By Ronan Glon
Thursday, Apr 19th, 2012 @ 5:51 am
 
When Ford launched the all-new Tourneo Custom passenger van last month, it announced that the cargo version of it would bow at the Birmingham Commercial Vehicles Show in England.

Ford has just unveiled the new Transit Custom ahead of its scheduled public debut in England next week.

Aesthetically, the Transit Custom is identical to the Tourneo Custom. When it is launched, it will be available with two different wheelbases. The short wheelbase measures 195 inches long, and the long wheelbase variant stretches 210 inches long.

Ford says that the van boasts class-leading space in between the rear wheel arches, which means that 8 feet by 4 feet boards can be stored flat on the floor. The van's payload is anywhere between 1,322 and 3,086 pounds, depending on which wheelbase is chosen, and which engine is under the hood.

Ford primarily designed the Transit Custom as a work horse, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be comfortable. The company has given it a more car-like interior that is oddly reminiscent of the one found in the Fiesta. Ford's voice-activated SYNC in-car connectivity system and a rear-view camera are both available at an extra cost.

The Transit Custom is powered by a 2.2-liter Duratorq TDCi diesel engine available with either 100, 125, or 155 horsepower. It is bolted to a six-speed manual gearbox that transfers power to the front wheels.

The van comes standard with an automatic start/stop system, which helps it boast 35 miles per gallon in a mixed European cycle. CO2 emissions are rated at 174 grams per kilometer, which is slightly less than the Tourneo Custom's 182 grams.

The Transit Custom will arrive in showrooms across Europe later this year, but Ford had made it clear that it currently has no plans to sell it in the United States.

However, the automaker has announced that it hopes to revamp its entire commercial vehicle lineup by 2014. The next vehicle due in for a redesign is the bigger Transit, which Ford claims will be sold in North America.