Ford today announced two new taxis for the US market, with available hybrid and diesel powertrain options to maximize fuel savings for operators. There’s the 2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid Taxi – Ford’s first Fusion Hybrid specially designed for cab duty, which borrows from the Ford Police Responder Hybrid – and the 2019 Ford Transit Connect Taxi with 1.5L EcoBlue diesel engine.
That the 2019 Ford Fusion Hybrid Taxi takes parts from the Police Responder Hybrid should give it better durability in the field, Ford says. The models incorporate heavy-duty chassis parts like steel wheels and suspension components, designed to withstand the sort of abuse such models often face. The ride height is raised to better cope with hazards like curbs and potholes, and the car boasts high-performance brakes.
The cab’s hybrid system could deliver as much as 38 mpg on the EPA combined cycle (40 mpg city, 36 mpg highway), according to the automaker, although the EPA doesn’t yet have those numbers. Heavy-duty cloth seating comes standard, with easy-to-clean vinyl upholstery available as an option; the floors are covered with vinyl; a mounting plate for taxi meters and other equipment is located atop the instrument panel; and critically for a cab, School Bus Yellow is among the list of exterior paint options.
Like the Fusion, the 2019 Ford Transit Connect Taxi diesel also has lofty goals with regard to fuel economy; Ford is targeting an EPA-estimated 30 mpg highway with the new 1.5L EcoBlue, although again, the new vehicle has yet to be tested. It offers seating for five, more than 60 cubic feet of cargo space, and standard dual sliding side doors with a low floor for easy ingress and egress. (Ford says that wheelchair accessibility can be provided through its Qualified Vehicle Modifier program.)
Making the Transit Connect Taxi suitable for cab duty is a taxi upfit wiring harness, an optional roof access hole for a roof sign, and of course, available School Bus Yellow paint.
“Taxi operators want vehicles that are reliable, efficient and comfortable,” says Ford Fleet Marketing Brand and Communications Manager Imran Jalal. “Transit Connect Taxi and Fusion Hybrid Taxi offer all three with special attention to potentially help lower fuel costs. Plus, Fusion Hybrid underscores our commitment to introduce even more efficient and capable hybrids in the future.”