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Ford Introduces ECOnetic Transit and Fiesta Vans

Ford has announced that it will be introducing both Transit and Fiesta ECOnetic vans later this year.

Most of the manufacturers’ green ranges apply to cars only, so it’s good to see Ford introducing ECOnetic vans. It means that the Transit 280 SWB van with its 2.2-litre 115PS Duratorq TDCi will achieve a combined fuel economy of 39.2mpg, equating to an average of 189 g/km CO2, which Ford claims to be best in class.

Meanwhile the Fiesta comes in under the 100g/km mark, with an excellent 98g/km, and 76.4mpg.

It’s also good to see the mpg and emissions of vans quoted, as traditionally these figures were never published.

Both vans will be on sale in autumn 2009, with prices announced nearer the on sale date.

The Transit ECOnetic has the following revisions to get the emissions lower:

* Optimised rolling resistance tyres (215/75R16) and low friction oil

* Green shift indicator light

* Modified engine calibration

* Standard 70mph speed limiter

* New low-drag wheel covers

This results in a significant improvement over the standard 115PS 280S model of 24 g/km CO2.

Available as an option, a closed-loop, coated Diesel Particulate Filter (cDPF) enables Transit ECOnetic to satisfy the Euro Stage V emissions standards.

The Transit ECOnetic features the Durashift six-speed manual transmission (VMT-6). This offers a wider range of available gear ratios over the prior Durashift five-speed transmission, allowing better fuel economy at all speeds. The ‘shorter’ gearing in first gear allows for improved pull-away performance, while the ‘longer’ gearing in top provides improved highway fuel economy (around 10 per cent better compared with the combined NEDC figures), with reduced engine revs for a range of speeds and loads for the standard Transit configuration. For the ECOnetic version, longer gearing has been achieved through the fitment of a 4.36 final drive ratio.

Standard on Transit ECOnetic is Ford’s Electronic Stability Program (ESP) system, including Hill Launch Assist (HLA). It also has a good array of standard equipment, including the Ford Audio 6000 unit as well as load box safety equipment, including a full steel bulkhead and solid tie down hooks. Additional features, such as a trip computer (to monitor fuel performance), rear parking sensors and a new rear view camera with overhead seven-inch colour display, can also be ordered.

The Transit ECOnetic offers 1,097kg gross payload (the standard Transit 280S van is 1,092kg), and the same load box volume of 6.5 cubic metres – using the SAE method of volume calculations.

Detail engineering for the Transit ECOnetic included reducing the availability of the heaviest options such as a second sliding door. However, all standard and optional safety and comfort features are available.

Meanwhile the new Fiesta Van ECOnetic gains lowered suspension, low rolling resistance tyres and a specially calibrated Duratorq 1.6-litre TDCi for an ultra-low 98g/km CO2.

Made at Ford’s wind-powered engine plant at Dagenham, Essex, the specially calibrated 90PS 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi combined with coated Diesel Particulate Filter, produces 10 per cent less CO2 than the TDCi and is matched to a special aerodynamic profile that results in just 98g/km CO2 and a combined 76.4mpg.

Compared with the previous-generation 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi, the Fiesta Van ECOnetic will use 35 gallons less fuel over 12,428 miles – offering genuine savings in daily driving. Extra-urban highway fuel economy is even better – the Fiesta Van ECOnetic achieves 88.3 mpg. To achieve this result, further improvements have been made to aerodynamics: lowered ride height and details such as low-drag wheel deflectors build on the standard Fiesta’s drag co-efficient (Cd) of 0.33.

At the same time, it has low rolling resistance tyres, low friction oil and a longer final drive gear ratio.

Ford’s Dagenham Diesel Centre produces Duratorq TDCi engines for all new Fiesta versions and derives all its electricity from renewable sources, using two dedicated wind turbines.

Ford is also sourcing renewable electricity to cover the full electric power demand of its manufacturing and engineering facilities in Cologne, Germany. Through this initiative, the company will reduce its CO2 emissions by 190,000 tonnes per year.