaying navigation. Within the modified details, a slightly modified steering wheel or another gear lever head can be mentioned.
The exterior design of the Tournea Connect does not deny foreign origin, although the newly shaped front part with a different radiator grille and LED headlights tries to do so very well. However, the rear sections with vertical lamps quickly recall the VW Caddy. As with other vans, Ford is betting on several 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 categories, respectively, with stripes on the hood.
It is also worth mentioning the range of safety assistants, ranging from adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring through a trailer reversing assistant to partially automatic parking. In total, the new Ford Tourneo Connect will offer nineteen electronic helpers. Some functions, such as unlocking and locking or determining the average consumption, can then be controlled via a special mobile application.
The carmaker will open orders at the beginning of next year, customers will receive the first cars in the spring. Where the Tourneo Connect will be manufactured (the press release is still silent about the Transit Connect delivery, but it will almost certainly be the twin of the utility VW Caddy again), the blue oval has not yet been specified. Polish Poznan is offered, where the default Volkswagen is already coming off the lines.