Ford, commercial truck and van manufacturer, has introduced the all-new 2014 Transit Connect Taxi for the North American taxi market at the 2013 International Association of Transportation Regulators Conference in St. Louis. The redesigned taxi, with compressed natural gas (CNG) capability, has been engineered to Ford’s light-truck commercial durability standards.
“We’re leveraging our longtime leadership and expertise in the North American taxi market to ensure Transit Connect Taxi exceeds the expectations of taxi operators and their passengers,” said Tim Stoehr, commercial truck marketing manager for Ford. “Transit Connect Taxi has been popular in major metropolitan cities since it debuted in 2010, and it has only gotten better.”
The 2014 Ford Transit Connect Taxi comes with a new powertrain – the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a new, fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission – providing drivers with quick response as well as durability, low-rpm cruising and an expected best-in-class highway fuel economy rating.
Ford Transit Connect will be the only taxi offered with a compressed natural gas/liquefied petroleum gas engine prep package. Conversion to CNG/LPG is supported by a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier, enabling significant fuel cost savings.
The redesign of Ford Transit Connect Taxi features a decreased vehicle height, providing improved clearance for taxicab companies to place advertising on the cabin roof. An interior hood release was added, giving drivers easy access to check fluid levels prior to starting a shift.
The second-generation Transit Connect Taxi is also longer, offering seating for five and increased cargo capacity. The roomy, flexible interior is perfectly suited for livery service and conversion to CNG and LPG. The vehicle’s cargo space accommodates a compressed gas tank, while leaving ample room for luggage and passenger headroom and legroom. It features an anticipated best-in-class 60.5 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second row.
The vehicle’s floor has been lowered for improved access to the cabin, and can be modified to be wheelchair-accessible through Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier program.
Ford began offering Transit Connect Taxi with the 2011 model year, providing a commercial vehicle that is tested to the company’s toughest truck standards.
“Transit Connect was originally selected from Ford’s global portfolio of high-quality products to bring the advantages of alternative fuel as well as an outstanding interior package to the for-hire transportation industry,” Stoehr said.
The 2014 Ford Transit Connect Taxi will go into production and arrive in dealerships by early next year.