Ford brings more of its European success to the U.S. at the 2008 New York auto show with its Transit Connect utility vehicle. Ford showed three different uses for the urban utility vehicle, with cars configured as a taxi, a band wagon, and audio/video installer van.
For the New York auto show, Ford kitted one of its Transit Connects as a New York taxi cab, complete with divider screen between driver and passengers. The Transit Connect has been a success in Europe as it uses an economical 2-liter four cylinder engine, giving it enough power for an urban environment and fuel economy of 19mpg city and 24mpg highway.
The Transit Connect Taxi concept includes an LCD with fare information, plus a screen in back showing local news and weather, just like in actual New York cabs. Although the examples brought to the New York auto show have manual transmissions, Ford will only offer them with automatic transmissions when they come to the U.S. in summer of 2009.
In the tax configuration, extra passenger space is provided with jump seats in the large cargo area. With big doors all the way around, access is easy, and Ford assures us that the Transit Connect can also be made wheelchair-accessible.
Ford also teamed up with Bri-Tech, an installer and designer of audio/visual systems for home and business. In this configuration, the Transit Connect becomes a utility van, able to transport tools and audio/visual components.