Last week, we got a cryptic save-the-date invite from Ford Philippines, which only said that the American automaker’s local subsidiary was launching “something new” on November 27 and that it was “taking mobility further.” The attached image showed a humongous grille with a Blue Oval badge. What could the mysterious model be?
Well, today, a reader (who asked not to be named) sent us photos of the soon-to-be-introduced vehicle, and it’s the spacious Transit Minibus passenger van. Only one variant will be brought to our market—sourced from Turkey, by the way—and it’s equipped with a 2.2-liter Duratorq TDCi diesel engine rated at 133hp and 385Nm. This powerplant is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
The rear-wheel-drive Transit for our market will seat 15 passengers:
- Front row – 3 pax (1+2)
- Second row – 2 pax (2)
- Third row – 3 pax (1+2)
- Fourth row – 3 pax (1+2)
- Rear bench seat – 4 pax (1+2+1)
This van is huge, measuring 5,981mm long, 2,059mm wide (without the side mirrors) and about 2,500mm tall. It also has a hefty gross vehicle weight rating of 4,100kg. Our Transit version will roll on 16-inch steel wheels wrapped in 235/65 Hankook tires, and have disc brakes all around. Underpinning the roomy transporter are independent MacPherson struts and coil sprints in front, and leaf springs and gas-pressurized shock absorbers at the back.
Some of the vehicle’s noteworthy standard features: quad-beam halogen headlamps, daytime running lights, front and rear fog lights, power-folding side mirrors, power-operated side step for the passenger-side load door, rear climate control, day/night rearview mirror, six-speaker audio system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel audio controls, front and rear 12V power ports, front airbags, electronic stability control, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, tire pressure sensors, and Isofix child seat anchors for the second row.
And how much is this grand-looking van? A source within the Ford network tells us that this new mobility product will sell for P2,300,000. Not bad, don’t you think? The question now, we suppose, is this: Ford Transit Minibus or Hyundai H350 or Toyota Hiace Grandia Tourer? Have fun debating it with your family.