Ford Transit Custom (2023).  Hybrid diesel and plug-in versions have been launched

Ford Transit Custom (2023). Hybrid diesel and plug-in versions have been launched

Until now, the new generation Ford Transit Custom had only revealed its 100% electric version. But the Oval took the opportunity of the Hanover Motor Show to also reveal its diesel and plug-in ranges, which are always important for sales figures.


John LeBlanc

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After the electric version, Ford took the opportunity of the IAA Transport show in Hanover to reveal the hot variants of its new Transit Custom.

Matthew Meheust

In the communication of producers, 100% of electricity tends today to precede heat. Including in the world of services: since the release of its first official photos in the spring, the new Transit Custom has never shown its warm versions. But for many professionals, doing without diesel is still impossible. At the IAA Transport exhibition in Hannover, where Controversy was there, so the E-Transit Custom wasn’t the only one at the show. Two copies of the loyalty to the heat equipment also sat at the brand’s station at the Oval. One of them even made it possible to discover a character version of this medium format car, which retains the Trail name.

A cute, sporty or smart look

This attractive version can be identified mainly by its special grille, which evokes the Ranger’s intake and its relatively thick bar at the level of the logo. Its wheel arches and roof bars opt for black plastic “bad formwork”. Treatment found on the side edges, accompanied by steel-style inserts that echo the front and rear hooves. Therefore, this Transit can give the feeling of being able to swallow all obstacles. But beware of appearance: even if it can receive all-wheel drive or a locking differential to improve its traction, this body retains very low ground clearance. So it is better to avoid trying splurges off the asphalt with him. Another oil painting on display was more discreet despite its red bodywork. It corresponds to a small cut, which is above the Basic and Trend Cuts. Another adventurous version, the Active, is also on the program, along with a more aggressive-looking Sport variant. Not to mention the choice between two lengths, two heights and four different bodies, including an unprecedented configuration of two cabins and an L-shaped partition to load long objects. It is enough to reach many different professions, especially since the electrical architecture is designed to facilitate conversion by bodybuilders.

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No less than six trim levels make up the Transit 2023 lineup: base, Trend, Limited, Trail, Sport and Active.


Four diesels and a Kuga plug-in hybrid

In terms of engines, the EcoBlue diesels will be the first to arrive, towards the end of the first half of 2023. If Ford has given a little information on their subject, we already know that four power levels will be offered: 110, 136, 150 or 170 hp. Two gearboxes will also be available, one a six-speed manual, the other an eight-speed automatic. Finally, the towing capacity can go up to 2,500 kg. Like the 100% electric Custom e-Transit, a plug-in hybrid version will be launched later in 2023. Still currently unique in the segment, this type of engine appeared on the previous generation in 2019. But technology is changing here at all. . A 1.0-liter three-cylinder that never drives the wheels, like Nissan’s E-Power models. Make way for the Kuga’s naturally aspirated 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle with steering close to that of the Toyota HSD, and a CVT-style transmission. If the power is not presented, we can think of it as the same as that of a compact SUV, which develops 225 hp. The useful 11.8 kWh battery can provide 57 kilometers of electric range. So we are far from the e-Transit’s 380 km, but the petrol engine will make it possible to focus on long journeys more calmly. As a bonus, this variant retains the possibility of powering tools up to 2.3 kW thanks to two sockets on the trunk wall.

A cousin of the Volkswagen Transporter of the future

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The interior of the 2023 Ford Transit

The dashboard is more modern than before and the driving position is more pleasant.

Matthew Meheust

Built on a new platform, this new Transit has a lower floor than its predecessor. With us on board, in Hanover, its driving position seemed to us like a “van” printed less than before. Adjustable in length and depth, its steering wheel can even be converted into a small table for lunch breaks or working on a laptop, as an option. The three people who can sit in the front will also appreciate the flat floor or the beautiful 13-inch central screen, very responsive, served by 5G connectivity. A panel that controls the Sync 4 multimedia system and also controls the climate… which won’t necessarily please everyone. Buttons are therefore rare in this cabin. Only the drive continues to welcome much, characteristic at Ford.

The arrival of independent rear wheels promises more comfort, but obviously we could not confirm it with statistics. On the other hand, we have seen that hard plastic remains dominant. Competitors Renault Trafic, Peugeot Expert or Citroën Jumpy do not fare much better on this point, however. But Volkswagen’s future Transporter, now based on the new Transit Custom and built at the same Turkish plant in Otosan, may want to raise the bar in this area. Still, it’s clearly not a major purchasing factor for many professionals. The question of price will be more strategic, and Ford Pro has not yet announced when those of its new baby will be revealed.

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