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Refreshed Ford Transit Connect Could Help Fleet Operators See Big Fuel Savings

The refreshed Ford Transit Connect and its advanced new powertrains could help fleet operators see a considerable reduction in fueling costs, by delivering up to 12 percent more fuel efficiency than the outgoing model. According to Ford, the Transit Connect with 1.5L EcoBlue diesel engine is capable of fuel economy on the order of 4.7 liters per 100 km (50 mpg US equivalent) in 75- and 100-horsepower trims, and 5.0 liters per 100 km (47 mpg US equivalent) in 120-horsepower spec. Equipped with a 1.0-liter EcoBoost petrol engine, the new Ford Transit Connect will deliver fuel economy as good as 6.4 liters per 100 km (36 mpg US equivalent).

Bear in mind: US customers shouldn’t anticipate EPA ratings that look anything like the above figures, as European fuel economy test cycles produce much more optimistic results than those in the US. Even still, Ford’s own data shows up to a 5-percent improvement in efficiency for the EcoBoost-equipped Ford Transit Connect compared to the equivalent outgoing van, and up to 12 percent for the EcoBlue Transit Connect.

On 100-hp and 120-hp EcoBlue models, European buyers will have access to the same brand-new eight-speed automatic transmission that American customers get, in addition to the six-speed manual that comes standard with all engines, but that’s only part of what gives the refreshed, 2018 Ford Transit Connect its efficiency boost. The 1.5L EcoBlue diesel is aided by an advanced fuel-injection system, turbocharging, and a low-friction architecture; the 1.0L EcoBoost petrol achieves its numbers with the help of optimized fuel-injection, a revised cylinder head, and for the first time ever in the Transit range, cylinder-deactivation technology.

Cylinder deactivation on the 2018 Ford Transit Connect can cut fuel delivery and valve operation to one of the cylinders in just 14 milliseconds, and reactivate the cylinder just as quickly. The engine does this in low-load conditions, such as while coasting, so that fuel is only fed to two of the engine’s three cylinders.

“Fuel costs are critical for van operators, and we have invested in advanced new technologies to bring savings to our customers,” says Ford Europe General Manager of Commercial Vehicles Hans Schep. “Our new small vans line-up delivers practicality in stylish packages, and we’ve worked hard to reduce ownership costs, developing efficient new engines and transmissions to work with advanced driver assistance technologies.”

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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