Ford debuts compact urban delivery truck, affirms Class 6-7 stance

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One of the benefits of being an international company like Ford is that you can “borrow” appropriate products from around the world if they make sense in other markets. The company’s new-to-North-America Transit Connect urban delivery van.

Built in Turkey, and originally designed to operate in Europe’s tightly constricted cities and towns and built in Turkey, the Transit Connect is noticeably smaller than conventional North American delivery vehicles, but still offers up to 1,600 pounds of payload and features over 135 cubic feet of cargo space.

Available in van and wagon configurations, the Transit Connect stands 6-feet, 8-inches tall and has a curb-to-curb turning radius of only 39 feet. Its 2.0-liter Duratec I-4 engine is rated at 22 mpg, city and 25 mpg on the highway. Late next year, in partnership with Smith Electric Vehicles, Ford will offer all-electric Transit Connect vehicles with an estimated range of approximately 100 miles.

In other Ford news, the company “reaffirmed” its commitment to the North American Class 6 and 7 truck markets, announcing the continued production of F-650 and F-750 trucks through its Blue Diamond collaboration with Navistar.

Ford also announced it will re-enter the stripped commercial chassis market in 2011 with its F-59 Super Duty platform in multiple wheelbase lengths and respective gross vehicle weight ratings.

As currently configured, the F-59 features a 6.8-liter Triton V-10 gas engine mated to a TorqShift, five-speed automatic overdrive transmission. Other features include four-wheel, anti-lock brakes and Bilstein shock absorbers. F-59 chassis will be available in early 2010.