The Blue Oval company is in a quirky news spot these days. For example, a couple of design and technology patents show that the automaker's engineers are experimenting with awkward seat placements and driving positions. And, as far as real-world vehicles are concerned, we quickly noticed a boomerang effect from Tesla's announcement they are starting series production of Cybertrucks with the Ford F-150 Lightning Pro now a lot cheaper (by $10k) than before.
Moving across the big pond (aka the Atlantic Ocean) into the Old Continent shenanigans, it seems that the rumor mill has caught whispers of European head honchos thinking about quickly reviving the Fiesta nameplate on Volkswagen EV underpinnings. But let's get back to our days of work, shall we? With Ford Pro at our side because the commercial vehicle-dedicated arm has just announced the enhancements for next year bestowed upon the ultra-popular Transit van and its fresh zero-emissions E-Transit sibling.
Based on S&P Global Mobility New Registrations data sourced between 2014 and 2022, the family of light commercial vehicles that was born way back in 1965 is currently the best-selling cargo van in the world. And they intend to keep it on the throne with "significant vehicle performance and productivity-enhancing upgrades coming in 2024 to Transit - designed to help businesses do more and optimize their operations."
The highlights include more standard connectivity features, new Ford Power?Up wireless update capabilities, additional software to simplify aftermarket conversions and automate repetitive tasks (that's especially great for delivery drivers), plus chassis enhancements, and the addition of an eight-speed automatic transmission to "boost payload and improve vehicle performance, handling, and efficiency."
According to Ford, new features for 2024 in Europe on the E-Transit and Transit include the Sync 4 infotainment system projected on a 12-inch central touchscreen and 8-inch digital instrument cluster, Connected Navigation, the newest 5G modem, the new Delivery Assist technology on long wheelbase panel van E-Transit and Transit models with automatic gearbox, plus Ford Pro's Upfit Integration System.
Additional features include Pre-Collision Assist with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keeping Alert & Aid, and Intelligent Speed Assist, which have become standard advanced driver assistance systems for 2024. The dedicated driver assistance packs include even more perks: Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering and Stop & Go, and Auto Park Assist with a 360-degree camera.
Last but not least, there is also a new eight-speed automatic transmission option for FWD Transits – increasing the GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) and GTM (Gross Trailer Mass) to 4,250 and 6,000 kg, respectively – the net gains are 700 kg and 1,750 kg respectively. Plus, there is also a new heavy-duty Gross Axle Weight Rating pack and lighter wheel hub and brake systems.