Ford’s one-tonne Transit Custom ECOnetic matches Ford S-Max car on fuel consumption.
The new Ford Transit Custom ECOnetic provides fuel economy on a par with the company’s large people carrier, the S-Max*, according to the Brentwood-based company.
The Transit Custom ECOnetic achieves best-in-class fuel consumption from 46.3mpg, a reduction of eight per cent against its predecessor, and CO2 emissions from 162 g/km. This is pretty impressive but what interested me most is how Ford is achieving these gains.
The key is control
One of the new systems fitted to the Transit Custom ECOnetic is called Acceleration Control. This is an electronic gadget that limits acceleration to levels achievable when the vehicle is fully laden, enabling significant fuel savings when the vehicle is unladen or part-laden.
This is a concept I first wrote about in 2010, when it became available as an aftermarket system from a company called Zeta. Currently, there’s also a device called Econospeed that you can buy as an aftermarket fitment that also does the same job.
The concept is simple and, I imagine, devastatingly effective. Anyone who is honest and has driven a modern van knows that when empty, they can be remarkably fast, as long as you don’t mind paying the fuel bills. Acceleration Control solves this problem from a van operator’s point of view and should also offer other benefits, such as reduced tyre and brake wear. I suspect it will fast become standard fitment to all commercial vehicles, especially larger ones.
Acceleration Control isn’t the only thing that helps the Transit Custom ECOnetic to save fuel.
Powered by a 100PS version of Ford’s 2.2-litre Duratorq diesel engine, the ECOnetic model also offers standard Auto-Start-Stop that can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10 per cent in urban driving.
Additional fuel-saving features include a switchable 70mph speed limiter, a unique engine calibration, a coolant bypass valve for quicker warm-up, optimised gearing with a six per cent longer final drive ratio, low rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic wheel trims. As an option, customers can also specify fixed speed limiters for speeds of 56mph, 62mph and 70mph to suit their own operating requirements.
Like it or not, the name of the game is saving fuel and cutting costs — and that’s not going to change anytime soon, if ever.
*The Duratorq diesel 2.0-litre 140PS Ford S-MAX with PowerShift transmission achieves 47.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 159 g/km